Winners of Saudi Arabia’s Muay Thai boxing championship crowned

Winners of Saudi Arabia’s Muay Thai boxing championship crowned
Winners of Saudi Arabia’s Muay Thai boxing championship crowned

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - 2nd Abu Dhabi Extreme Championship ends with Aljamain Sterling taking welterweight title

ABU DHABI: The second Abu Dhabi Extreme Championship concluded at Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night with former UFC champion Aljamain Sterling winning the grappling welterweight title after defeating fellow UFC fighter Chase Hooper in a five-round, three-minute no-gi bout — the main event of the evening.

The American Sterling, with a record of 23 wins, was able to achieve victory over his compatriot Hooper, who has 13 wins in various world championships, via a split decision.

“Hooper did some good stuff and I expected that,” said Sterling. “He was the bigger guy coming into this and I’m trying to transition, going up a weight class, so what better way to test my skills than to see how good of a grappler I truly am for MMA and for competition BJJ than going against a guy like that. I thought I won it by unanimous decision, but it’s jiu-jitsu. I understand the submission attempt, so I gotta look at it again. I look forward to coming here again and beating more opponents.”

The event was attended by Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, UAE ambassador to Qatar; Sheikh Mohammed bin Issa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan; and His Excellency Abdulmunem Al-Sayed Mohammed Al-Hashmi, chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation and chairman of International Vision Sports Management.

After its successful debut in November, ADXC 2, organized by IVSM and technical partner Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro, showcased 14 fights across jiu-jitsu and grappling. The championship will now move to Brazil for the third edition on March 2.

Before the main event, Bruno Lima from Portugal secured a victory by knocking out Manuel Ribamar in their jiu-jitsu middleweight bout. In the jiu-jitsu co-main event, Ffion Davies of Wales defeated Brazilian Luana Pinheiro by submission in just 51 seconds in the first round of their grappling catchweight bout, making it the fastest match of the tournament.

Earlier in the evening, Mohammed Al-Suwaidi achieved a decisive win over South Korean Seonghyeon Joo, becoming the first Emirati champion since the championship was introduced.

“We are pleased with the widespread response to the success of ADXC 2, which is an important addition to our local and international tournaments,” said Al-Hashmi.

“It has become the focal point for fans of jiu-jitsu, grappling, and martial arts worldwide. This tournament was initially launched to introduce a new Emirati product to the world of mixed martial arts, providing athletes the opportunity to showcase their skills on one of the strongest platforms and compete inside a cage, offering fun, excitement, and a unique experience. The tournament is filled with enthusiasm, especially with the participation of an elite group of distinguished fighters in their respective weight categories at the international level.

“Work will continue from now on to prepare for the next edition, scheduled to take place in Brazil on March 2, in collaboration with new partners,” he added. “Our aim is to sustain success and achieve the goals for which the tournament was launched, especially considering the participation of several UAE champions in the previous two editions, showcasing their talents at commendable levels, a trend we are committed to maintaining in future editions.”

Lima, gold winner of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2023, and who secured victory over Ribamar via a unanimous decision, thanked the UAE for allowing him to realize his dreams.

He said: “The preparations for ADXC were from the beginning; everything that we did culminated in the moments I have been preparing myself (for) all my life. Not much has happened. It’s like when you put a seed in the soil, nothing much happens, nothing much happens, and then a tree grows, and eventually, it gives fruits. Now I am eating the fruit, and it’s very nice but a very long, long journey.”

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