The Abu Dhabi Pro, also known as the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Cup, was a competition held in May of last year and was welcomed by jiu-jitsu’s elite competitors because there was significant money to be earned by the winners. Black belt champions could earn as much as $7,000 (as Braulio Estima did!). Although there are jiu-jitsu tournaments that provide a bit of money for winners, the Abu Dhabi Pro offered the most to date for amazing jiu-jitsu athletes competing in the gi.
Despite the step forward to the economic well being of BJJ stars, the biggest complaint lodged against the Abu Dhabi Pro event was that there were no divisions for women. While it is easy to speculate that the absence of female competitors was due to some Arab countries’ segregation of the sexes, I am not aware of any official reason for not allowing women last year. In any case the 2009 event was an excellent opportunity for male athletes, but not so much for the ladies.
Thankfully, the 2010 Abu Dhabi Pro will indeed include female athletes! The organizers recognize the importance of allowing all competitors to participate and divisions will indeed be available!
As with the male divisions, there will be some collapsing of the skill levels.
- Male Divisions:
- White Belts
- Blue Belts
- Purple, Brown & Black Belts are combined
- Female Division: all belts combined into one division
If you are interested in trying to make it to the United Arab Emirates for a shot at the large prizes, note that the qualifier events are on their way in short order. (Note that these are subject to change of course!)
South America: two events in Brazil. Dates not announced yet.
North America: two events in USA: Florida Jan. 31st and another in California (probably February)
Canada: March 6th
Europe: two events. London Dec. 12, Belgium date not announced yet.
South Africa: Dec. 5
Australia: Nov. 15
New Zealand: Nov. 22
To be notified when there is news about these upcoming qualifiers (and any BJJ or submission grappling competitions) sign up for email updates from our sister site iCompete.org!