Abu Dhabi Extreme Championship set to unleash combat sports spectacle

Renowned jiu-jitsu and MMA athletes will engage at the world-renowed Mubadala Arena this weekend

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Officials from Vision Sports Management (IVSM) and fighters at the announcement of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Extreme Championship (ADXC 1), at Mubadala Arena. – Supplied photo
Officials from Vision Sports Management (IVSM) and fighters at the announcement of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Extreme Championship (ADXC 1), at Mubadala Arena. – Supplied photo

Published: Thu 19 Oct 2023, 12:42 AM

The stage is set for the inaugural Abu Dhabi Extreme Championship (ADXC 1), a groundbreaking milestone in the world of combat sports, which takes place at Mubadala Arena during the ongoing Abu Dhabi Showdown Week.

Renowned jiu-jitsu and MMA athletes will engage in five rounds of intense three-minute bouts, promising an electrifying experience. The championship, launching in Abu Dhabi, will then embark on a global tour, visiting major international cities over the next two years.

Season champions will be crowned based on accumulated points.

“We are just hours away from Abu Dhabi hosting the inaugural ADXC, ushering in a new era of combat sports,” said Abdel Moneim Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation and President of the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Union and Chairman of International Vision Investments, majority stakeholders in IVSM.

“This championship will bring together the world’s best fighters, offering a comprehensive global platform for jiu-jitsu and grappling that transcends the boundaries of combat sports.

“Abu Dhabi has already established itself as a global capital of jiu-jitsu and this event will reshape the landscape of wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and martial arts through this unique championship here in the UAE capital,” he added.

“Our aim is to elevate the stature of this championship on the global stage. Athletes spend their life dedicated to showing the value and beauty of jiu-jitsu, so it is important to show that this sport can be both accessible and appreciated by the world.”

“Fifteen years ago, the discussions surrounding jiu-jitsu were just beginning, but today Abu Dhabi has emerged as a global leader in the sport and the largest developer of jiu-jitsu in the world,” said Al Hashemi.

“This impressive journey reflects Abu Dhabi’s unwavering commitment to creating unique opportunities for top champions in martial arts.

“Abu Dhabi’s reputation as the center for nurturing talent and a destination for champions in the world of jiu-jitsu and grappling is well-deserved. It's a testament to the city's dedication and passion for the sport,” he concluded.

ADXC 1, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro (AJP), promises to set the stage ablaze, offering a spectacle for fight enthusiasts. This inaugural event represents a fusion of jiu-jitsu and MMA, combining strategy and intricacy with raw intensity.

ADXC 1 features a main card designed to keep fight fans on the edge of their seats. With two main events and two co-main events, it promises to be an evening unlike anything the UAE capital has seen before.

In the No-Gi Main Event, Neiman Gracie – who holds the record for most submissions in his division – faces former UFC fighter Ben Henderson.

“Ever since I was a little boy I always wanted to come here and fight in front of all you guys,” said Gracie, who is a fourth generation descendant of the famous Gracie family widely regarded as the primary developers of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

“I’ve been watching what the UAE Royal Family has done for jiu-jitsu and consider Abu Dhabi to be the capital of jiu-jitsu in the whole world. I can’t wait to put on a show. It’s no secret that every time I fight I’m looking for submission, so a nice submission is what I’m aiming for.”

In the Gi Main Event.Brazilians Isaque Bahiense and Gustavo Batista will do battle in a bout where no love is lost, while in the No-Gi Co-Main Event Tarek Suleiman, the top-ranked MMA middleweight in the Arab World, faces the UFC’s fifth-ranked Marvin Vettori. The No-Gi Co-Main Event will include Roberto Cyborg Abreu vs. Anton Minenko.

“Abu Dhabi never fails to give competitors a chance to showcase that the UAE can deliver top level athletes and I consider myself one of those – a son of this country,” said Suleiman.

“I asked for a great challenge and I can’t wait to perform here in the country and capital of jiu-jitsu. There is no place better to showcase jiu-jitsu than in Abu Dhabi.”

Vettori retorted: “I’m very excited to be here and answer the call of Tarek. He asked for me, but sometimes you have to be a careful what you wish for.”

The ADXC card also boasts a star-studded Arab lineup, including Emirati Zayed Al Katheeri, who has made a name for himself in the world of jiu-jitsu with remarkable achievements at various local and international championships. The Emirati champion will face a formidable opponent in Thalison Soares.

Al Katheeri expressed his anticipation: “It’s different rules to normal AJP competitions, so I have prepared so hard for this event. I am honoured and excited to take part in this first edition and hope to put on a good show for the UAE in the UAE.”


The inaugural ADXC event will feature 14 electrifying matches in a tournament of unprecedented scale as the Mubadala Arena is transformed into an epic battleground for one night only.

Tickets for ADXC 1 on October 20 are available now with fans urged to secure their seats now to ensure they do not miss out on an historic event.

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