AJP Newsletter June 2024: Your monthly recap of the highlights from all over the world

July 1, 2024

Wrapping up another stellar month of competitions, the AJP worked tirelessly to gift fight fans and athletes with its usual batch of events, which came in addition to the first-ever Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Istanbul. Now, the organization is gearing up to tackle the latter half of the year, with many big tournaments and challenges rising on the horizon. But before we look at all the exciting stuff that July has in store for us, let's take a moment to go over the highlights of the month of June.

Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour Istanbul 2024: Champions make history at the tour's debut in Turkey

Taking place between June 7th and 9th at the Basaksehir Genclik ve Spor Ilce Mudurlugu Tesisleri, the ADGS Istanbul 2024 was a testament to the AJP's commitment to its mission of globalizing Jiu-Jitsu. Following the highly successful ADGS Abu Dhabi and ADGS Rome, the competition had some big shoes to fill, but the competitors made sure to bring their best performances to this brand-new stage and made this event a memorable one.

As usual, the Elite of Jiu-Jitsu was shining bright at the tournament. On the men's side, Kalel Santos showcased his stamina as he maintained Omar Alsuwaidi under pressure during both the regulated time and the golden score to convince the referees and take the 56kg division title. In the 62kg bracket, Jefferson Fagundes scored last in a well-balanced final match against Pablo Dutra to take the win, while Thiago Macedo beat his longtime rival Thiago Marques by a narrow 1-0 score to become the 69kg champion. Lucas Protasio added another high-profile title to his stacked resumé after outscoring Jefferson Goteu in the 77kg division, Uanderson Ferreira had fight fans on the edge of their seats as he took the victory in a breathtaking duel against the ADXC and ADWPJJC champion Bruno Lima, Marcos Carrozzino found himself atop the 94kg podium after a narrow 7-6 win against Jackson Souza, and Matheus "Tá Danado" Xavier conquered the heaviest division with a 3-1 score that gave him the win against Felipe Bezerra in the 120kg final.

On the women's side, the action was no less impactful. In the 49kg division, Diana Teixeira collar-choked the title out of Flavia Soares, while the Emirati brown belt Asma Alhousani went above and beyond in her campaign and conquered the 56kg gold medal after beating the highly decorated black belt Alexa Yanes. Rafaela Bertolot landed a last-minute choke to submit Julia Alves and become the 62kg division champion, Raquel Santos outscored Anna Remneva in the 70kg final, and the 95kg division title went to Yara Soares, who unleashed a barrage of attacks against Marwa Alhousani to take the win by 6-0.

AJP Tour Spain National Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2024: Jonas Andrade and Matheus Vetoraci shine as brightly as their double golds in Barcelona

Landing at the Poliesportiu Municipal Virrei Amat on June 9th, the Spain National had it all: Six fight areas, competitors from all corners of the world, 1000 ranking points for each champion, and the glory that only an AJP gold medal can bring to an athlete. Among all the warriors who left their hearts on those mats, Brazilian duo Jonas Andrade and Matheus Vetoraci were a standout as each went all out and conquered the coveted double gold.

Representing Humbling Jiu Jitsu Club, Jonas put on his gi and made his way to the 69kg division, in which he first submitted the local Carlos Anguita to advance in the bracket. Facing Roger Rodrigues in the final, Jonas put his skillset on full display, using every tool at his disposal to overcome his unyielding opponent and taking the win with a 4-0 score to climb the podium. Jonas would be back again a few hours later, this time without the gi, to fight for the 69kg division yet again. This time around, his sole opponent would be Fabricio Cunha, who was unable to keep up with his opponent's pace and fell victim to a submission 30 seconds into the match, giving Jonas his second gold medal.

Meanwhile, the 85kg division was thoroughly dominated by Matheus Vetoraci. A Blvckout Grappling representative, Matheus had to overcome the Spaniard Francisco Santana to become the champion and he spared no efforts to reach his goal, closing the five minutes of regulated time with a crushing 19-0 score and seizing his first title. Later on, Matheus made his way back to the 85 kg division, this time without the gi, and once again ran into Francisco Santana. Things were different now, however, and Francisco put on a great fight and offered almost no chances for the Brazilian to score. Regardless, Matheus kept his eyes on the prize and found enough room to squeeze a single and decisive point, making his second trip to the top of the podium with a narrow 1-0 score.

AJP Tour US National Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2024: Leilani Bernales takes the triple gold in Atlanta

On June 15th, the Georgia International Convention Center was the stage upon which the US National tested its athletes as each of them fought for the chance to be called an AJP champion. Many gold medals were earned at the tournament, with the American brown belt Leilani Bernales conquering no less than three titles in a flawless campaign.

Her journey began at the 70kg division, in which she had two opponents before reaching the gold. After beating Larissa Sousa via submission in the semis, Leilani reached the final and showed her technical superiority against Fatima Eltassi as she scored multiple times while giving her opponent no chance to do the same. When the clock ran out, a sound 5-0 score gave Leilani her first title, but the tournament was far from over for her.

Later on, Leilani returned to the mats, this time gunning for the Open Heavyweight division title. In the semifinal, she went up against Karoline Caramori in a balanced match and got the win by a narrow 5-3 score. In the gold round, Leilani had a rematch against Fatima Eltassi, but like the first time, Leilani managed to control the entirety of the battle, taking her second gold medal with a 9-0 score. With some gas still left in the tank, Leilani took off her gi and went back to the 70kg division, promptly submitting Marcela Blanco, capturing her third title, and ending her participation on a high note.

UPCOMING: ADGS Rio de Janeiro, Nationals, Regionals, and Internationals

Coming from a stellar debut in Istanbul, the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam World Tour returns to a more familiar itinerary and makes its way to the tropical shores of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Scheduled to take place between July 19th and 21st, the ADGS Rio de Janeiro will land at the Arena Carioca 1, welcoming Amateurs and Youths on the first day, the Master category on the second, and the Professionals on the third and final day of the competition. Can't make it to the competition? Go to TX7.com and follow every second of the action live during the three days of the tournament.

July will also feature the usual batch of AJP tournaments around the world, with Nationals being held in the Philippines on July 6th, and Armenia and Kyrgyzstan both on July 20th and 21st. This month will feature two Regionals, with the first one being held in Northeast Brazil between July 13th and 14th, and the second one coming to the Middle East on July 27th. Here's the list of the upcoming Internationals for the month of July: Piura (July 13th), Ulaanbaatar (July 13th-14th), Cancun (July 13th-14th), Split (July 20th), Pretoria (July 28th).