ABU DHABI, 29th October, 2023 (WAM) — Renowned jiu-jitsu and MMA athletes believe the recently concluded first edition of the Abu Dhabi Extreme Championship (ADXC) will significantly alter the world of combat sports. Featuring a series of thrilling showdowns that combine jiu-jitsu and grappling and are all set inside a caged octagon, the innovative new event intends to reshape the global landscape of jiu-jitsu, while capturing the attention of spectators – and those who featured in Friday night’s 14 bouts believe it can achieve its goals.
What began as a remarkable championship in Abu Dhabi is now gearing up for a global tour, set to visit major international cities over the next two years. Season champions will be determined based on their accumulated points, with ADXC organisers promising fans exciting competition and fierce rivalries throughout.
Neiman Gracie, a former Pan-American jiu-jitsu champion and member of the legendary Gracie family lineage, achieved a victory over American Benson Henderson via submission in the No-Gi Main Event. Gracie expressed his enthusiasm for ADXC, calling the new format “truly remarkable”.
“It’s a groundbreaking show with the potential to become a force in the world of grappling. It was an unforgettable experience, and I look forward to returning to compete in this exceptional event,” he said, highlighting the similarities between ADXC and MMA before emphasising how his MMA experience with Bellator gave him an advantage in utilising the cage for takedowns.
Former UFC fighter Henderson shared his thoughts on the unique nature of ADXC. “People may underestimate how different it can be when executing takedowns against the cage,” he said. “Completing a takedown outside of the cage takes just a few seconds, but it can take much longer when you’re pressed against it. In a short three-minute match, this becomes a significant factor.”
Tarek Sulaiman, an Arab MMA champion who switched from MMA to grappling at ADXC, said in a world where sports often lean on hyperbole, the new-look event is “genuinely unique”.
“I have a deep passion for grappling, with half of my MMA victories achieved through submissions,” he said. “Transitioning from MMA to grappling feels like a natural progression in my career. I’ve been involved in it for 15 years now and achieved black belt status three years ago, so it’s fitting for me to test my skills in this facet of the sport.”
In an intense match, Palestine’s Abdul-Kareem Al-Selwady faced Egypt’s Islam Nader Reda, delivering an action-packed battle from start to finish. Al-Selwady secured a victory via unanimous decision and praised the organisation of ADXC. “This event is truly incredible. What’s most exciting is that this is only their first event. They’ve set high standards for their inaugural event, and I’m thrilled to be part of this organisation’s growth.
“ADXC has certainly set a new benchmark in the world of combat sports. As it embarks on its global tour, it promises to continue delivering thrilling and innovative competition. This fusion of jiu-jitsu and MMA can captivate audiences worldwide, so its future looks really promising,” Al-Selwady added.
One of the evening’s most intense matches featured Marcio Andre facing off against Fabricio Andrey. The latter was exuberant after his victory. “I emerged victorious in my fight, and this event is truly exciting,” he said. “I truly believe this event will change the world of MMA.”