Note: Some of the pics were taken by Arlene Lim, Patrick Lagniton, Kinya Hashimoto and Adrian Tham

Woke up early in the morning for breakfast and even though I wasn’t competing, I was feeling a little jittery for my team-mates and couldn’t really eat anything that morning. 

The time schedule for the day was that Whites and Blues should be there at 10am and that the Purples will only be required after the 12-2pm Friday prayers break. Managed to convince Shane to accompany us to give support and corner Monstrinha if we couldn’t find Rodrigo Caporal.


Meet Janni on the bus that morning. She had a lot of nervous energy inside her and needed someone to talk to. I guess since I wasn’t competing I had the excited energy but lacked the nervousness so spent the whole bus ride from the hotel to the venue talking to her :) 

 
The warm up area which is like frickin cold! Shane was so cold that when we went back for lunch he brought a towel to stuff into his Gi to warm up! Wtf!!


Everyone eagerly waiting to see what the brackets are

Things went really smooth when they started the actual tournament. Each mat area had signs that posted which brackets they were for so all competitors were expected to wait at their own designated mat areas. Each mat area also had their own individual runner whose job was to make sure that competitors knew in which order the brackets were coming up.

I was busy being Monstrinha’s wingwoman making sure both Shane and Caporal were around to corner her when her match started. Since we weren’t allowed in the mat area, we sat in the box that was closet to Monstrinha’s mat. 

In the hall itself, there were 6 mats with a large screen in the centre. Whatever was shown on the large screen was telecasted live on Abu Dhabi Sports Channel. The event itself is 2 days with all matches happening today except for the finals which would be done tomorrow.
 

I find it hilarious that beside the VIP section was a section literally for what we called the ‘professional cheerleaders’. I don’t think any of them have any interest in BJJ and were brought in to cheer for any Middle Eastern competitor
 

Monstrinha did really well during her first match but lost 2-0 from a sweep somewhere in the 3rd minute. She was pretty close to passing towards the end but alas lack of time! 
 
That’s Monstrinha’s match on TV! :) 

Tommy and Jordan did really well in the morning with Jordan winning all his matches in his weight class and Tommy losing out the semi-finals match by a ref’s decision (ugh worse way to go! But still bronze yay!). 

After that it was time to break for Friday prayers so we went back to the hotel to chill and eat.

Shane preparing his power drink ‘Baltimore’ style 

After that we went back to prepare for Monstrinha’s absolute match and watch out for Shane’s weight category match.

Hanging around backstage warm up is cool cause you get to hangout with all the superstars and see how they handle pre competition pressure. Like Galvao’s pretty calm, Satoshi’s pretty quiet, the Miyao brothers just kinda stay in the corner and drill with themselves while Luanna gets a bit jittery. Monstrinha got to take a picture with Galvao during that time. We also met up with Allen, Adrian and Arlene backstage.
 

The cool thing about hanging out backstage was that you could also watch the matches going on in the hall via the TV
 

Anyway, Shane won first match with a sick sick triangle armbar combo in the first minute! 

As for Monstrinha she went against the eventual champion for her weight class as well as the runner up for the absolute and was armbarred in the first minute. That armbar was sick and Monstrinha sadly popped her elbow and will be off hard training for a while. :(

The competition was running really late at this time and by the time Monstrinha’s absolute was finished it was all ready 8ish. So we went back to the hotel, grabbed a quick dinner and Team Malaysia gathered in our room just in time to see the Purple Belt semi-finals absolute match on TV and watched the amazing black belt absolute matches. It’s a pity all the matches were happening at the same time. Would have loved to see more of Rodolfo and Galvao’s absolute matches.

It was about 12:30am when the matches were all over so naturally went to sleep dreaming of jiu jitsu. ;) 

Exciting Saturday!

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