His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, has attended the second MMA Youth Championship, which took place at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Abu Dhabi.

During the visit, His Highness met with future mixed martial arts stars, and expressed pride in the courage, discipline and respect shown by the competitors participating in the event. His Highness also praised the work of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation and UAE MMA Committee in raising the sports’ profile and in discovering new talent.

His Highness was accompanied by His Excellency Abdel Moneim Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, President of the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Union, and Senior Vice President of the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF); His Excellency Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Executive Affairs Authority; His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Office of the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; and His Excellency Jassim Mohamed Bu Ataba Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Department of Finance;  

Also in attendance were His Excellency Mohammed bin Dalmouj Al Dhaheri, Chairman of the UAE MMA Committee and Vice President of the Asian MMA Association; His Excellency Mohamed Salem Al Dhaheri, Vice President of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation; Mansour Al Dhaheri, board member of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation; Fahad Ali Al Shamsi, Secretary General of the UAE and Asian Jiu-Jitsu Federations; Mubarak Al Menhali, member of the UAE MMA Committee, and Deputy Director General of the Asian Jiu-Jitsu Federation; and a number of MMA stars from around the world.

Commenting at the event, His Excellency Abdel Moneim Al Hashemi, said: “The UAE is fortunate that its leadership are great supporters of sport and our athletes.

“Mixed martial arts in the UAE are growing steadily, with new infrastructure and systems in place for it to continue expanding exponentially. Events such as this are key to encouraging Emiratis to practice this sport and to excel in it, linked by the same values as jiu-jitsu - the most important of which are courage, discipline, patience and endurance, as well as respect for your opponent, leadership and responsibility.”

“Our strong presence in the Asian MMA Federation has helped raise the profile of the game locally, while a new strategy to hone and discover new talent has led to the creation of a new generation of champions who are benefiting from the experience they are gaining from the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation. Going forward, we will work to introduce mixed martial arts into clubs and will launch a local league that will help expand the sport, at the same time as organising international tournaments that strengthen the UAE’s reputation as a global hub for this sport.”

The 2nd MMA Youth Championship follows a successful first edition that was held in September, and provides a platform for emerging MMA talent. The second competition included 19 fights for male and female athletes from across the UAE.

Taking place days before the start of the annual Abu Dhabi Showdown Week, which will be headlined by UFC280, the event highlights Abu Dhabi’s growing position as a global MMA hub, as well as ongoing efforts to create a pipeline of talent in the sport.