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The 2015 rendition of the Abu Dhabi World Pro is nearly upon us - and it’s time to get excited! Here’s a quick look at some of our favourites to come away with the championship belts:

Male Black Belt –65KG
Our favourites: Joao Miyao, Gianni Grippo
Outsider: Yuta Kuwahara
Though the omission of the Mendes Bros for the second consecutive year is disappointing, we look forward to the prospect of Gianni Grippo and Joao Miyao facing off for gold.

Male Black Belt –75KG
Our favourites: Lucas Lepri, Roberto Satoshi
Outsider: AJ Agazarm
We predict the –76kg final will be a showdown between Alliance’s Lucas Lepri and Bonsai Jiu Jitsu fighter, Roberto Satoshi. Both have fought on numerous occasions, with Satoshi pipping Lepri for gold in the 2012 final. Lepri perhaps hold the upper hand over the current WPJJC champ having beaten Satoshi at the IBJJF Worlds last year.

Male Black Belt –85KG
Our favourites: Andre Galvao, Leandro Lo
Outsiders: Victor Estima, Romulo Barral
In perhaps the most stacked bracket of the competition, we predict a final between reigning WPJJC Champions, Andre Galvao and Leandro Lo. This would make for a truly epic final between two of fighters on the top of their game. Victor Estima and Romolo Barral are also in with a great chance taking home the championship belt.

Male Black Belt –95KG
Our favourites: Felipe Pena, Rodolfo Vieira
Outsiders: Luiz Panza
Felipe Pena has quickly gained elite status off the back of his Copa Podio and IBJJF world title victories. The prospect of Rodolfo vs. Pena is mouth wateringly good!

Male Black Belt +95KG
Our favourites: Marcus Buchecha, Alexander Trans
Outsiders: Ricardo Evangelista
Buchecha is, without doubt, the man to beat. If anyone can push the Checkmat star in the +95kg division, we believe it's Alex Trans.

Male Black Belt Open Weight
Our favourites: Marcus Buchecha, Rodolfo Vieira
Outsiders: Andre Galvao
We expect to see a rerun of the 2014 final between Rodolfo Vieira and Marcus Buchecha, with Vieira no doubt itching to avenge his narrow defeat in the final last year.

Female Black Belt Open -55KG
Our favourites: Michelle Nicolini, Mackenzie Dern
Outsiders: Vanessa English
Coming off the back of her last grasp victory at the Europeans, Michelle Nicolini will look likely to face Mackenzie Dern once again in Abu Dhabi. Our spider senses suggest this could be Mackenzie’s year.
Female Black Belt Open -65KG
Our favourites: Beatriz Mesquita, Luiza Monteiro
Outsider: Marina Ribeiro
Predicting a winner in the –65kg female division is a tall order, but Luiza Monteiro and Beatriz Mesquita will both go into the competition full of confidence.

Female Black Belt Open  -75KG
Our favourites: Janni Larsson, Luanna Alzuguir
Outsiders: Talita Nogueira,
Janni Larsson has been on hot form over the past 18 months, picking up a European title in January to go with her Mundial victory last year. UAE-based Luanna Alzuguir represents Larsson’s biggest threat, while Talita Nogueira could turn heads and pull off a surprise victory.

Female Black Belt Open +75KG
Our favourites: Gabi Garcia, Gabi Garcia and Gabi Garcia
Outsiders: no-one
Let’s face it – who can you see stopping Gabi anytime soon?

Female Black Belt Open Open Weight
Our favourites: Gabi Garcia
Outsiders: Mackenzie Dern
Mackenzie’s spirited performance at the 2015 European Championships showed, for a split second, that Gabi Garcia does have weaknesses and she can be beaten. That said, it’s going to take a small miracle for anyone other than Garcia to walk away with the open weight belt.

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April 20, 2015 — Jiu Jitsu Style