MMA and UFC legend Khabib ‘The Eagle’ Nurmagomedov has swooped in to throw his support behind the UAE national jiu-jitsu team ahead of the Ju-Jitsu World Championship, which runs from 3 – 11 November at the Jiu Jitsu Arena in Abu Dhabi.
The UAE’s elite athletes have been hard at work in closed training camps preparing to take on the world’s best in pursuit of more championship medals and a last chance to qualify for the World Games, in the United States next year.
The home team is in good form after topping the medal table at the recent Asian Jiu-Jitsu Championship and have received a timely confidence booster from Khabib, arguably the best MMA and UFC athlete of all time.
“I wish good luck for the UAE national team at the World Championship. Let’s go guys, I am with you” said the Russian, nicknamed ‘The Eagle’, who retired from UFC after retaining his lightweight title against Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in Abu Dhabi last October.
“Good luck to everybody doing jiu-jitsu in the UAE. It is great for you and for the next generation. The youngsters are the future and I see them being even better, a completely different generation because they will benefit from what is happening now with the sport in the UAE. It will have a positive impact on them, physically and mentally.”
The UAE national team will be represented by 58 players in the Ju-Jitsu World Championship, in the men’s category, including 12 players in the adult division; 12 players in the youth category; 16 athletes in the under-18 category, and 18 players in the under-16 category. In the women’s event, the UAE is represented by 53 athletes: 12 in the adult category; 9 under-21 category; 16 players in the under-18 category, and 16 athletes in the under-16 category.