BAHRAINI martial arts star Ali Monfaradi added more medals to his already large – and still rapidly growing – collection when he won two silvers at the AJP Tour Abu Dhabi International Jiu Jitsu Championship 2023 in the UAE capital over the weekend.
Having placed second in the Master 1, -77kg, Black Belt category on Saturday, Monfaradi, 29, clinched another silver yesterday in the Professional, -77kg Black Belt division.
“I had three super tough fights on Saturday,” Monfaradi, who has won more than 200 medals – many of them gold – in competitions around the world since earning his black belt in 2017, told the GDN by phone from Abu Dhabi. “It was a stacked bracket.
“I won my first fight by submission against Swiss fighter Igor Araujo through an arm-bar from side-mount. In the second fight against a Brazilian opponent, Elias Costa, which also really tested me, I won 4-0.
“I knew the final against another Brazilian, Talison Costa, was going to be tough so had prepared accordingly. But he surprised me with a takedown in the beginning which meant that I was playing catch-up, thereafter. In the end, he won 4-2 and I was really disappointed not to have been able to win the gold medal.”
Monfaradi, then, sailed through his first two fights yesterday as well before coming up short in the final.
“I won my first fight, 8-0, against Mohammad Fahmi, who’s from Iran,” Monfaradi said. “In the second fight – the semi-final – I was pitted against the Jordanian, Ali Abualhaj and I prevailed, 1-0.
“In the final, I was up against yet another Brazilian, Adriano Araujo. It was a tough fight and, in the end, he won 3-2. I was disappointed to have fallen short again but, then, such is life.”
Monfaradi wasn’t the only one to secure a podium finish from among the seven-member Bahraini contingent competing in the tournament, though. Teammate Thomas Kiely also won silver in the Blue Belt, Master 2, -69kg category while rising female star Alaa Hasan nabbed a silver medal, too, in the Blue Belt, Adult, Female, -55kg division.
“Alaa is a rising star, a project we’re working on and I really believe in her,” Monfaradi declared. “She’s training full-time at the gym, she’s working with us, she’s teaching kids, training three, four different times a day and she’s on the right path. She has a very bright future ahead of her in the sport.”