Faisal Dominates, Popovitch Returns At Day 1 Of Abu Dhabi Grand Slam

Chase Smith / FloGrappling
Faisal Al Ketbi (view profile) looked to be in total control in both of his matches today at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam.

The UAE national became the champion after a referee's decision win over Marcos Costa. This is his second Grand Slam no-gi gold medal in a row, following a win in Rio de Janeiro last November. 

Displaying some great wrestling and passing skills, Faisal looked in great form going into tomorrow's gi event where he'll face stiff competition in the -85kg division against potential players like Gabriel Arges.

Pablo Popovitch (view profile) has been out of competition for the past 18 months and we are thrilled to see him back.

He won his first match in typical dominant fashion, but the final did not go as planned. He was penalized twice for inactivity during an extended grinding pass attempt and ultimately lost the match because of it. We're looking forward to seeing Pablo in action again in the future.

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Popovitch works the pass in his match with Thiago Pessoa. Photo: Chase Smith / FloGrappling

Side note: Many top athletes, such as Paulo Miyao and Jose Junior, pulled out of the competition today as there is no prize money for the no-gi division, but they will be at the gI event tomorrow.

Be sure to tune in LIVE on FloGrappling.com at 1am CST - matches will also be available on demand after the event has ended.

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Chase Smith / FloGrappling

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