No absolute divisionAnnounced shortly after last year's World Pro, there are no more absolute divisions at any level at the Abu Dhabi World Pro. The focus is now completely upon the weight classes.
Only two competitors of the same nationality per bracketA new rule for black and brown belts: there will be a limit of two athletes from the same country per weight category. The athlete with the highest UAEJJF ranking automatically qualifies for the main bracket -- all other athletes from the same country must now fight among themselves in a qualification bracket for the second spot.
Faster stalling penaltiesStalling was measured over a period of 20 seconds. If an athlete was inactive, he or she would be issued a penalty after 20 seconds. Now, that time period has been lessened to only 10 seconds. The usual accumulation of penalties applies.
Bigger prizesIn 2016, the cash prize for male black belt division winners was a cool $8,000. That figure has now increased to $10,000. Second place used to get $4,000 but now gets $5,000. The total prize fund increased from 2016 to 2017 by $152,200 (from $629,000 to $781,200).
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