IMMAF gold medal trio triumph as professionals

Above, from left to right: Adam Amarasinghe, Cornelia Holm, Jack Shore.

By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran

Former IMMAF gold medal winners Cornelia Holm, Jack Shore and Adam Amarasignhe were all in action on the night of October 14, continuing to impress in their professional MMA careers.

Amarasinghe concluded his undefeated amateur run as the 2017 IMMAF European Open bantamweight champion, picking up the title in Sofia, Bulgaria. The top UK prospect kicked off his pro career under the banner of domestic promotion Victory Fights in Brighton.

Backed by his own small army of fans in attendance, Amarasinghe snatched a dominant victory over Lithuanian wrestling champion Alex Bilbrovka. The European Open gold medalist employed his thus far unstoppable trademark offence of backing opponents up against the fence and securing a takedown before proceeding to force the stoppage.

Sweden’s Cornelia Holm completed her eagerly awaited professional debut on the world renowned Cage Warriors platform at CW87 in Wales. The two-time European Open champion and 2016 IMMAF World Championships gold medalist was the queen of the amateur bantamweight ranks and this year became the world’s number-one ranked contender, pound-for-pound.

Competing at flyweight for the first time, Holm faced off against testing opposition in the form of Portuguese striking specialist Diana Filipa, but it was Holm who secured maximum points across all three rounds by completing her takedowns and nullifying Filipa on he ground with persistent top control. The unanimous decision win provided Holm with early experience in going the distance and implementing her approach across longer, professional rounds.

Like Amarasinghe, Welshman Jack Shore turned pro with an undefeated amateur record spanning a dozen victories in addition to winning the 2015 European Open lightweight title in Birmingham, UK.

Already with five professional victories to his name, the established Cage Warriors veteran featured on the CW87 main card where he pulled off a sensational knockout stoppage, shrugging off the clinch attempt of Italian Mattia Galbiati and countering with a stunning knee strike to go 6-0 as a professional contender.

Also featuring for Cage Warriors was 2015 IMMAF lightweight world champion Josh Ellis. Following a successful start at the pro level in March, Ellis was handed his first ever defeated by Lawrence Tracey. After a promising first round performance, Ellis encountered cardio issues that enabled Tracey to establish a significant lead on the scorecards to claim a unanimous decision win.

The 2017 IMMAF World Championships take place at Khalifa Sports City Arena from 12 to 19 November, as part of Brave International Combat Week, the 2017 World Championships are set to be the biggest event in the history of amateur MMA under IMMAF with more participants than ever before representing nations from all continents. 2017 marks the first year of the IMMAF Worlds taking place outside of Las Vegas, USA.

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CIMMAF Launches MMA Governance in Taiwan; RFC- WOTD Hosts Team Taiwan Try-outs

The China International MMA Federation (CIMMAF) hosted a ceremony on the 14th October at the Taipei City Sports Bureau in Taiwan, attended by Chairman Wang Zunkan, Chinese Olympic Committee delegates and IMMAF President Kerrith Brown with CEO Densign White. Its purpose was the official launch of a new era of MMA in Taiwan

The following day saw Taiwan’s first RFC-WOTD championship take place at Taipei Stadium featuring contender matches for participation in Team Taiwan at the 2018 IMMAF Asian Open Championships. The event was commissioned by the new CTMMAF, the Taiwan subsidiary organisation of the CIMMAF. China is billed to host the IMMAF Asian Championships in 2018, with CIMMAF having been granted the hosting rights.

Wang Zunkan, chairman of the Association, said that the establishment of the CTMMAF under CIMMAF will see the international standards introduced to Taiwan to include the best technology, certification system and event operations introduced to Taiwan. He said that the association will make every effort to cultivate a high level of MMA talent. He iterated that the development of sports requires government policy support, industry investment and innovation management, media attention and coverage, as well as the enthusiasm of the people to participate. The CIMMAF is hoping to bring these resources to extend the sporting career of athletes and improve economic benefits within the sport.

 

 

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Featherweight mainstay Julia Dorny targets Lightweight world title

By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran

German Featherweight mainstay Julia Dorny (pictured above) has remained a perennial top contender in the Women’s 145lb division ever since her international debut at the 2015 IMMAF World Championships in Las Vegas.

In 2016 she picked up two silver medals, reaching the finals of the World Championships and European Open and is currently the number-2 ranked contender. But this year, Dorny makes considerable changes for her 2017 World Championships campaign as she gives up her top seed position to enter the Lightweight bracket in Bahrain, competing against -155lb contenders for the first time.

“Ever since I started with MMA in 2015 I have always been at Featherweight,” Dorny explained to IMMAF.org. “But I looked at the brackets this year I decided there are new challenges to face at Lightweight. Since I usually have to lose a few kilos for Featherweight, I decided to make that step and move up.”

While remaining in shape year round, at her walking weight, Dorny sits between the -145lb Featherweight cut-off and the Lightweight -155lb limit, yet closer to the latter. Weight cutting has been a familiar part of Dorny’s life in competitive combat sport, throughout her roots in top flight German judo championships and carrying through to mixed martial arts and sumo.

Due to the back-to-back days of competition and same day weigh-ins on the morning of each bout, significant weight cuts and dehydration methods are far less prolific at IMMAF championships. However, at past events, Dorny has been among a monitory of athletes who opt for a weight cut in the hours before weighing in, in order to shed those last pounds after a dedicated training and diet regiment in the months prior.

At the 2017 World Championships that hindrance will be lifted as she ditches the familiar weight cut regime, raising the potential for better consistency, focus and comfort throughout the tournament.

IMMAF regularly provides educational seminars for competitors on alternative and healthy approaches to weight cutting.

“To make 145lbs I would cut in the evening and morning. I was okay, it wasn’t too hard, but annoying. You just have to stay focused.

“I feel quite relieved to fight without cutting. It will definitely put less stress on my body and mind, but perhaps will make me more calm than usual. This could help me perform at 100-percent.

“I cannot be sure just how different it will feel until I get in there. I am just happy to compete and my coaches will tell me what to do. This time I only care about what I can do best and that is fighting.”

Daniela Kortmann was the first and so far only German athlete to win an IMMAF gold medal, back at the World Championships in 2014. For Dorny, the elusive gold is not only of great personal value, but also is symbolic of a breakthrough for MMA in her country where understanding and acceptance of the sport still fluctuates.

“The gold medal is very important to me personally but also for Germany. I hope we can finally manage to make MMA bigger here. We want to help amateur MMA grow so that we can finally show it’s a great sport and worth supporting MMA fighters and the martial arts community. The UFC winning its court case and bringing back “free to air” programming is a very important step that’s already been made. For me – this time I’ll finally make my childhood dream come true and become an IMMAF world champion!”

Taking place at Khalifa Sports City Arena from 12 to 19 November, as part of Brave International Combat Week, the 2017 World Championships are anticipated to be the biggest event in the history of amateur MMA under IMMAF with more participants than ever before representing nations from all continents. 2017 marks the first year of the IMMAF Worlds taking place outside of Las Vegas, USA.

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Italy’s Autumn Cup Series Concludes Ahead of 2017 IMMAF World Championships

The seventh Coppa Italia di MMA concluded this past weekend in Rome, October 8. The FIGMMA sanctioned amateur MMA cup brought the nation’s Autumn series to a close with competitors picking up valuable ranking points ahead of January’s team trials where the top 4 ranked competitors at each weight bid for their place on the 2018 national team.

A number of current Italian national team athletes and IMMAF championship veterans were in action at the cup finals, building further momentum ahead of the 2017 IMMAF World Championships next month. The event to place at the Pala Pellicone, Italy’s most prestigious martial arts arena located within the FIJLKAM Olympic Center, home of Olympic Judo, Wrestling and Karate in the nation’s capital.

All division-A matches were held in the cage provided by FIGMMA technical partner Throwdown.

Educated and certified officials were in place as a continuation of the output from IMMAF’s international referee and judges course conducted by Marc Goddard in Rome this year.

To ensure maximum safety for athletes, an IMMAF certified cuts team was guided by senior cutman Angelo Tarantini. Each member of the well trained team was a product of Joe Clifford’s official IMMAF licensing for seconds.

Italian Cup Champions included:
Women’s
Irene Azzalin (straw – 52kg), Ilaria Norcia (fly – 57kg), Emanuela Scioli (bantam – 61kg) and Fabiana Giampà (feather – 66kg)
Men’s
Giacomo Mancini (fly – 57kg), Bogdan Bohac (rooster – 61kg), Francesco Spinola (feather – 66kg), Emanuele Palumbo (lightweight – 70kg), Dario Petrolo (welter – 77kg), Umberto Argentano (middle – 84kg) , Paolo Anastasi (Lightheavy – 93kg), Massimiliano Bernardi (heavy, -120kg).

For complete results including all age class and weight divisions, visit FIGMMA.it.

During the opening ceremony, FIGMMA President Saverio Longo thanked the athletes who earned medals at the 2017 IMMAF  European Open Championship: Dario Bellandi, Daniele Matiddi, Arziko Bregu, Marco Zannetti and Ilaria Norcia.

In addition, spectators were ecouraged to support the national team at the upcoming  IMMAF World Championships. Special thanks were given to the FIGMMA sponsors ADIDAS and VANDAL who provided free of charge the equipment (gloves and shinguards) for all participating athletes. Cup champions were also presented with a Gold series Mouthguard from FIGMMA technical Partner OPRO.

Representing Italy at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships will be: Dario Bellandi (middleweight), Daniele Matiddi (light-heavyweight), Arziko Bregu (Women’s bantamweight), Gianluigi Ventoruzzo (welterweight), Francesco Spinola (Men’s featherweight), Alessandro Celadin (Men’s bantamweight), Alessandro Franquillo (Men’s lightweight), Giacomo Santoro (Men’s flyweight), Gabriele Bartoni (light-heavyweight), Fabiana Giampà (Women’s bantamweight) and Ilaria Norcia (Women’s flyweight). Fabio Ciolli serves as the FIGMMA head coach.

Taking place at Khalifa Sports City Arena from 12 to 19 November, as part of Brave International Combat Week, the 2017 World Championships are anticipated to be the biggest event in the history of amateur MMA under IMMAF with more participants than ever before representing nations from all continents. 2017 marks the first year of the IMMAF Worlds taking place outside of Las Vegas, USA. For Italian national team information and live event updates visit MyNextMatch.com.

All Finals action can be viewed on Youtube.
Photo gallery available HERE.

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Lee Hammond forced to withdraw from IMMAF World Championships due to injury

Above: Lee Hammond (left) and Ferdun Osmanov (right) in the 2016 European Open lightweight final.

By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran

The Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association (IMMAA) has confirmed that top lightweight prospect Lee Hammond is to withdraw from Ireland’s national amateur team and the 2017 IMMAF World Championships due to an injury sustained while training in Portugal.

The SBG Ireland product was set to enter the 2017 World Championships in Bahrain as the number 2 seed in the Men’s lightweight division.

However, the 21-year-old revealed over the weekend that he had sustained a ruptured bowel and is now looking to make a swift recovery having undergone surgery. Shortly after IMMAA notified IMMAF of Hammond’s impending withdrawal.

Best known for his BJJ talents, Hammond’s development as an amateur mixed martial artist has been evident through his growing success on the international IMMAF platform. The Irishman reached the final of the 2016 European Open Championships and earned the silver medal having achieved bronze in his international debut the previous year. For Ireland, the 2017 World Championships were anticipated to be the stage for Hammond’s gold medal breakthrough.

He is expected to be replaced in the Men’s lightweight bracket by SBG team mate Ciaran Clarke: 2016 World Championships veteran and quarter-finalist of the 2017 European Open.

Clarke submitted Portugal's Gonçalo Formiga at this year's European Open

Clarke submitted Portugal’s Gonçalo Formiga at this year’s European Open.

IMMAF wishes Lee a healthy recovery and looks forward to seeing him back in action.

Taking place at Khalifa Sports City Arena from 12 to 19 November, as part of Brave International Combat Week, the 2017 IMMAF World Championships are anticipated to be the biggest event in the history of amateur MMA under IMMAF with more participants than ever before representing nations from all continents.

For live updates and more information on national teams visit MyNextMatch.com.

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