2016 IMMAF EUROPEAN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
PRAGUE, 22 – 26 NOVEMBER
UFC 205 presented a compelling Poland vs. Poland showdown in New York on Saturday, as champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk successfully defended the Strawweight belt against a durable Karolina Kowalkiewicz over 5 x 5 minute rounds. In her victory speech, the champion declared the Polish the toughest in the world. IMMAF has certainly seen Team Poland pay testimony to that homage, as the nation has sent a small but dominant team to every world championship since IMMAF’s first Amateur MMA tournament in 2014. The nation has proved itself particularly well in the women’s and heavier male categories.
The inaugural 2014 World Championships of Amateur MMA saw Aleksandra Milczarek score the Women’s Bantamweight Silver medal, while Karol Linowski earned Bronze in the Light Heavyweight division and Marcin Kalata attained Silver at Heavyweight. The 2015 Worlds saw Team Poland pick up a further array of medals, including its first Gold, as Kevin Szaflarski won the Super Heavyweight championship. The team claimed 2 Bronzes that year through Welterweight, Patryk Ruta, and returning Heavyweight, Marcin Kalata. IMMAF headed back to Las Vegas for a third time for its 2016 World Championships in July. The event provided a further proving ground for the Poles, who this time bested themselves with a total count of 5 medals. IMMAF veteran, Marcin Kalata earned his second World Silver, this time at Super Heavyweight. Aleksandra Rola was able to match his accolade in the Women’s Strawweight division. Meanwhile Katarzyna Biegajlo, Przemyslaw Tokarz and Adam Bieganski achieved Bronze medals in the Womens’ Bantamweight, Men’s Lightweight and Men’s Light Heavyweight categories, respectively. The team will be making its European debut at the upcoming continental Open in Prague. This time, the Polish Mixed Martial Arts Federation (PLMMAF) is sending two representatives, return medallist Marcin Kalata in the Men’s Super Heavyweight division and first-timer Pawel Zakrzewski in the Light Heavyweight class. While much can be expected of Kalata in particular, who has never yet not medalled at an IMMAF tournament, Poland can be expected to deepen its talent pool further in the near future with the launch of its PFMMA -MAC Amateur MMA Cup, a national qualifying tournament under IMMAF Amateur MMA rules. For more about the Polish MMA Federation visit plmmaf.org