After Russia’s dominance of the 2018 IMMAF – WMMAA World Championships, a victory over the surging number-one ranked nation (1st among junior teams, 4th among senior teams) can speak volumes for any international contender as they battle towards their spot on the podium.
18-year-old Ieuan Mackenzie, the youngest member of Team Wales, did just that, upsetting the hotly tipped Dzhamalutdin Gusejnov in the junior (age 18-20) men’s featherweight division.
After Elbek Alyshov won the junior featherweight gold medal for Russia at the 2018 IMMAF – WMMAA World Championships, it was Gusejnov who instead assumed a place in the junior squad at 145lbs, as Russia’s 2019 junior national champion, earmarking the newcomer as a likely medal contender at this week’s European Open in Rome, Italy.
Mackenzie flipped the script, besting Russia at their own game, securing a takedown and nullifying his opponent to take the majority decision win.
“I’m feeling really good,” Mackenzie commented, “especially with the way I won it and the way I out-wrestled a Russian.”
After eating a number of shots and being forced to work from the bottom in the opening round, Mackenzie completed the following two rounds in control of the bout, holding top position over his opponent.
Moving forward with a significant confidence boost, Mackenzie advances to Day 2 and the junior featherweight quarter-finals on June 20, set to take on Kazakhstan’s Anatoliy Zolotykh who won the gold medal in May at the IMMAF – WMMAA Asian Open in Bangkok.
For full bout schedule/post event results click HERE or visit MyNextMatch.com for live results. Follow @IMMAFed on social media platforms for more live updates.
By IMMAF.org lead writer, photographer: Jorden Curran]]>