By Jake Smith
Domestic mixed martial arts returns to UK shores this weekend, with Caged Steel 25 taking place on Saturday April 10th in a behind closed doors event; featuring four former IMMAF competitors.
2016 IMMAF European Open Championships semi-finalist, Kiru Sahota steps in as a replacement to face Scott Malone in the main event of the evening. Since entering the professional game, Sahota is yet to put a foot wrong, amassing an impressive 5-0-0 record. His upcoming clash against Scotsman Malone, poses the biggest threat to Sahota’s unblemished record.
After his maiden visit to IMMAF competition at the 2016 European Open Championships, Sahota competed twice more. He was knocked out on Day 1 of the 2017 World Championships and Day 2 of the 2017 IMMAF European Open Championships.
Elsewhere on the main card, another English stand-out, Louis Lee Scott will be looking to maintain his 100% winning record on Caged Steel events when he takes on Dan Kneil in a bantamweight bout. Throughout his 14 bout amateur tenure, Scott twice featured at IMMAF competitions. His introductory tournament was the 2018 IMMAF Junior World Championships.
Scott showed his well rounded skill set with a first round KO/TKO against Oliver Sveinsson on day one, followed by a third round triangle choke over Levi Hawkes on day two. His tournament came to an end on day three where he suffered the first defeat of his amateur career to Yury Balka of Belarus. Determined to improve on his primary tournament, Scott returned at the 2019 IMMAF-WMMAA European Senior & Junior Open Championships. Scott bowed out at the quarter-finals following a loss to Anatoly Zolotykh.
Following a two-year hiatus, 2015 IMMAF European Open silver medallist Warren Mason makes his long awaited return to the cage meets Robbie Brown. With 47 amateur bouts between them, this bout pits two of the most experienced amateurs ever to compete in the UK against each other in the professional ranks. While Brown makes his professional debut, Mason is searching for his first professional victory, having been beaten in March 2019 by Craig Skelton.
As is the case with many experienced amateurs, Mason competed several times in IMMAF competitions. His most successful tournament came in 2015, at the European Open, where ‘Tank’ claimed the silver medal, losing out to fellow Englishman Jake Bond in the final. Mason also featured in the 2016 IMMAF World Championships, sucomming to Fahad AbdulRazaq on the first day of the tournament.
Preparing for your professional debut, training alongside the likes of the UFC’s Lerone Murphy Bellator’s Kane Mousah is something many professionals could only dream of, but this is a reality for Muhidin Abubakar ahead of him facing Jordan Wheater.
The former UK #1 Amateur Flyweight leaves the amateur ranks as one of the most highly touted debuting professionals in the country. His relentless style and domination in fights has gradually built Abubakar a fanbase many professionals couldn’t rival- there will be many eyes on this bout.
Abubakar’s sole appearance at IMMAF was at the 2019 IMMAF-WMMAA Amateur World Championships. After handing Russian, Shakhban Gapizov the first loss of his amateur career on the opening day of the tournament, Abubakar competed against Gani Adilserik of Kazakhstan on day 2. Adilserik ended Abubakar’s IMMAF journey by way of unanimous decision.
Caged Steel have regularly featured IMMAF alumni on their shows. Promoter Dominc Gibbs credits IMMAF for giving amateur athletes invaluable experience, he said:
“The IMMAF set up is a fantastic platform for the amateur fighters to showcase their talent in a well structured, safe environment.
“The experience and springboard it gives to amateurs is absolutely invaluable, takes them onto the pro ranks and gives them so much experience to do so, and it allows them to push their own brand as well.”