It was another day of immense competition at theIMMAF Youth MMA World Championships in Bulgaria as MMA was showcased in the finest spirit, and with the finest athletes, once again. The Youth B category was day two’s offering, which saw some of the worlds best 14 to 15 year-olds.
A close contest for the second day between Russia and Ukraine as both nations shone throughout day two, ending the day with the most first-place finishes, each nation achieving five golds.
The outcome for the overall medal table for day two was almost as close as the fight for gold supremacy, and included Russia and Ukraine once again. This time Russia collected the most medals with 16 in total, whilst Ukraine narrowly sat just behind them with 15 medals.
Russia started brightly in the round-robin format of the competition, as they secured three gold medals through Artur Zhalov (40kg), Darya Sidorova (44kg), and Alina Zaitseva (48kg). Zhalov and Sidorova both produced two unanimous decision wins each; whereas Zaitseva won via submission in her bout.
In the knockout stages of the competition, Russia had ten of their competitors make it to the semi-finals, with six of those moving on to the finals of their weight categories. Yusup Kukaev beat 2019 gold medalist, USA’s Delton Kaufmann, to win gold in the 62kg category. Fellow Russian, Tamerlan Dzaurov, dominated his group stage with four wins from four as he made it all the way to claim the 72kg gold medal.
The round-robin format proved a quiet period for Ukraine’s gold hunt, as Alisiia Stoianovska was alone in winning gold as she became queen of the 67kg category. Her nation did see their luck change as they entered the finals of day two.
Ukraine was represented by seven of their athletes in seven different category finals. Heorhii Hudz suffered one loss in his group stage, but that proved no deterrent as he won gold in the 44kg competition. Bohdan Chornei got the gold too, this time at 52kg, as he went undefeated throughout the whole tournament to deservedly win in his final. Mimicking her compatriot, Mariia Klein followed the unbeaten trend by flawlessly making her way through the 52kg category and standing highest on the podium at the end. The final gold came from Vitalii Behei in the 100kg, winning both of his group bouts to make it a clean sweep as he beat Ruslan Ovsiannikov to win gold.
The United States of America had a good day at the 2021 IMMAF Youth MMA World Championships as they finished third for overall medals with seven, AND finished overall third for golds with three.
Hannah Wagstaff starred in her 57kg category, as she showed her superiority in the round-robin competition. After four bouts, Hannah won the gold with a perfect record of four wins.
It was guaranteed gold in an all-American final, as Gavin Mitchell faced his fellow countryman Alexander Ramirez for the 52kg gold medal. A well contested fight saw Mitchell take the win via an armbar on this occasion. James Weaver did his country proud as he was certainly one of the athletes of the day. He secured his knockout place with three submission wins from his three group bouts, and looked like a specialist on the ground in both the semi-final and the final. A win over Ukraine’s Dmytryi Sovenok got the American the gold.
The host nation of Bulgaria enjoyed a four-medal haul during their second day in Sofia. Stefani Petrova claimed silver after losing out in her final at 52kg. Vesko Mitev (57kg), Teodor Markov (62kg) and Ventsislav Mihaylov (72kg) battled hard to earn bronze medals as well.
After claiming no medals on day one, it was Finland who managed to earn a gold on this second day. Iida Suvanto won a gold medal in the 62kg category as she made it all the way without losing a single fight.
Tajikistan had won a bronze medal in the earlier round-robin tournament through 44kg athlete Bahriddin Asliddini. It would be Khurshed Qudratov who would be his nations standout performer though, as he dominated the 67kg division. The Tajikistani fighter won all four of his group bouts to get to the final, where he won in impressive fashion via a submission.
Kazakhstan claimed three bronze medals as Ayazhan Yergentay (52kg), Ayaulym Aubakir (44kg) and Yelizaveta Simanenko (57kg) all finished in third position. Italy claimed two bronze medals of their own through former 2019 double-gold winner Asia Martari (62kg) and former 2019 silver medallist Asia Girelli (52kg).
The single-medal winners for the day were Ireland’s Alison Syron (57kg), Israel’s Yoav Kilstein, and Romania’s Stefan Alexandru Loboda (100kg).
That ends an action-packed second day at the IMMAF Youth MMA World Championships in Bulgaria, where all fighters and nations competed expertly to set up a brilliant third and final day of action on Sunday.
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