By Caoilte de Barra
The Senior Welterweight division at this year’s 2021 European Open Championships is the most stacked with fights for that bracket beginning on day one. Now that we’re down to the final 8 fighters leading into day 3, there are multiple medal contenders and some dream match-ups on the horizon.
Two names that instantly spring to mind are Murad Guseinov and Ramazan Gitinov. Both men are stalwarts in their division with both tallying up multiple gold medals. The Bahrain representatives were both European and World Champions in 2019, Guseinov winning his medals in the Junior ranks while P4P number one, Gitinov took home senior glory.
Now that both men are at senior they both look to be clear contenders for medals and will both feature tomorrow. However, Guseinov will meet the dark horse of this year’s 170lb division, Jovidon Mahmudov, in what is expected to be an incredible fight.
Tajikistan tends to bring smaller numbers to IMMAF competitions but competes to a very high standard, this year being no different. Their success is admirable and their fighters always bring the fight. This year Jovidon Mahmudov has been setting himself up for glory in style, improving in each fight.
His journey to the quarter-finals started on the opening day of the competition where only two fights were held, meaning that he has had one extra fight compared to his fellow quarter-finalists. He drew Russia’s Samur Magamedkhanov in the opening bout of the competition. After facing adversity early he took over and dominated the Russian to secure a decision victory.
The win lined him up against Italy’s Dario Petrolo today where he looked even better. Mahmudov came out and took over early, securing an airtight Guillotine choke. He had it in for a long time until the resilient Italian could find no way out and was forced to tap.
Two fights later Guseinov secured his place in the quarter-finals by dismantling Kazakhstan’s Merkhan Shapolatov over three rounds before submitting him with an arm triangle. Throughout the fight, the Bahrain fighter displayed some sharp Khamzat Chimaev-esque striking and grappling to completely shut down any attacks from his opponent.
With the brackets for tomorrow confirmed, both men will clash in one of the most highly anticipated bouts of the day. This one should be a high-level amateur bout that you can expect fireworks in. All the information for tomorrow’s fights can be found on My Next Match and you can watch all of the action live on IMMAF.TV.