By Caoilte de Barra
On the 23rd of October, the Belgian Mixed Martial Arts Federation will be hosting their National MMA Competition at the WellFit Expo Europe event in Mons Belgium. The large-scale event attracts audiences both nationally and internationally. Over the two days, the Expo will have various Martial arts, Health and Fitness activities taking place.
The regular MMA competition will take place on Saturday and will feature youth, novice and amateur bouts. This is the first time that a youth competition is being held in Belgium. The competition is aimed towards 14/15-year-olds and the bouts will take place on mats as a first smooth step for youth MMA.
Fight cards for all three competitions have been released. The youth competition will start the MMA action for the day with the full amateur rules bouts signing off the day. In the full amateur ruleset bouts, a familiar face in Patrick Habirora is expected to compete on the card. Habirora has previously represented Belgium at the 2019 Junior European Open Championships where he lost to Adam Darby.
Belgian promotion European Beatdown will also host their 8th event in the venue a day before the expo with former IMMAF competitors Florian Doskja & Liridon Ramaniset to compete in the pro ranks. Doskja represented Albania at both the 2017 European and World Championships, winning a bronze medal in the latter competition, after eventual winner Gamzat Magomedov but a halt to his 3-fight finishing streak. Now undefeated as a pro he will headline the event against Moustapha Aida.
Belgium’s Liridon Ramani won bronze at the 2014 World Championships and has been inactive as a pro since European Beatdown debuted in 2016. He will be making his long-awaited return earlier on the card.
On Sunday an ADCC grappling tournament is being organised as the federation are the representative for ADCC. The tournament allows MMA athletes to take part in a different kind of competition and allows grapplers from across Belgium to showcase their skills. Currently, over 200 competitors are registered for the tournament.
There will also be a meet and greets with Belgian MMA fighters that have fought in the UFC, Cage Warriors and KSW, including Brian Bouland, Donovan Desmae, Cindy Dandois & Gaetano Pirrello.
Briefly speaking on the event as a whole, BMMAF president Ludo Boulvin explained, “It is a great opportunity for MMA to be represented with other sports and to introduce the sport with a wide audience.”