By Ross Patterson
IMMAF alumni Lee Hammond makes his professional debut this weekend with Heroes Fight League in Bucharest, Romania. The 25-year-old Dubliner will be competing in the Lightweight division against Romanian, Ionuț Brostic.
Hammond won a bronze and silver medal at the IMMAF European Championships (2015/2016), then went on to win a gold medal at the World Championships in 2018. Lee is known for his high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boasting a brown belt under SBG’s John Kavanaugh. In the 2018 World Championships, Hammond hit an extremely rare submission, later trademarking it as a “Hammoplata”, which you can watch here.
Lee’s commitment to the sport was exemplified when he was hospitalised in 2017 with a ruptured bowel. He came back from his life-threatening injury to win the gold medal (and the hearts of many watching) at the World Championships. His efforts led to a nomination for the Senior Male Athlete of the year award in 2019.
He is facing tough competition in Brostic, who is undefeated (4-0), and has 3 submission wins on his record. Brostic will have the Romainian crowd on his side, so Lee will be looking to spoil the party. If the two athletes hit the canvas, it will be fascinating to see who can get the upper hand in the grappling exchanges.
IMMAF alumni are enjoying huge successes at the moment. Mohammad Mokaev – a multi-time IMMAF World Champion – this week signed a contract with the UFC, making him the youngest fighter on the roster.
We hope Lee Hammond will enjoy similar success in his professional debut this weekend. Best of luck, Lee.