By James Sweetnam
The 2021 IMMAF World Championships are just around the corner. From 24-29 January, the best amateur mixed martial artists in the world will battle it out in Abu Dhabi.
Whilst this year’s tournament will showcase a plethora of exciting talent, it’s essential to look back on the athletes that have paved the way for the next generation. Hence the reason why we’re reminiscing over the 2015 World Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Which athletes really made an impact at the tournament?
Jose Torres (USA) – Bantamweight
Going into the event, ‘Shorty’ was looking to make a statement by becoming the first fighter in IMMAF history to achieve back-to-back gold medal status. The Chicago based competitor utilised his karate style and supreme submission game to dismantle his opponents en route to his second number one finish on the podium. Since turning professional, he has fought in the UFC and set the world alight in Titan FC, where he established himself as their first-ever champ-champ.
Micol Di Segni (Italy) – Flyweight
Having finished second in 2014, the Italian returned the following year with a point to prove. Her sublime skillset shone through as she blasted away her competition. She may have been too inexperienced to claim the gold medal in the previous tournament. But this time, Di Segni was more than ready. She defeated Anja Saxmark to strike gold. Since her historic victory, she has turned professional and accumulated an excellent 9-3 record, appearing on Dana White’s Contender Series in the process.
Saeid Mirzaei (Canada) – Light Heavyweight
‘The Prince of Persia’ was nothing short of phenomenal throughout the championships. The 6ft 2 powerhouse completed two submissions and landed a beautiful knockout blow to annihilate all of his opponents inside of the opening round. Since turning over to the professional ranks, the Canadian has been riddled with bad luck. He has only fought three times in five years, amassing a 2-0-1 record with his last five outings cancelled. Although he must be frustrated, his talent is evident.