By Ross Patterson
Estonia is putting forward a team of six athletes to the IMMAF World Championships, which begin on the 24th of January, 2022. A member since the formation of IMMAF back in 2012, Estonia will be fielding a team of experienced athletes as well as fresh faces.
Mixed martial arts was officially recognised as a sport in Estonia in 2021. A familiar team at IMMAF events, the Estonians are looking to medal once again.
Vallo Hannus, Member of the Board of the Estonian Mixed Martial Arts Federation, said:
“In title competition winning the medal is always the target. But the world championships, like all tournaments, are going match by match. So for athletes every day the goal is to win the next match. Estonia is a small county and in the end – even one medal would be a great success for our team.”
Ksenija Grabova and Sergei Strinza are both returning to the IMMAF competition. With prior experience, these two will be leading the way for the younger team members. Both fighters have tasted success in IMMAF competition and will be hungry for more.
Kristjan Tõniste is a newcomer to watch. The high-level Judoka is no stranger to large scale competitions having competed at multiple World Championships. Vallo Hannus commented,
“Former judoka Kristjan Tõniste is coming in strong to MMA. Our juniors (Caspar, Raimond, Danila) are making their first steps in the world arena but the future is definitely owned by younger athletes.”
Estonia could prove to be a dark horse in the World Championships. They are an experienced federation, a nation committed to the sport of MMA, and are a dynamic team of tested athletes and hungry new competitors.
Ksenija Grabova – Women’s F: Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
Danila Gorbunov – Men’s M: Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
Raimond Uibo – Men’s M: Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
Caspar Vahemets – Men’s M: Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
Sergei Strinza – Men’s M: Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
Kristjan Toniste – Men’s M: Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
The rescheduled 2021 IMMAF World Championships will be streamed live from Abu Dhabi at immaf.tv from the 24th to the 29th of January 2022.