By Erik Uebelacker
Mongolia’s sole representative at the 2021 IMMAF World Championships celebrated success on Day 1 of the tournament in Abu Dhabi.
Bat-Ochir Batsaikhan progressed to the second round of the Championships after earning a unanimous decision victory over Portugal’s Daniel Martins.
As Mongolia’s only fighter at this year’s tournament, Batsaikhan was pleased to do his country proud with his first performance, and the junior lightweight is targeting repeat success on Tuesday in the Round of 16.
“I am so happy that I represented my country,” Batsaikhan told IMMAF.org, via his translator.
“There are so many athletes (from Mongolia) that are good for this competition, but for some reason they couldn’t join. I am the only one.”
However, Batsaikhan is not in Abu Dhabi to make up the numbers. He plans to bring a medal home to Mongolia.
“I think I can be successful and do my best,” Batsaikhan stated.
After the back-and-forth affair against Martins, Batsaikhan threw his hands up in victory. He explained that, while he was hoping for a finish, he was sure the judges would rule in his favour following his bout.
“I was so confident that the judges gave me the win,” Batsaikhan said.
“I know that I did better than the other athlete.”
“But the the other fighter from Portugal protected very good; he was good with that.
“I tried to finish before the end of the full time, but I couldn’t because (Martins) was so good at protecting my attacks. But I was still very confident that I was going to win.”
In the second round of the tournament Batsaikhan will face Ireland’s Max Lally, who won his first round bout by submission.
Just minutes after his own fight, he eagerly watched Lally’s victory from cageside in anticipation of their future matchup.
“I tried to look for my next round opponent (in the cage),” Batsaikhan explained.
“I thought, ‘maybe I will maybe prepare something for him.’”
Despite going the full three-round duration in his bout, Batsaikhan’s medicals went smoothly and he said he heads into Tuesday’s bout in great shape as he looks to continue his progress through the tournament.
“Medicals were fine, I will fight tomorrow,” he said.
“I feel so good, I am so excited for tomorrow’s round.”