By Caoilte de Barra
Day 3 of the 2021 IMMAF World Championships has concluded in the Jiu-Jitsu Arena In Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi. The rescheduled tournament is hosted by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and MMA Federation, with backing from the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and in partnership with Palms Sports, and took place in the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Zayed Sports City, near UFC Fight Island (Yas Island).
Across Cages 3 and 4, the Women’s Featherweight division got started for the first time in the competition. It was grappling galore across all of the fights. Reigning champion Sabrina Laurentina De Sousa of Bahrain looked as sharp as always, finishing proceedings with a swift armbar in the opening round. New Zealand’s Michelle Montague set up a rematch with De Sousa by submitting RMMAU athlete Nina Kharinova in the second round. Lining up a massive semi-final bout tomorrow.
On the other side of the bracket, Norway’s Cecile Bolander continued her run of form with a submission win of Ukraine’s Marianna Skuba. In her maiden IMMAF performance, Kazakhstan’s Zhansaya Yermagambetova outpointed Katerina Lisova.
Rising star Bagdat Zhubanysh of Kazakhstan made his first appearance in the competition. He continued his path to a third consecutive World title by defeating Bahrain’s Magomed Sheikhov in a flawless performance.
In a major upset, Bahrain’s Murad Guseinov went crashing out of the competition, losing a razor-thin split decision to RMMAU’s Abdyla Aliev.
RMMAU continued their success at Heavyweight with both Shamil Kurmagomedov and Khalil Ibnukhazharov making their way to the semi-final stage tomorrow.
Heavy-hitting German Tom Hoelemann extended his run in the division with a head kick KO. Setting up a match with the undefeated Bahrain fighter, Rasul Magomedov, who won gold at both the 2021 IMMAF European Open and World Cup.
Another returning World Champion, Pasha Kharkachaev of Bahrain made his mark in an emphatic performance that saw him show off his well-rounded ability. The Super Heavyweight fighter did the damage early with his striking before taking his opponent down at will.