By Ross Patterson
At the start of every competition, there are specific fighters to watch. Those that grab headlines are those that have had previous success. Therefore, some fighters get overlooked, opening up an opportunity for fighters to stand out. And that is exactly what has happened at this year’s IMMAF World Championships. They have delivered a few break-out stars that have upset the odds to secure medal positions, and we’re only on Day 3!
From Pakistan, Ismail Khan has enjoyed three comfortable unanimous decision wins. He took out a European Open Bronze medalist and a World Cup Gold medalist. Tomorrow (Day 4), in the Bantamweight semi-final, he faces his toughest test so far against RMMAU athlete, Shakhban Gapizov. He’s already made history by winning Pakistan’s first-ever IMMAF medal.
Also looking to shock his division is the Mexican, Diego Torres. Mexico brought music and dancing to the registrations on Day 1, which Diego seems to have used as inspiration. Having defeated RMMAU’s Kurbanmagomed Kurbanmagomedov in the quarter-finals, he faces off against Muhamad Afandi Asipov in the semi’s. Torres already has a bronze medal in the bag and could secure the top spot on the podium.
And finally, Germany’s only fighter left in the competition, Tom Hoelemann scored a head-kick KO against Ukraine’s Artem Hashenko, announcing himself as a force to be reckoned with in the Heavyweight division. He has finished all three of his bouts, lining up a fight with Bahrain’s Rasul Magomedov in the semi-final tomorrow.
This championship has already delivered twists, turns and upsets nobody saw coming. We’re already sure to see some new faces on the podium, but will there be bronze, silver or gold around their neck?