By James Sweetnam
The always energetic Mexican team is back. The underdog side is stepping up alongside Oceania to replace Russia and Ukraine. IMMAF decided to suspend RMMAU’s membership due to the recent invasion.
Mexico returned from a two-year hiatus to compete at the 2021 IMMAF World Championships. The team was chosen following a rigorous selection process of 20 national amateur tournaments. Their eventual squad featured 19 athletes from 10 different states.
The North American country captured the hearts of fight enthusiasts worldwide with their attitude at the Abu Dhabi event. The squad of jolly athletes created many interesting moments as they provided those in attendance with some light relief from the fights with their singing and dancing. But having captured two medals at the tournament, they proved that they’re more than just a fan favourite side.
The Mexicans always come to fight. They’ve been the most dominant country in boxing for decades, and now their ability is beginning to translate into MMA.
One of the biggest threats in the team comes in the form of middleweight Diego Torres. The 19-year-old took the UAE by storm with his bronze medal-winning performance. It’s fair to say that the 185-pounder doesn’t like going to the judges. He exploded onto the scene with a beautifully executed armbar to dispatch Patrick Habirora inside the very first round.
He followed this sublime showing with another impressive performance against Kurbanmagomed Kurbanmagomedov. He highlighted his terrific striking en route to a third-round finish. Before falling short in the semi-finals against eventual gold medalist Mukhamed-Afandi Asipov. But that’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Therefore, combat sports enthusiasts can look forward to the Mexican’s first-round collision with the Arab Champions Middleweight entry Hazem Kayyali.
The Jordan native is one of the most dangerous fighters in the competition. The 21-year-old captivated MMA fans with his terrific gold medal-winning run at the 2021 IMMAF Youth Cup in Prague, Czech Republic. And after losing on the second day of the World Championships, the well-rounded athlete is determined to prove a point at the MMA Super Cup.
The eagerly anticipated showdown between the pair has all the makings of an absolute barnburner. They both possess high-level skills in every aspect of the sport. However, having fought at light-heavyweight in the past, Kayyali will look to make his size advantage pay dividends. But following Torres’ fantastic performances in the UAE, the momentum is well and truly on the Mexican’s side. It could well be a grappler vs striker battle when both of them clash inside the cage in what looks to be one of the fights to watch on day one.
The FAMM team also features heavyweight up and comer Daniel Flores. The talented big man is looking to prove himself after his first-round World Championship defeat against Tom Hoelemann. His redemption fight is scheduled against Skander Ben Ghali.
The 6 ft 4 Team powerhouse has experience in IMMAF competition, having fought in the 2018 World Championships in Bahrain. However, his time at the tournament ended inside the first round. Therefore, he’s also looking to prove his credentials at the pinnacle of the amateur game.
This fight has war written all over it. Both competitors are in desperate need of a statement performance, and they’ll give their all to get that. They have a massive opportunity to announce themselves to the world. But we’ll have to wait and see who’s capable of rising to the occasion.
Fans can catch all the explosive knockouts and devastating submissions at IMMAF.TV. The competition which Brave has organised will incorporate itself into International Combat Week. The MMA SuperCup is scheduled to showcase a plethora of the best teams on the planet.
The countries will go to the trenches to fight for a huge cash price of $100,000. The money is intended to give back to the MMA community. It will contribute to the next generation of competitors from the winning nations via their IMMAF affiliated national federations.
The full Mexican line-up is as follows:
● Bantamweight (135lbs): Jorge Antonio Lopez Perez
● Featherweight (145lbs): Victor Gerardo Quintana Vazquez
● Lightweight (155lbs): Luis Enrique Gonzalez Martinez
● Welterweight (170lbs): Jorge Raul Zaragoza de la Cruz
● Middleweight (185lbs): Diego Torres Rangel
● Light Heavyweight (205lbs): Miguel Angel Serna Castro
● Heavyweight (265lbs): Daniel Flores Sartorius
Male substitutes: Anthony Ramirez Amado; Jaime Samuel Sierra Lara
- Flyweight (125lbs): Violeta Mendoza Corral
- Bantamweight women (135lbs): Andrea Gabriela Guzman Salazar
Coaches: Jesus Ubaldo Marroquin Rodriguez; Daniel Solorzano Fernandez
The MMA SuperCup will be fought under strict IMMAF Amateur MMA Rules and World Anti-Doping Agency Rules. Every single competitor in the competition will be medically precleared by Safe MMA.