By Jake Smith
Fight Club Rush returns to action on Saturday, May 7th 2022, for their 12th instalment. The eight-bout card includes several IMMAF alumni as well as some current amateur competitors.
Since their inception in 2017, FCR has proven to be a smooth avenue for amateur athletes to start competing on the professional scene. This could not be much more apparent in the fact that every show, as of yet, has featured at least one athlete who has competed on the IMMAF stage.
Alexander Lööf tops the alumni heavy card only three fights into his professional career. He faces fellow unbeaten prospect Samuel Bark in a featherweight showdown.
In his first professional bout, Lööf faced fellow alumni Amir Malekpour at FCR 9. In an extremely back and forth affair, which poised a classic striker vs wrestler match up, the momentum switched several times throughout the bout. With only 20 seconds left on the clock, Lööf landed a monstrous right hand which sent Malekpour crashing to the mat to finish the bout.
A unanimous decision victory and retirement later, the Swedish prospect is continuing to impress & appears to have adapted his game perfectly for the professional ranks.
Malekpour also appears on the card, looking to bounce back to winning ways. The 2018 European Gold Medalist has struggled to find consistent form since turning over. Currently holding a 2-2 professional record, a win on Saturday will get Malekpour back to winning ways and build a foundation upon which he can look to build. Standing in his way is Safiullah Husseini.
Spain’s Enrique Hecher Sosa will look to extend his unbeaten run as a professional when he faces Karlen Minasian in a Bantamweight contest. Sosa frequented the IMMAF scene throughout his two-year stint as an amateur, competing in six championships and collecting several medals in the process. He appeared at three World Championships, claiming bronze at both the 2018 and 2019 championships as well as a 2019 African Open Gold medal. Since moving to pro, Sosa has remained involved within the federation, which helped him develop as an amateur, coaching the Spanish team at the 2021 European Championships. He will face Karlen Minasian in a 145lbs bout.
Alongside alumni, current IMMAF athletes Josefine Modig & Janika Antinmaa will square off in a rematch on the amateur portion of the card. Two last met on Day 3 of the IMMAF 2021 World Championships, in which Modig collected a unanimous decision victory on her way to securing World Championship silver.
Ahead of Saturday night’s action, FCR co-promoter Jörgen Hamberg alluded to the reasoning behind their decision to feature so many alumni.
“Tomorrow, we go on UFC Fight Pass with FCR 12 and if you check the fight card, there are no less than 8 IMMAF alumni competing. For us as an organisation, it assures us the quality and the skillset for making great competitive fighting standards.
“Their background as international amateur fighters are the backbone for development and completion as fighters. We are proud to present them on our platform as the next generation of future UFC fighters.”