By Caoilte de Barra
The Israeli Mixed Martial Arts Federation (ISR-MMAF) brought its National Championships to a close on May 19. The finals of the Israel National Championships took place at the city sports hall in the city of Petach Tikva.
Nine fights took place at the ticketed event. Seven of them were to declare national champions across junior and senior categories. Winners of each category will make the Israel team that will compete at the upcoming IMMAF events for 2022. Videos from each bout were posted on YouTube and can be watched back. The two categories that were not contested on the day, Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight, will be decided next month.
In the Main Event, promising prospect Moshe Aladi returned to retain his national crown. Aladi was supposed to go to the most recent World Championships but could not go due to covid. He defeated Ibrahim Ajamil to win his second national title and secure his spot on the national team.
Alan Surmount, who also won gold last year, did not make it to the World Championships either due to a shoulder injury. Unlike Aaladi, he failed to retain his national title and crashed out in the semi-finals.
In the Middleweight division, Oleg Nemirovski was impressive in his victory over Aref Abed El-Hai in the opening round. He landed a spinning back kick to the body early in the round, which hurt his opponent. He proceeded to take his opponent to the ground and get the finish via ground and pound.
He will join the rest of the winners on the national team and hope to better the success of Yevgeni Shinkarevsky, who won a bronze medal at the 2021 IMMAF World Championships.
Following the event, ISR-MMAF President Ido Pariente gave his thoughts on the event. He said:
“This year, the level was incredibly high! Some of these fighters already have six fights in a year and a half. The time we are putting in to make this federation work is really paying off. Last year we had two athletes in the World Championships, and we came back with one medal. This year we will be arriving with a full team, and we are all expecting some extraordinary results.”
The full list of National Champions that will represent Israel in 2022 competitions is as follows.
Junior Bantamweight: Etay Tamir
Junior Featherweight: Ori Sarusi
Junior Welterweight: Daniel Chuber
Senior Featherweight: Moshe Aladi
Senior Lightweight: Yagel Danos
Senior Welterweight: Alan Surmont
Senior Middleweight: Oleg Nemirovski