By Caoilte de Barra
On Saturday June 25, the Federación Española de Lucha Olímpica y Disciplinas Asociadas held their National Championships in Zaragoza, Spain. The finals were held in conjunction with WOW FC, a regional promoter making waves in the MMA scene in Spain.
The Spanish team prides itself on the level of talent that comes through their National Championships, which is complemented by the national team that competes internationally. Although the team that represents Spain on the international stage tends to be smaller in size, it is usually one of top quality. Most recently highlighted by the federation’s success at the 2021 IMMAF World Championships, where Juan Izquierdo, Rafael Calderon and Carla Medina all came away with medals.
The former two have since moved on to the pro ranks, successfully winning each of their debuts at WOW FC 1.
Some familiar faces featured in Zaragoza; Arturo Aedillo added another national title to his accolades by defeating Manuel Bouzid in the welterweight final. Aedillo was on the team which travelled to Abu Dhabi in January but narrowly missed out on a medal position, losing a razor-thin split decision in the quarter-finals.
In the Flyweight final, Raquel Gonzalez cemented her spot on the national team, beating Sofia Alvarez via submission in the opening round. Gonzalez has been actively training and competing in Ireland lately and has faced off against some of the best talents on the emerald isle. However, returned to Spain on the back of a win and built on her success in style.
An athlete on the rise but yet to feature at an international event is Liam Arjona. The experienced featherweight won the Catalonia regionals last year, and his fifteenth amateur bout saw him crowned national champion. His path to gold saw him overcome three opponents in one day on June 11 before beating Vincenzo Bussolotti in the final, a division previously dominated by Juan Izquierdo.
The 2022 Spanish National Champions are:
Marina Rodríguez [Strawweight]
Raquel González [Flyweight]
Mercedes Custodio [Bantamweight]
Lourdes Carelis [Lightweight]
Aarón Aneiros [Strawweight]
Gonzalo Luque [Flyweight]
Borja Pérez Rojas [Bantamweight]
Liam Arjona [Featherweight]
Antonio Forfica [Lightweight]
Arturo Aedillo [Welterweight]
David Hervías [Middleweight]
Raúl Constantin [Light Heavyweight]
Ander Altuna [Heavyweight]
Post-event, head coach Israel Adrados gave his thoughts on the competition and working with WOW FC for the finals.
“We were very pleased to work with WOW FC for the finals of the National Championships. It’s a promotion that adopted IMMAF rules with the help of the Spanish Federation, and there were so many quality amateur fights. These kinds of championships make a quality event, it was hard, but lots of people made this happen.”
Spain is currently putting together a team to represent the nation at IMMAF events for the coming year. The growing squad that is full of talent will be one’s to watch this coming year as they look to trump their 2021 medal count.