By Caoilte de Barra
Italy has become a frequent destination for IMMAF in recent years. In 2019 the European Championships and Youth World Championships both took place in Rome within three months.
This year, the Italian Grappling and Mixed Martial Arts Federation (FIGMMA) welcomes IMMAF back to the nation for a third occasion as the sport continues to grow across Italy.
Twenty-five athletes will travel to Lignano Sabbiadoro as part of the Italian squad, hoping to replicate the success of previous IMMAF gold medalists Alessio Di Chirico, Dario Bellandi and Jasmine Favero, to name a few.
Amongst the squad are three former youth world medalists, Alberto Magris, Giulia Volpe and Giorgio Boccali. Who have all graduated through the ranks nationally, highlighting FIGMMA’s commitment to youth development.
Of the squad that travelled to the 2021 World Championships, Francesco Fornasieri is one of the notable returnees. Fornasieri has had mixed luck in the IMMAF ranks but will drop from middleweight to welterweight for this tournament with his eyes firmly set on a podium position.
The Italian team is one of the largest squads heading to the European Championships, with several newcomers on the squad. A full list of athletes set to represent the nation can be found here.
Speaking ahead of the Championships, FIGMMA President Saverio Longo gave his thoughts on the national team and hosting the competition.
“I am proud and very happy to be able to host the IMMAF Senior and Junior European Championship for the second time. The Italian Federation will do its utmost to offer all European Teams efficient service and excellent hospitality in Lignano Sabbiadoro.
“I am sure our National Team that participates with numerous athletes will have good success in this Championship. I want to thank, for all the support, Donato Milano, the President of FEDERKOMBAT, the NOC Recognized Combat Sports Federation that from this year became the new home of MMA in Italy.”
Watch the 2022 IMMAF European Championships live and exclusively from Bella Italia Efa Village in Lignano Sabbiadoro (Italy) from 27 September and 1 October 2022 at immaf.tv, with the tournament draw taking place on 26 September.