By Caoilte de Barra
The 2022 IMMAF Asian Championships are fast approaching, and it is set to be the Iranian federation’s first time appearing in an IMMAF competition. The national federation has put in a big effort to put together a team for the competition.
As it stands, the provisional list of athletes includes twelve from Iran, with all except one entered in the senior brackets. A remarkable figure for the nation’s first outing.
Ahead of the Championships, IRMMAF President Iman Amirmohammadi was delighted to have a strong team of athletes heading to Tajikistan but admitted it was difficult getting a squad together.
“As you know, the situation of the country is unfavourable, and it was very difficult to form the national team under these conditions, but with the help of the IMMAF, we were able to form the team and get ready to participate. Being able to attend is great, and we are looking for progress.”
He went on to discuss the importance of competing internationally and the impact it can have regionally.
“Participation in such competitions requires preparation, and preparation requires a lot of work, so participation in competitions will help to improve the MMA of the country.”
“The formation of the system in the country is vital. So we are looking to build the foundations of MMA under the supervision of the national federation in Iran.”
The team was supposed to feature Olympic bronze medalist Saeid Abdevali. However, the Greco-Roman wrestling standout has been ruled out due to injury. In the Heavyweight division, two-time beach wrestling world champion Pouya Rahmani will be in action hoping to upset the talent-rich division that includes 2021 World Gold Medalist Rasul Magomedov.
Sahar Sadat Miralizadeh Sarabi is the nation’s sole entry in the women’s divisions as she looks to thrive in the strawweight division. Welterweights Mohsen Baghi Nasrabadi and Peyman Pourahmad Kasin will be in the same category as pound-for-pound number one amateur athlete Ramazan Gitinov. They may find themselves with the opportunity to cause a huge upset should any of the two cross paths with Gitinov.
The full list of athletes set to represent Iran is as follows:
Mahdi Najafi Kalkhoran – Juniors / Men / M: Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
Erfan Ebrahimi – Seniors / Men / M: Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
Reza Sobhani – Seniors / Men / M: Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
Mohammad Javad Kayedgap – Seniors / Men / M: Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
Araz Alizadehsadat – Seniors / Men / M: Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
Peyman Pourahmad Kasin – Seniors / Men / M: Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
Mohsen Baghi Nasrabadi – Seniors / Men / M: Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
Akbar Mokhtar Abadi – Seniors / Men / M: Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
Sajad Pourjahani – Seniors / Men / M: Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
Pouya Rahmani – Seniors / Men / M: Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)
Arash Karimi – Seniors / Men / M: Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)
Sahar Sadat Miralizadeh Sarabi – Seniors / Women / F: Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)