By Caoilte de Barra
Last week saw plenty of success for IMMAF alumni following bigs for those competing at BRAVE CF 65 and Cage Fight Series 12.
This week sees another stacked week of action where athletes who have come through the IMMAF ranks are competing around the world.
On Thursday, October 3, EFC 99 will feature two former members of the South African national team. JT Botha, who competed at the 2017 World Championships, moves down to welterweight for the first time as a pro.
Three-time IMMAF medalist Julio Plaatjies joins him on the card. The 2018 Africa Championships gold medalist enjoyed a successful amateur career before making the switch to pro. He enjoyed two finishes to begin his pro career and is looking to snap a two-loss skid against Tumelo Manyamala.
On the same day, in France, Melissa Dixon and Virgil Augen are scheduled to compete on ARES FC 9. Dixon has been on a tear since moving to the pro ranks, going 4-0 since her debut in June of last year. The 2019 European silver medalist showed off her ability to finish opponents in amateur and has carried that over to the pro ranks. She will face fellow undefeated prospect Darya Zheleznyakova on the main card.
Boxing Squad athlete Virgil Augen represented France on three occasions but never found his form at amateur. However, the pro ranks have suited him, and his record of 2-0 proves just that.
Friday, October 4, sees James Sheehan, Paddy McCorry and Salvatore Liga competing on Cage Warriors 145. Sheehan and McCorry each have one IMMAF competition under their belts. McCorry has a big opportunity to make a name for himself if he can defeat former Cage Warriors Champion James Webb, while Sheehan could move one step closer to a belt with a win over Jamie Richardson.
The 2014 World bronze medalist, Salvatore Liga, is undefeated as a pro and has finished all of his pro bouts to date. Liga’s teammate from the inaugural set of World Championships, Liridon Ramani, is set to fly out to the Democratic Republic of Congo and square off with Moses Mugenyi Saidi at Impact Championship on Sunday.
Elsewhere, Coopar Royal will make his pro debut on Saturday at Coastal Combat 11 following a promising amateur career that saw him represent Australia at the 2021 IMMAF World Championships and 2022 MMA SuperCup.
In the UFC, Liudovik Sholinian will look to bag his first promotional victory after falling short to Jack Shore in his debut. Sholinian competed at the WMMAA 2018 European Championships and won a national title as an amateur in Ukraine.