By Caoilte de Barra
Mongolia’s Otgonbaatar Boldbaatar created history for the nation by winning silver at the 2022 Asian Championships. He is the second-ever athlete to represent Mongolia on the IMMAF platform after Bat-Ochir Batsaikhan became the first back at the 2021 World Championships earlier this year.
The junior flyweight competitor made his first appearance on the second day of competition. He faced a tough test in Tajikistan’s Asomuddin Saidamirzoda but was able to dominate his opponent to secure a decision victory, guaranteeing him a bronze medal at the very least.
In his semi-final bout against Kazakhstan’s Onggar Smagul, his striking looked sharp, and his grappling gave him the edge as he finished Smagul with a guillotine choke in the second round.
The final saw him challenge 2021 European and World strawweight gold medalist Yersultan Shakenbay, who has yet to be defeated in MMA. Boldbaatar arguably gave the Kazakhstan athlete his toughest test to date. The bout went the distance, and Boldbaatar lost a razor-thin split decision. Despite not winning the final, it was an incredible outing from Boldbaatar, which saw him create history.
Following the tournament, he explained: “It is my honour to represent my country in IMMAF. I was training in freestyle wrestling for many years. Then I decided to train MMA and do my training in Shandas MMA club in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.”
He added how he hopes to inspire some of the youth in Mongolia and shared his delight at winning silver.
“In my country, many youths are training MMA, and I am happy to give them some motivation to get a good opportunity for an MMA career.
“This is my first championship in IMMAF. I am so happy to join this championship and become Mongolia’s first medalist in IMMAF. During my fighting, I gained a lot of experience from my opponents. I believe that my MMA career started here.”