By Caoilte de Barra
All three Oceania federations, Australia, New Zealand and French Polynesia, are set to travel to Belgrade for the 2022 World Championships.
Of the 2021 medalists, only Fergus Jenkins will be travelling over to IMMAF’s flagship event in his bid to become a two-time World champion. Jenkins was the underdog story of last year’s competition. Having never competed in IMMAF before and making his maiden appearance in a stacked middleweight division, not many expected what would come.
Jenkins will be the athlete to beat as he returns to defend his crown. The slick grappler went undefeated in 2022 and has spent training at City Kickboxing Gym with the likes of Israel Adesanya ahead of his second IMMAF appearance.
Auryn Parmley is amongst the standouts in Australia’s squad of fourteen. The experienced light heavyweight enjoyed an active year in 2022, competing at the World Championships, MMA SuperCup and IMMAFA South Pacific Championships.
Joining him on the team is Kyle Mayocchi, whose brother, Brodie, became Australia’s first-ever IMMAF World gold medalist at the 2022 Youth World Championships. Competing in the junior lightweight division, Kyle is one of the top athletes in the division and could make it two gold medals for the Mayocchi family in the space of seven months.
French Polynesia will have two athletes aiming to pick up a medal in Serbia, Nohotua Flores and Keoni Terorotua. 2020 Oceania bronze medalist Terortua has ten bouts to his name and is always in entertaining contests. Outside of competing, he also runs his own gym in Tahiti, Te Aro MMA.
Given the quality and history of the three squads, it will be exciting to see each nation’s athletes in action.
Hosted by the Serbian MMA Federation, the two amateur tournaments are to take place at Štark Arena, in Novi Beograd (Belgrade), Serbia, from 11 to 17 February. IMMAF’s OTT platform, immaf.tv, will stream all bouts for fans all over the world.