By Caoilte de Barra
Last week, IMMAF alumni were in the win column at CAGE 58, with Niko Skonback, Jon Furuheim, and Mika Kalio picking up wins in Finland. A highly anticipated clash between two IMMAF alumni, Niko Aikonen and Andrian Murug, also featured both athletes making their professional bow. However, it wasn’t the results either would have wanted after the judges scored the bout a split draw.
Looking ahead to the coming week, Saturday is stacked full of former IMMAF athletes competing in Europe.
In Slovakia, OKTAGON 42 is set to be headlined by an interim featherweight title bout between Losene Keita and Jakub Tichota. Tichota recently fell short in his bid for the belt, dropping a split decision to Mate Sankidze. The 2019 Africa Championships gold medalist now has another crack at the belt after stepping in for an injured Sanikidze.
Fellow national team teammate Václav Holota joins him on the card. Holota will face Liam Etebar on the prelim section in a bid to improve his record to 8-1.
On the same night in Ireland, eight athletes who have competed on the IMMAF circuit will feature on the Cage Warriors 153 card. Tobias Harila and James Sheehan are among the eight and wins for each of them could secure a shot at Cage Warriors gold.
IMMAA coach and four-time medalist Alexander O’Sullivan is set to make his pro debut against fellow alumni Afrim Thaqi. Solomon Simon will also make his promotional debut, while Paddy McCorry is hoping to bounce back from his last outing under the Cage Warriors banner.
The final two alumni, Adam Darby and Jack Tucker will square off in a welterweight bout early in the card.
Last but not least, a mainstay on the Spanish national team as an amateur, Antonio Marti, is set to make his professional debut at AFL 29 in Cheste, Spain. Marti fell short of a medal position at the most recent World Championships, losing a razor-thin split decision against Masud Odinaev. He signs off his amateur career with thirty bouts, multiple national titles and three IMMAF medals.