As anticipation for the 2023 IMMAF Youth World Championships continues to grow, the teams set to feature in this year’s tournament are starting to form. The Championships will take place between 2-5 August in the Mubadala Arena, Abu Dhabi, for the second year running, and will be hosted by the UAEMMAF.
Once again, over the 4 days of competition, the next generation of elite MMA athletes will compete in three separate age brackets, across multiple weight classes, in both male and female categories.
21 nations are already confirmed to be making the trip to Abu Dhabi, with many more having registered their intent to attend the prestigious youth amateur championship. Early reports indicate there will be approximately 260 athletes competing, with this number likely to rise in the coming weeks.
Tajikistan will look to follow up on the impressive success they achieved in 2022, where they placed third overall on the medal’s table with 21 medals including 7 gold. Some of the stand- out performers included Islom Saidov, Farhodi Davlatali, Mukhammad Saidzoda, and Abubakr Alijonzoda in Youth A and B. Khaiyomjon Chuyanov, Sunatullo Navruzov and Khurshedjon Shokirov all also walked away with gold in Youth C.
Currently set to field 21 athletes, Tajikistan is surely tipped to mirror the victories pulled off last year.
The Tajikistan team will undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on last year’s standout nation, Ukraine, who topped the overall medal table in 2022 with 32 medals (8 gold). Whilst not yet officially confirmed, Ukraine is rumoured to be bringing a team of 20 athletes to Abu Dhabi, promising to be a major threat to all opposition.
Team USA will likely be a major player in the 2023 IMMAF Youth World Championships, with a team of up to 30 strong reportedly set to represent the red, white and blue. USA had great success in the women’s categories in 2022, with the likes of Abigail Alvarez and Citlali Perez claiming gold for their country.
Other nations expected to compete in Abu Dhabi include strong medal achievers, Israel, Ireland, Bahrain, Lebanon and South Africa.
Lastly, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia coming off a historical year in which they would secure their respective nation’s first-ever IMMAF gold medals, both are predicted to field large teams in the hope of emulating their recent success.