Day 3 of the IMMAF 2023 Youth World Championships saw Team Tajikistan truly enter their stride, whilst Ukraine continued to dominate the overall medal table.
The first half of the Youth A bouts produced numerous impressive performances, as nations from all corners of the globe competed for IMMAF gold. In the group and knockout stages, fans witnessed thrilling finishes from Angola’s Renato Pireza and Ireland’s Kevin Walsh.
Kazakhstani heavyweight, Radomir Morozov, picked up one of the more impressive finale finishes, capturing the heavyweight gold medal via Americana submission.
As impressive as Kazakhstan’s heavyweight champ was, Team Tajikistan eclipsed all others. With Tajikistani UFC fighter Loik Radzhabov looking on, Saiali Kamolov put on a breathtaking performance to open the finals. Despite being put on his back early in the bout, Kamolov was able to manoeuvre his opponent into a guillotine, forcing the tap.
Javohir Shodiev followed the example laid out by his countryman, claiming a second gold medal for his nation shortly after.
Radzhabov commended the atmosphere and competition level at the 2023 IMMAF Youth World Championships, stating:
“Here I feel like I’m watching UFC because the organisation is really high level.”
For the third day in a row, Ukraine took the No.1 spot on the medals table, capturing eight medals in total, including two gold. Team UAE continues to establish their status as the breakout team of 2023, as Fahad Al Hammadi captured yet another gold medal for his nation in an exhilarating finale bout vs. Italy’s Damiano Grillo.
Despite the odds, Columbia’s Sharity Antonio was able to overcome Ukraine’s Anastasiia Horodivska en route to a split decision victory and a gold medal for her nation. Antonio’s victory bodes for Team Columbia, with the 2023 IMMAF Pan American championships now mere days away.
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown commented on the huge variety of nations that have claimed gold so far, stating:
“As we approach the final day of the 2023 IMMAF Youth World Championships, it is tremendous to see the diversity on the podium. 15 different nations have won gold here in Abu Dhabi, a record-breaking number in IMMAF, also showing the widespread development of Youth MMA across the globe. I commend all national federations in attendance for their excellent efforts to build the sport of MMA from grassroots level in their respective countries.”
The Youth action continues on Saturday, with the following weight categories:
A full list of medallists from Day 3 of the 2023 Youth World Championships can be found right here.