By Frank Bonada
Day 3 of the 2023 IMMAF Asian Championships marked the beginning of the Senior and Junior bouts, as the best of Asia clashed in the Quarter-Finals.
Host nation Bahrain, as well as Team Lebanon both topped the power rankings, with three wins apiece. Bahrain’s Mahammat Hissein put on one of the most thrilling bouts of the day, going toe to toe with Iraq’s Mohammed Salah. Both athletes had moments of success throughout the action-packed three rounds, but ultimately Hissein’s grappling and cardio edge saw him through to a decisive decision victory.
Lebanon’s Naiim Bou Rached also stood out from the pack, showcasing a high-level ground game in his Junior bantamweight bout with Haydarali Saidov (Tajikistan). Rached continually thwarted his opponent’s attempts to mount any submission offence off his back, before masterfully passing the guard, leading to the eventual rear naked choke finish.
Rising Saudi star Malik Basahel continued to impress with an extremely slick armbar submission win over Mohammadali Hosseini (Iran). This win marked the continuation of a monumental 2023 for Basahel, having captured silver in the 2023 IMMAF World Championships, as well as signing a contract with the PFL.
A highlight-reel moment unfolded in the Senior middleweight division as Uzbekistan’s Abdulaziz Mustafayev unleashed a blitz of strikes on Zulqarnain Khan (Pakistan), securing an early TKO stoppage, as well as a spot in the Semi-Finals.
As anticipation builds for Day 4, the Junior and Senior Semi-Finals promise to showcase numerous high-profile IMMAF athletes, including World Champions Gadzhi Gadzhiev and Gimbat Magomedov, along with continental champions Adel Makhametova and Daniil Gubin.
Don’t miss the action—watch the entire event live at IMMAF.TV.