Akman claims European Gold after first round exit in Vegas

Picture, left to right: Marius Hakonsen (Silver), Rostem Akman (Gold), Asterio Lucchesini (Bronze), James Duckett (Bronze). The life of an amateur Mixed Martial Artist is far removed from that of a professional striving for their route to the sport’s pinnacle. As an Amateur MMA contender, athletes are gifted the opportunity to find themselves as an athlete, to hone their ability through trial and error, and to become seasoned as a competitor with a valuable wealth of lessons and experiences in both victory and defeat before starting fresh and fully prepared for life as a pro. Swedish middleweight Rostem Akman was among the perfect examples of this last week at the IMMAF European Open Championships. At the 2015 IMMAF World Championships of Amateur MMA in July, Akman was eliminated early on from the Las Vegas based competition as he was defeated in the opening round via KO by Finland’s Juho Laitinen. Four months later Akman returned to IMMAF competition at the European Open in Walsall, England, from November 19th to 22nd. The 185lb contender made his return as an all new animal and established himself as a near untouchable opponent on his road to the final. In the opening round Akman blew away Bulgaria’s Kiril Tsonev with a second round TKO, followed by a first round submission the following day against the more experienced Kiefer Crosbie of team Ireland. Akman had gathered a powerful sense of momentum with displays of caveman-like strength, forcing Crosbie to the ground before grabbing a limb to secure his arm-bar finish. Akman’s show of strength was replicated on day 3 in his semi-final bout with Englishman James Duckett. One the favourites to achieve gold, Duckett had secured Silver at July’s World Championships, but was unable to scratch the surface against the overpowering Akman who imposed himself upon the team UK hopeful nonstop throughout the three rounds to claim his ticket to the final via a clear cut unanimous decision. BR5K1221 The mission was accomplished and his comeback was complete on Day 4 of the Championships when Akman secured a unanimous decision victory over Norwegian Marius Hakonsen. In the moments following his victory Akman recalled his journey from defeat, and he will surely serve as inspiration to his fellow grass roots competitors from around the world. Akman stated that he plans on returning to the IMMAF World Championships in Las Vegas in 2016, this time to claim the Gold. For a full list of medallists from the 2015 European Open Championships visit: https://www.immaf.org/championships/2015-immaf-european-open-championships/2015-immaf-european-medallists/  

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