Bahrain amateurs set to make “national history” at IMMAF European Open

At the IMMAF European Open Championships this month amateur fighters from Bahrain will compete under IMMAF for the first time since the ground breaking launch of KHK MMA, a Bahrain based stable of international and Bahraini fighters financially backed by team founder Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, First Deputy president of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports. KHK team members sponsored by the Sheikh include  world champions Jose Torres and Frans Mlambo, who have since made successful professional debuts after claiming amateur gold at the IMMAF World Championships in July. However, KHK is more than just a stable/gym of fighters. Mohammed ‘The Hawk’ Shahid, professional fighter, General Secretary of the Bahrain MMA Federation and Managing Director of KHK MMA, explained that it is a national movement with the proud responsibility of building the nation’s MMA scene from the grass roots upwards. While KHK is well known for drafting in the likes of former UFC champion Frankie Edgar, Russian standout Khabib Nurmagomedov and SBG Ireland coach John Kavanagh, the future of MMA in Bahrain will be seen in the development of its national standouts. This begins with the implementation of strong amateur foundations and IMMAF tournaments are seen as the ultimate proving ground for this. “KHK MMA is more of an organization or a movement or even a system, you could say, focused on the development of the sport of MMA as a whole,” Shahid explained. “Amateurs are our future and we understand that what it takes to make a sport great is to have a solid foundational structure. We think our development of  top pro fighters will be an inspiration and source of belief for the amateurs. Part of being a fighter is to have a goal set in front of them to reach towards. “KHK MMA has built such a great platform for the development of amateurs thanks to HH. Sheikh Khaled Bin Hamad; he is the sole reason for this huge change in the nation and the vision of this great movement that will come as a storm to the MMA world. It is unbelievable how much has changed for MMA in Bahrain and we are looking to see some great changes in the next two years and IMMAF will be the ultimate place for them to make the most of this opportunity.” The Bahrainian team made its first appearance this year at the 2015 IMMAF World Championships of Amateur MMA, accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Khalid, and team spirit is high ahead of the European Open, taking place from November 19-22 at the University of Wolverhampton’s Walsall Campus Sports Centre. “The team is new and learning everyday and developing fast. This opportunity is huge for them and they understand how big the platform is on which they can shine. They are really excited and working hard as they should be, so we are pretty happy and excited for them as well.” The catalyst for MMA in Bahrain has only just been sparked, and Mohammed Shahid believes that each of these early ventures is national history unfolding. “What we want is to make sure these boys go there and give their all. They have been training hard and preparing religiously for this event. I think it will be great to see them go out there on the big stage and put on a great show. Everything these boys do at the event is historic and every time the ring door closes and they throw a punch there are 100 more, back home, thinking we can do this too. These boys are already heroes and everything they go and put on there is national history.” The Bahraini national team competing at the inaugural IMMAF European Open Championships includes: Obada Al Mulla – Men’s Flyweight Hussain Maki – Men’s Flyweight Fahad Abdul Razaq – Men’s Bantamweight Abdulla-Seena-Ebrahim Abdulla-Munfaredi – Men’s Bantamweight Isa Mohammed Ameeri – Men’s Featherweight Ali-Ebrahim-qasim Ebrahim-Ebhrahimi – Men’s Lightweight Hamad Saleem – Welterweight Mohammed Al Mulla – Welterweight Ahmed Kaabi – Middleweight IMMAF Euro-Facebook Cover - Copy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *