Team Cameroon enjoyed one of its best days on the international amateur MMA platform, emerging undefeated from Day 1 of the 2019 IMMAF – WMMAA Africa Open Championships in Johannesburg.
Four of the nation’s six-man team were set for action on Day 1 with each advancing through the quarter-final stage.
While men’s bantamweight Ngono Owonyebe Lionel victor received an automatic bye due to South Africa’s Gift Walker failing a pre-bout medical, the remaining Cameroon trio were each among the day’s standout performers with stoppage wins across the board.
Men’s lightweight and 2018 Africa Open silver medalist, Endom Bikim Steve Durant, sunk in a first round guillotine choke to stop Bahrain’s Zubair Gadzhiev, with Mbong Rene (welterweight) and Rengou Mefire simplice (light-heavyweight, pictured above) forcing TKO stoppages of South Africa’s Darryn Jacobs and Chad Wilkie.
South Africa assembled a team of 26 athletes for the third installment of Africa’s continental open, but the host nation saw 13 of its own eliminated on Day 1. However, the disappointment subsided as Francois Meyer completed a rear naked choke submission of Bahrain’s Mohamed Alghool at 30 seconds into the opening round of their men’s lightweight contest.
Also accumulating wins for the host nation, Peace Nguphane snatched a late TKO over Isa Alameeri of Bahrain and
Nkosi Mpakati (middleweight) battled to a unanimous decision win against the Czech Republic’s Lukáš Piffko.
As regulars of the Africa Open, the Kingdom of Bahrain returned to Johannesburg having claimed four of the event’s 2018 titles. Still fresh off a strong showing at the 2019 Asian Open in Thailand, where the nation landed second place in the medal table, Bahrain completed four wins in seven bouts on Day 1 in Johannesburg.
Abdulla Alyaqoob (men’s flyweight) and Abdulla Mubarak (men’s bantamweight) joined reigning Africa Open bantamweight gold medalist Hamza Zrira and 2019 Asian Open champion Mansur Magomedov (men’s flyweight) in advancing to the semi-finals for Bahrain.
After an incredible international debut that saw him earn bronze at the 2018 Unified World Championships, Spain’s Enrique Hecher Sosa (men’s featherweight) also advanced to the Africa Open semi-finals, via a unanimous decision.
For full 2019 Africa Open results and Day 2 schedule click HERE.
By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran