At just 19 years of age, women’s atomweight standout Magdalena Czaban made history for Polish MMA, winning the nation’s first senior amateur title since 2015.
Czaban triumphed at the 2019 European Open Championships in Rome, one year following Eryk Walecki’s gold medal success at the 2018 Junior European Open and just days removed from the groundbreaking announcement of Martin Lewandowski’s MMA Polska Association, as the latest member of IMMAF – WMMAA’s global network.
IMMAF – WMMAA’s junior platform caters exclusively to athletes age 18-20 with the senior ranks open to age 18+.
It was super-heavyweight Kevin Szaflarski who secured Poland’s first international amateur title at the 2015 IMMAF World Championships in Las Vegas. Since then, Poland had been unable to reach the podium’s summit, but had achieved as high as silver with much of the nation’s prominence sustained by multiple time world championships runner up, Marcin Kalata, who regularly competed at the World Championships from 2014-2018 at heavyweight and super-heavyweight.
Announcing herself with devastating potential on home soil, Czaban commanded her moment to represent the nation with a 3-0 streak from June of 2018 to May 2019, her highlight reel featured both a head-kick stoppage and a first round display of one-punch stopping power.
Czaban tallied three victories in as many days at the 2019 European Open, opening her campaign with a unanimous decision over Valentina Semal of the standout Ukraine team. Czaban proceeded to make light work of Ireland’s Aeilish O’Hanlon with a first round TKO before besting a second Irish opponent in the gold medal decider, going the distance to a unanimous decision over Nadine Abbott-Bissett who in the semi-finals dethroned 2018 gold medalist Jenna Horto.
Czaban was her country’s sole senior medalist at this year’s European Open with two bronze medals earned by the Polish junior team; arguably a significant underachievement for a nation representing one of Europe’s strongest MMA markets. Yet, as she stood with the Polish flag and the national anthem playing aloud, Czaban’s victory is symbolic of exciting times with Poland’s national amateur team expected to be re-energized by the MMA Polska Association.
By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran