By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran German Featherweight mainstay Julia Dorny (pictured above) has remained a perennial top contender in the Women’s 145lb division ever since her international debut at the 2015 IMMAF World Championships in Las Vegas. In 2016 she picked up two silver medals, reaching the finals of the World Championships and European Open and is currently the number-2 ranked contender. But this year, Dorny makes considerable changes for her 2017 World Championships campaign as she gives up her top seed position to enter the Lightweight bracket in Bahrain, competing against -155lb contenders for the first time. “Ever since I started with MMA in 2015 I have always been at Featherweight,” Dorny explained to IMMAF.org. “But I looked at the brackets this year I decided there are new challenges to face at Lightweight. Since I usually have to lose a few kilos for Featherweight, I decided to make that step and move up.” While remaining in shape year round, at her walking weight, Dorny sits between the -145lb Featherweight cut-off and the Lightweight -155lb limit, yet closer to the latter. Weight cutting has been a familiar part of Dorny’s life in competitive combat sport, throughout her roots in top flight German judo championships and carrying through to mixed martial arts and sumo. Due to the back-to-back days of competition and same day weigh-ins on the morning of each bout, significant weight cuts and dehydration methods are far less prolific at IMMAF championships. However, at past events, Dorny has been among a monitory of athletes who opt for a weight cut in the hours before weighing in, in order to shed those last pounds after a dedicated training and diet regiment in the months prior. At the 2017 World Championships that hindrance will be lifted as she ditches her familiar weight cut regime to raise the potential for better consistency, focus and comfort throughout the tournament. IMMAF regularly provides educational seminars for competitors on alternative and healthy approaches to weight cutting. “To make 145lbs I would cut in the evening and morning. I was okay, it wasn’t too hard, but annoying. You just have to stay focused. “I feel quite relieved to fight without cutting. It will definitely put less stress on my body and mind, but perhaps will make me more calm than usual. This could help me perform at 100-percent. “I cannot be sure just how different it will feel until I get in there. I am just happy to compete and my coaches will tell me what to do. This time I only care about what I can do best and that is fighting.” Daniela Kortmann was the first and so far only German athlete to win an IMMAF gold medal, back at the World Championships in 2014. For Dorny, the elusive gold is not only of great personal value, but also is symbolic of a breakthrough for MMA in her country where understanding and acceptance of the sport still fluctuates. “The gold medal is very important to me personally but also for Germany. I hope we can finally manage to make MMA bigger here. We want to help amateur MMA grow so that we can finally show it’s a great sport and worth supporting MMA fighters and the martial arts community. The UFC winning its court case and bringing back “free to air” programming is a very important step that’s already been made. For me – this time I’ll finally make my childhood dream come true and become an IMMAF world champion!” Taking place at Khalifa Sports City Arena from 12 to 19 November, as part of Brave International Combat Week, the 2017 World Championships are anticipated to be the biggest event in the history of amateur MMA under IMMAF with more participants than ever before representing nations from all continents. 2017 marks the first year of the IMMAF Worlds taking place outside of Las Vegas, USA.