French mixed martial artist Axel Sola has shot to the summit of the IMMAF – WMMAA world amateur MMA rankings, as he continues his final year of amateur competition.
Having previously revealed that 2019 will mark his final year as an amateur contender, the 21-year-old self-funded athlete has committed to challenging across the full IMMAF – WMMAA continental series spanning Oceania, Asia, Pan-America, Africa and Europe before culminating in Bahrain with the 2019 World Championships.
As a welterweight competitor in 2018, Sola earned a World silver medal for the second time, representing France at the historic Unified World Championships in the wake of IMMAF and WMMAA’s ground breaking amalgamation.
The Frenchman was among the most accomplished amateur MMA standouts of the year and currently reigns as the 2018 IMMAF European Open gold medalist at 170lbs. Sola completed 2018 as the no.5 ranked athlete in the IMMAF-WMMAA pound-for-pound standings in addition to retaining his place as the top ranked international welterweight.
Sola reached the international rankings pinnacle this year upon joining the middleweight division and conquering the Oceania Open in Auckland, New Zealand. Unperturbed by a surprise defeat in Bangkok at the Asian Open, Sola remained on course for a year at 185lbs, bouncing back less than two weeks later in The Bahamas, claiming his second continental title of the year at the Pan-American Open Championships.
With the 2019 Africa Open taking place from 22-25 May in Johannesburg, Sola’s commitment to maximizing his amateur experience has already seen him enter three (soon to be four) international championship tournaments in the past two months, winning 2/3 titles contested thus far.
See full IMMAF – WMMAA rankings HERE.
By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran