By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran For over a year the Czech MMA Association (MMAA) has waited eagerly for the 18th birthday of Jakub Tichota (pictured above), perhaps the nation’s most exciting young talent, suggests MMAA President Martin Škvára. Tichota, who for years has trained extensively throughout the multiple facets of MMA, will finally become eligible for international championships under IMMAF as an 18-year-old amateur contender. Born on June 9, 1999, Tichota represents a young generation of competitors who did not transition to MMA from any singular discipline, from the start he has always been a student of mixed martial arts and a future MMA specialist in the truest sense. “Jakub Tichota will finally be 18-years-old, we were waiting for over a year to send him to compete ať IMMAF championships,” the MMAA President explained. He has been competing in the Men’s adult category of our national championship and this year again he will be in the finále with all wins during the 2016/17 season of competition. We believe He has chance to win his category in Singapore.” Close to 120 athletes took part in the 2016/17 Czech national championships, sanctioned by MMAA, across 6 rounds of competition. Each competitor picked up ranking points along the way with the finals on July 2 being contested by the top 2 ranked athletes in each division. MMAA indicates that the featherweight contender has already accumulated an impressive wealth of competitive experience as he progresses from the national grass roots level to the international IMMAF platform with an impressive 23-5 record. Towards the opposite end of the scale, 31-year-old welterweight veteran David Velíšek returns to IMMAF championships having last competed at the 2016 European Open in Prague. In the bracket’s opening round he lost out to Austrian Shamil Muradov via a unanimous decision but has since achieved success back on home soil and is now the no.2 ranked competitor. “He is now coming better and ready,” Škvára added. “After 6 events of our national championships he is now ranked 2nd in his category and will go fight on to the finále for the amateur title when he returns from Singapore.” Velíšek will be joined in the welterweight bracket by 21 year-old Radek Dusil. The new blood of the team, Dusil has picked up 3 domestic championship wins since January. At 35 years of age Michal Novák will be among the Asian Open’s oldest competing athletes, competing in the middleweight division, and is the senior member of the Czech national team also serving as one of the national team coaches. The MMA President praised Novák’s commitments to developing Czech MMA on multiple levels; “Michal is a skilled coach,” he explained, “he has also completed our association referee course and has organized our national championship rounds. He trains a lot of Muay-Thai champions and new rising stars in MMA.” Additional coaches who have contributed the Czech national team include Petr Machacek and Filip Benda. The 2017 IMMAF Asian Open Championships in Singapore will be held in partnership with the UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation. The Championships form part of UFC Fight Night Singapore’s week long fan activities leading up to its highly anticipated live event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Saturday June 17 2017. The IMMAF Asian Open will take place from June 12 -16 at Marina Bay Sands hotel as IMMAF’s first championship in Asia supported by the UFC’s on-going commitment to developing MMA in the region. For live team developments and results visit MyNextMatch.com.