It was a prominent weekend for IMMAF alumni; 9 international bouts took place between Copenhagen, Dublin and Manchester.
While several standouts continued in their professional careers, current amateur standout Muhammad Mokaev extended his profound dominance to a record of 17-0. The 19-year-old, who will represent England at the 2019 IMMAF World Championships in November, broadened his notoriety with a mauling over 25-year-old Mikey Boden, forcing a second round TKO.
The reigning IMMAF – WMMAA junior world champion will next seek to retain his bantamweight crown as the 2019 Junior and Senior World Championships play out concurrently in Bahrain from November 10-16. Mokaev commented online, “Thank you for your support guys! I will be flying out to Bahrain in couple of weeks for the World IMMAF Championships representing country that gave me a lot of support from 2012.”
Meanwhile, Welshman Jack Shore triumphed in his much anticipated UFC debut, at UFC Fight Night in Copenhagen, Denmark. The undefeated, former Cage Warriors champion and 2015 IMMAF European Open gold medalist, now at 12-0, pulled off a third round rear-naked-choke to submit Nohelin Hernandez, a product of the renowned AKA gym in California.
It was disappointment for 2014 IMMAF world champion, Alessio Di Chirico. The Italian suffered a unanimous decision loss to Makhmud Muradov under the UFC banner. The bout marked Di Chirico’s 7th UFC outing.
Former world champions, medalists and graduates of the IMMAA Republic of Ireland national team, alongside Northern Ireland’s Leah McCourt, kicked off the weekend’s action on Friday in Dublin where each would soar to victory at Bellator 227.
Former European Open bronze medalist, Ciaran Clarke made a successful professional debut with a rear-naked-choke-submission over Northern Ireland’s George Courtney.
Likewise, 2017 world silver medalist Danni Neilan completed her own pro debut with a unanimous decision win over Sweden’s Camila Rivarola.
Former IMMAF world gold medalists, Frans Mlambo (2015) Leah McCourt (2016) each continued their professional tenures. Mlambo extended to 8-4 as a professional with a unanimous decision over highly touted Englishman Dominique Wooding. The blossoming professional prominence of McCourt saw her move to 3-1 with a third successive victory, submitting Britain’s Kerry Hughes with a rear-naked-choke.
Former World Championships and European Open competitor, Kiefer Crosbie climbed to 7-1 as he continues to show promising development, he took a unanimous decision over Portugal’s Hugo Pereira. In addition, IMMAA youth team coach Philip Mulpeter also featured as “The Honeybadger” moved to 10-6 with a split-decision over countryman Keith McCabe.
The event was capped off by 2015 World Championships veteran James Gallagher. The 22-year-old brought the roaring Irish crowd to its feet one final time with a career highlight guillotine choke submission at just 35 seconds into the opening round, countering the takedown of USA man Roman Salazar.
Collectively, the aforementioned standouts have blazed a trail for future generations of competitors, with the likes of Shore, Clarke and McCourt crediting their professional successes to education and time served as active competitors, culminating with experience on the international IMMAF platform, the premier proving ground of amateur MMA.
By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran