IMMAF World Championships gold medalist and Team New Zealand Olympic hopeful Michelle Montague is looking like the next big thing in women’s MMA.
The 26-year-old emerged as a powerhouse on the IMMAF – WMMAA international amateur platform, cruising to gold medals at both the Oceania Open and World Championships of Amateur MMA in 2019. Montague’s immense physical presence is underpinned by tremendous execution and calculation, her hunched stance cuts a daunting figure opposite rivals.
96 women competed across 10 divisions at the 2019 IMMAF World Championships as the platform leads the way in women’s participation at the elite amateur level. Through Montague, New Zealand retained its dominance of the senior women’s lightweight division. Both Montague and fellow Kiwi Mel Webster met in the -155lb tournament final on November 16 in Bahrain. Montague’s crushing ground game forced yet another first round stoppage, on this occasion via an arm-bar submission as she follows in the footsteps of Gase Sanita who ruled over the same division for their country in 2017 and 2018.
Victory over Webster was Montague’s third triumph of the week at the 2019 World Championships, first stopping Russia’s Olga Rasina via TKO in the quarter-finals before finishing Sweden’s Sandra Meneses with a guillotine choke in the semis.
While the former rugby player continues on her MMA journey, she also aims to qualify for the New Zealand Olympic Freestyle Wrestling team set for Tokyo 2020. Montague visted the Sky Sport NZ studio to discuss her IMMAF World Championships victory:
The 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships take place from 6-8 March in Australia at the Gold Coast Recreation Centre, Palm Beach.
By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran