2018 World Championships gold medalist, Bagdat Zhubanysh (pictured) will be the figurehead of the Kazakh quartet. The 22-year-old IMMAF – WMMAA World and Asian Open men’s strawweight champion will be joined by current Kazakh national champions Darkhan Umirbekov and Alexander Val, plus Tynyshtbek Zhanibek, a national bronze medalist and newcomer to the national squad.
The Russian MMA Union recently issued global invitation to members of IMMAF – WMMAA to the annual International Cup. Team Kazakhstan, the world’s number-3 ranked nation under IMMAF-WMMAA, answers the call and takes the opportunity for an early taste of number-2 ranked Russia, with the 2019 World Championships slated for 11-16 November in Manama, Bahrain.
In a team statement, the Kazakhstan National Public Union of Mixed Martial Arts commented:
“First and foremost our guys will gain valuable amateur experience. This is a very prestigious international event which pits experienced athletes against each other, no way we can miss out on this challenge. We did not have any specific training camp for this tournament, but we still count on good results. We see Zhubanysh as the favorite to win in his weight division. Umirbekov can definitely challenge for the medals. The next stop after this trip to Russia for Zhubanysh, Umirbekov and Val will be Bahrain, so it’s great they can test their skills and psychological readiness now.”
By IMMAF.org lead writer, photographer: Jorden Curran]]>