Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Shamsutdin Makhmudov (2019 Amateur MMA Awards)

The pound-for-pound number-two ranked junior athlete,Shamsutdin Makhmudov dispatched of all comers in 2018 – 2019 to become both World and European champion.

Russia’s junior heavyweight champion entered the international amateur platform at the 2018 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships and tore his path to the final with with a guillotine choke submission over Kazakhstan.

Makhmudov first met Ireland’s Trevor Makengo at last year’s World Championships finals. After the Irishman asserted himself in the opening round with successful striking and a triangle choke attempt, Makhmudov finished the round on top with a sign of how the tables would turn.

Makhmudov stepped up a gear and rallied to overwhelm the tiring Makengo. The Russian’s smothering control drained the will from his rival resulting in the TKO stoppage at little more than 60 seconds in to round 2.

Makhmudov and Makengo would meet for a second time, in 2019 at the European Open Championships in Rome. Makhmudov expanded his success against Irish rivals with an almost bullying performance that saw Makengo’s national teammate Brian Draper controlled against the fence and bloodied with strikes until the referee stepped in.

The European Open junior heavyweight final produced the rematch between Makhmudov and Makengo. While Makengo had announced his place in the final with a strong unanimous decision showing against Poland’s Błażej Romanowski, Makhmudov momentum could not be halted.

Makhmudov wasted no energy in snatching away the European title from the 2018 champion, Makengo. This time, Makhmudov steamrolled his top rival in the opening round to secure a rear-naked-choke submission before crawling back to his corner, like a feasting bear.


Picture: Makhmudov crawls back to his corner after a first round submission win over Makengo.

Standing 5-feet-11-inches, Makhmudov is far from the tallest of heavyweights, but at just age 20 had shown the capacity to effectively use his size, endure difficulty and rebound with vengeance. At the 2019 European open, he gave no quarter, showcasing stamina and focus serving his strength to control opposition at will and just keep on hammering.

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

Junior Athlete of The Year nominations include:

  • Muhammad Mokaev (UK)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 European Open: gold

  • Shamsutdin Makhmudov (Russia)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 European Open: gold

  • Reo Yamaguchi (Japan)
    2018 World Championships: silver
    2019 European Open: silver

  • Megan Morris (UK)
    2018 World Championships: gold

  • Mahboob Khan Mohammed (India)
    2018 World Championships: gold

For more information on award categories and nominates, click HERE.

By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

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