Above: Lee Hammond (left) and Ferdun Osmanov (right) in the 2016 European Open lightweight final. By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran The Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association (IMMAA) has confirmed that top lightweight prospect Lee Hammond is to withdraw from Ireland’s national amateur team and the 2017 IMMAF World Championships due to an injury sustained while training in Portugal. The SBG Ireland product was set to enter the 2017 World Championships in Bahrain as the number 2 seed in the Men’s lightweight division. However, the 21-year-old revealed over the weekend that he had sustained a ruptured bowel and is now looking to make a swift recovery having undergone surgery. Shortly after IMMAA notified IMMAF of Hammond’s impending withdrawal. Best known for his BJJ talents, Hammond’s development as an amateur mixed martial artist has been evident through his growing success on the international IMMAF platform. The Irishman reached the final of the 2016 European Open Championships and earned the silver medal having achieved bronze in his international debut the previous year. For Ireland, the 2017 World Championships were anticipated to be the stage for Hammond’s gold medal breakthrough. He is expected to be replaced in the Men’s lightweight bracket by SBG team mate Ciaran Clarke: 2016 World Championships veteran and quarter-finalist of the 2017 European Open. IMMAF wishes Lee a healthy recovery and looks forward to seeing him back in action. Taking place at Khalifa Sports City Arena from 12 to 19 November, as part of Brave International Combat Week, the 2017 IMMAF World Championships are anticipated to be the biggest event in the history of amateur MMA under IMMAF with more participants than ever before representing nations from all continents. For live updates and more information on national teams visit MyNextMatch.com.