Sweden’s Golden Trio Ready to Charge in Prague

Picture: 2016 IMMAF World Champions Gabriella Ringblom, Cornelia Holm and Irman Smajic. Sweden’s trio of IMMAF world amateur champions will each be in action at the 2016 IMMAF European Open Championships. The International Amateur MMA tournament will play out over 5 days from 22 to 26 November at the Arena of Sparta in Prague, Czech Republic, and marks IMMAF’s second European Open event with over 170 athletes from 30 nations registered to compete. BUY TICKETS: http://bit.ly/2fbYaJE The golden trio of Gabriella Ringblom, Cornelia Holm and Irman Smajic will feature among the lineup of 14 Swedish athletes, including defending European Open middleweight champion Rostem Akman who earned Gold with a series of dominating performances in 2015, plus 2015 World Championships Flyweight Silver medal winner Serdar Altas who earned Gold most recently at the 2016 Africa Open Championships in South Africa. The Swedish MMA Federation’s registered team was expected to feature the anticipated return of 2015 World and European Open Silver medallist Anja Saxmark, but the Flyweight competitor was forced to postpone her return due to injury. While Akman earned Gold at the 2015 European Open in the UK, Ringblom, Holm and Smajic were each forced to settle for Silver with defeat in the finals of their respective divisions, but the trio’s momentum later surged at the 2016 World Championships in Las Vegas. In the Women’s 125lb Flyweight division, Ringblom showcased wrestling prowess in addition to her signature boxing skills. Following her triumph at this year’s World Championships, Ringblom went on to earn Gold at the IMMAF Africa Open Championships in South Africa and solidified her place as the world’s no.1 ranked pound-for-pound fighter in IMMAF’s official amateur rankings where the Scandinavian nation also sits as the highest ranked national team.

2016 Flyweight world champion Ringblom (Blue) out strikes Silver medallist Osterberg (Red)
2016 Flyweight world champion Ringblom (Blue) out strikes Finnish Silver medallist Osterberg (Red) at the 2016 IMMAF World Championships
Having earned Silver at the inaugural European Open when competing  in the 145lb Featherweight division, Holm went on to compete as a 135lb bantamweight competitor for the 2016 Worlds, the result of which saw her reach the pinnacle of Amateur MMA as she threw down in the finals against Norwegian Camilla Mannes, securing a Unanimous Decision victory by separating the striking exchanges with takedowns at will.
Holm vs Mannes
World champion Holm (Blue) secured a second amateur victory over Norwegian Silver medallist Camilla Mannes (Red) at the 2016 IMMAF World Championships
Heavyweight amateur champion Irman Smajic succeeded in evolving across three IMMAF championship events. Following an early exit from the 2015 World Championships, Smajic took silver at the European Open with a loss in the finals at the hands of Bulgarian Daniel Galabarov. While the pair did not face off for a second time, the roaring Swede outlasted Galabarov at the 2016 Worlds and edged a split decision over heavy hitting Frenchman Alan Guichard. With both Smajic and Galabrov registered in the 2016 European Open Heavyweight brackett, we may yet witness the highly anticipated rematch.
Swedish heavyweight Irman Smajic showcased the best form of his amateur career to date at the 2016 IMMAF World Championships
By IMMAF.org lead writer and website manager, Jorden Curran    

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