Top European middleweight Rostem Akman reveals decision to turn pro

Two-time IMMAF European Open champion Rostem Akman has announced his decision to become a professional MMA competitor, the news was first reported by MMAViking.com. This year the Swedish standout solidified himself once again as Europe’s top Amateur Middleweight by retaining the IMMAF European Open title at the 2016 European Open Championships in Prague, Czech Republic. The 24-year-old revealed the decision through social media. Having left his gloves in the center of the cage following victory in this year’s European Open final, Akman explained that he will end his service to Sweden’s national amateur team, thanking team coach coach Jimmie Jensen, plus coaches Hans Ersson, Martin LavinSebastian Andersson and Rikard Lundby. The Fightzone Stockholm product told MMAViking.com that he hopes for a professional debut in March, but details are yet to be confirmed. Akman secured a quartet of victories at the 2015 European Open in Birmingham, UK, to earn his first taste of IMMAF Gold. Akman bested 2015 World Silver medalist James Duckett in the semi-finals before defeating Norway’s Marius Hakonsen to with the 185lb bracket. Akman returned to the podium at the 2016 IMMAF World Championships in Las Vegas, but was forced to settle for Bronze after a series of challenging wins over Marcus Plodek (Germany), Valeri Atanasov (Bulgaria) and James Sheehan (Ireland) were capped off by defeat in the semi-finals to New Zealand’s Byron Chivers who went on to claim the World Championship crown. Akman explained to MMAViking.com; “I did some pretty bad fights during the World Championships where I had some bad focus and I pretty much underestimated everyone. So I have been working mentally with getting the right focus and respecting my opponents more. “I feel that my Euro Championship went really good, really good focus and taking the initiative on all levels. I didn’t lose a single round throughout the entire championship.” At last month’s 2016 European Open Akman returned to top form with a run of well executed performances, seeing out each contest on his own terms to remain fresh throughout his 4 tournament bouts. Akman’s capable striking set up the openings for trademark takedowns and anvil-like top control from which opponents could not escape. After surpassing Italian Daniele Dell’otto via Unanimous Decision in his opening bout, Akman snatched a first round submission win over Iceland’s Bjorn Thorleifsson with a rear-naked-choke. The Swede then secured a second Unanimous Decision over the UK’s Tom Crosby to set up a rematch with Bulgarian finalist Atanasov who Akman originally beat on the scorecards in Las Vegas. Without losing a single round throughout the campaign, Akman won Gold at the European Open for a second time with a TKO victory against Atanasov in the final round. As an amateur under the IMMAF banner Akman fine tuned his abilities and built an 11-2 record over a 2-year period on IMMAF’s international platform, in addition to National Championship victories in Sweden. From his proud family roots in Kurdistan to recovery from injury and excessive weight gain, Akman’s pathway to becoming one of the world’s premier Amateur MMA fighters has been an inspiring of story; his friendly presence and powerful skill set has become a recognizable fixture at IMMAF championship events and we look forward to seeing his professional career flourish. By IMMAF.org lead writer and website manager, Jorden Curran

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