·UKMMAF NATIONAL CHAMPIONS AKONNE WANLISS & JOE MILLWARD EYE MEDALS
· MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION WATCH OUT!
CLICK TO BUY TICKETS UK National MMA champion, Akonne Wanliss (24) is expected to achieve highly at the upcoming IMMAF European Open Championships of Amateur MMA, in Prague, Czech Republic this month. Born in Jamaica and raised in Wolverhampton, the Birmingham UTC competitor comes with a background in kickboxing and professional break-dance, prior to turning to MMA at 21. Wanliss championed at the BAMMA-UKMMAF National Amateur MMA Championships at the Body Power Expo in Birmingham in May. He achieved a gold medal in the Welterweight category following a four-round robin tournament via 3 stoppages, 2 in the first round and 1 in the second. Wanliss went on to reach the semi-finals of the 2016 IMMAF World Championships at UFC International Fight Week in Las Vegas in July, to be defeated by Irish Bronze medallist Cian Cowley. Joe Millward is the BAMMA-UKMMAF National Amateur Middleweight champion based on a 3-round robin tournament that saw him achieve a round 1, RNC victory at 1:28. He earned a default victory in his second match. He has also won Amateur MMA Middleweight championships for Made4theCage and Rise and Conquer. Millward will be making his IMMAF debut at the 2016 European Open as a Light Heavyweight. Team UK’s most accoladed athletes are perhaps Tom Crosby and George McManus, who can be expected to cause some serious upsets in the Men’s Middleweight division (see details of awards below). Tom Crosby previously fought at the 2016 IMMAF World Championships, losing to ultimate silver medallist Dallas Jennings on decision. Other title winners on the team are PK Zadeh (BCMMA Amateur Featherweight champion) and Kierandip (Kiru) Singh Sahota (Fightstar, Machine MMA and TMC Bantamweight British MMA champion.) See below for biographical information for the full team representing the UK at the 2016 IMMAF European Open Championships, under the auspices of the United Kingdom Mixed Martial Arts Federation (UKMMAF). IMMAF’s national team vs national team event takes place from 22 to 26 November at Prague’s Arena of Sparta and is set to feature 180 competitors from 30 countries worldwide. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for interviews or for further Team UK information. For more information about the 2016 IMMAF European Open visit www.immaf.org TEAM UK – BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION *as supplied by competitors via UKMMAF Name: Joanne Doyle Weight class: Women’s Featherweight Age: 29 Hometown: Bradford Occupation: Emergency services Amateur MMA record: 1-0 Titles/ medals: BJJ gold medals Fight style: grappler Comment: “It’s difficult to get matched as a female so I want to test myself against the best in Europe.” Name: Jack Antony Flanagan Weight class: Bantamweight Age: 20 Hometown: Doncaster Occupation: Anaerobic Digestion Plant Operative Amateur MMA Record: 1-1 Style: mixed Previous sports experience: football, taekwondo, boxing, Comment: “The reason I am wanting to compete in the IMMAF European Championships is that it is an amazing opportunity not just to represent my country but also to progress with my amateur career and gain more experience.” Name: Joshua Jay Mottram Weight class: Bantamweight Age: 21 Hometown: Blackwell Occupation: Barber Amateur MMA record: 6-3 Medals/ titles: GPUK title, 2 UMA NoGi silver medals Fightstyle: MMA Previous sports experience: javelin, athletics, football Comment: “I entered the team trials because I was confident I could get in. I’m equally confident that I have the ability to bring back a gold.” Name: Kierandip (Kiru) Singh Sahota Weight class: Featherweight Age: 21 Designer Record: 7-2-0 Titles/ medals: Fightstar Championship Bantamweight MMA British Title Fightstar Championship Flyweight British K1 Title TMC Bantamweight MMA Title Machine MMA Bantamweight Title Style: All round MMA Previous sports experience: K1, kick-boxing and Thai boxing. Comment: “I’d Like to compete in the IMMAF European Championships because I want to fight against the highest competition from around the world, beat them and win a gold medal. That’s the plan.” Name: Jack Culshaw Weight class: Featherweight Age: 19 Hometown: South Kirkby Amateur MMA record: 2-1 Fight style: freestyle Previous sports experience: K1 (2-0), ABA boxing (2-1) Comment: “I want to improve my skills and get as much experience at amateur against the best opponents. It’s a really big opportunity for me.” Name: PK Zadeh (Paymahn Khleghi) Weight class: Lightweight Age: 24 Hometown: London Occupation: Student Amateur MMA record: 6-0 Titles/ medals: BCMMA Amateur Featherweight Champion Fight style: boxing, wrestling Previous sports experience: County level football Comment: “Experience is very important in combat sports. I’d rather prolong my amateur career and be extremely prepared for professional, where I feel it isn’t necessarily about the amount of fights you have, but what you do in them. The IMMAF offers a safe, regulated platform against each country’s top representatives, which seems more beneficial for my career than fighting in the middle of nowhere in front of 24 people.” Other comment: “I don’t let my successes or failures in MMA define or dictate who I am as a person.” Name: Milad Ahady Weight class: Lightweight Amateur MMA record: 8-4 Biographical information pending Name: Alex Elsey Weight class: Welterweight Age: 22 Hometown: Cambridge Gym: Tsunami Occupation: Coach, University of Leeds graduate Amateur MMA record: 2-1 Titles/ medals: Medalist at English Open No Gi and Rolling Thunder Fight style: Freestyle, adaptable Previous sports experience: rugby, tennis Comment: “I want to compete in the IMMAF European Championships because it provides the chance to test yourself against high level international competition. The fact that you get potentially five fights in one week is a great opportunity to gain a wealth of experience in a condensed time frame. The tournament also offers an exciting level of exposure.” Other information: Started training at the age of 17 Names: Akonne Wanliss Age: 24 Hometown: Birmingham Amateur MMA record: 8 – 1 Titles/ medals: UKMMAF-BAMMA National National Amateur MMA Champion Occupation: climbing trees, backflipping off walls, eating Jaffa cakes, being a ninja. Comment: “I want to test myself day-in, day-out so what better way than to fight in this tournament. It will be a fun and testing experience that I will value.” Other information: Follow my journey to J3DI Master on – Instagram: J3DIAkes Twitter: J3DIAkes Facebook: J3DIAkes YouTube: J3DIAkes Snapchat: akespicys Name: Tom Crosby Weight class: Middleweight Age: 28 Hometown: Leeds, Wakefield Gym: AVT Occupation: Full time family man, childminder and fighter. Former security/ doorman. Played rugby in Australia before taking up MMA. Amateur fight record: 12 wins, 5 losses Titles/ medals: 2013 UK National MMA Open LHW champion 2013 North East Sub Series gold medallist 2014 British Sub League BJJ white belt gold 2014 WFMC MMA, grappling and light continous kickboxing world champion 2014 World Martial Arts Games blue belt BJJ and under belts light continuous champion 2014 Grapple Nation NoGi gold 2014 Sub Zero NoGi U2 yrs sub only gold 2014 MAFGB grappling champion 2014 ISKA MMA British champion 2015 World Martial Arts Games MMA, grappling, points kickboxing and light continuous champion 2015 Combat Challenge MMA Welterweight champion 2016 WFMC MMA and grappling world champion 2013 AVT Newcomer and Amateur Fighter of the Year 2014 AVT Grappler of the Year with 54 competitive grappling wins Fight style: MMA Previous sports experience: Ex rugby league player (Castleford Tigers senior academy, Hunslet Hawks and Southport Tigers on the Gold Coast in Australia.) As a teenager played for Oulton Raiders, Middleton Maurauders and Hunslet Warriors. Also, I played for Hunslet Warriors as final club as an adult before quitting rugby to take up MMA. Comment: “I want to represent the UK at an Amateur level to the highest standard before turning professional.” Name: George Seamus McManus Weight class: Middleweight Age: 18 Hometown: Leicester Occupation: Gym Manager Amateur MMA record: 4-1-0 (with headshots), 5-2-0 (Junior – without headshots) Titles/ medals/ belts: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blue Belt Jnr British MMA Title British BJJ Gi & NoGi Gold Medallist European BJJ Silver Medalist NAGA European Jnr Champion NAGA London Gold & Silver Medalist Golden Ticket Fight Promotions Welterweight Champion Nottingham Open Gold Medallist Blackpool Open Double Gold Medallist Member of Gracie Barra Elite Squad (Notts). Fight style: BJJ, grappling. Previous sports experience: rugby, Brazilian jiu jitsu Comment: “I want to compete at the highest level in the sport that I love.” Other information: “My brother (Josh McManus) competed in the first IMMAF Amateur World Championships in Las Vegas in 2014 when he was 19 and won a Silver Medal.” Name: Joe Millward Weight class: Light Heavyweight Age: 23 Hometown: South Shields Gym: Fighting Fit Amateur MMA record: 7-1-1 Titles/ medals: BAMMA UKMMAF National Amateur Middleweight champion Made4TheCage Amateur Middleweight champion Rise and Conquer Amateur Middleweight champion Fight style: Aggressive Comment: “I want to compete under the IMMAF as I want to medal and get as much publicity and attention as possible as I end my amateur career to begin my pro career as someone who is already known. I am already making a dent in the middleweight division in my first year of competing and following just 2 years training. I have fought everyone I can that is ranked and have offered to fight all the top ranked Amateurs. The ones who have accepted I have beaten. Hopefully I can follow this through into my pro career, quick as lightening .” Other comment: “My only loss was before I actually ever trained in MMA. I was young and daft and jumped into match too soon.” Name: Navid Rostaie Weight class: Light Heavyweight Age: 26 Hometown: South Shields Occupation: Self Employed Amateur MMA record: 9-1 Fight style: MMA Previous sports experience: kickboxing