2017 European Open: Team Albania in focus

Federation: Albanian Free Fighting Federation
Number of
competitors: 2

Hailing from South-Eastern Europe, Albania is one of several Balkan states in the hunt for success at the 2017 IMMAF European Open Championships. Representing the nation in Sofia, Bulgaria, will be returning amateur veteran Ermal Hadribeaj (pictured above, right) alongside newcomer Florian Doskja who makes his debut on IMMAF’s international amateur platform in the Men’s Bantamweight division. The duo will be accompanied by AMMAF team coach Arjan Rizaj.

At the 2016 European Open in Prague, Hadribeaj advanced through the opening round of bouts in the Men’s Lightweight bracket, defeating Bahrain’s Abdulla Al Fayez with a Unanimous Decision victory. The top Albanian competitor was eventually eliminated via a Unanimous Decision by Germany’s Pascal Hintzen.

Hadribeaj’s Brother, Adrian ‘The Eagle’ Hadribeaj, competes at the professional level and is based out of Waterford, Michigan, in the USA. The Bellator MMA veteran is currently 5-1.

The Albanian Free Fighting Federation (AFFF) was established in 2014 and was the fiftieth member to join IMMAF. The sport of MMA has seen expediential growth in Albania thanks to the AFFF who are recognised as the national governing body by the Albanian Ministry of Sport. It is estimated that around 470 mixed martial arts practitioners compete at amateur level in Albania.

The 2017 IMMAF European Open Championships take place in Bulgaria’s capital city, Sofia, from 29 March to 2 April 2017 at the EFE Hotel Marinela.

Follow the results live at mynextmatch.com or on Twitter at @IMMAFed

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