Oceania Title Win Confirms Potential of World Silver Medalist Olivia Ukmar

While the coronavirus (Covid-19) has forced the postponement of the 2020 IMMAF Africa Open and Pan American Open Championships, IMMAF’s 2020 events calendar kicked off with the Oceania Open successfully hosted earlier this month in Australia.

Taking place in Gold Coast from 6 – 8 March, Australia’s own Olivia Ukmar triumphed in the women’s strawweight division, and in doing so made the greatest statement of the event’s gold medalists. The biggest Oceania Open to date was mainly defined by its influx of top ranked athletes from around the world, the vast majority featuring in the women’s divisions.

28-year-old Ukmar featured in the most highly contested of the 2020 Oceania Open women’s tournaments. While number-2 ranked Nina Back was drawn as the competition’s top seed, a clear favorite to win this year’s title was hard to distinguish given the accolades of each contender:

Olivia Ukmar (Australia):
no.6 ranked strawweight
2019 world silver medalist.

Daria Samkick (Ukraine):
no. 5 ranked strawweight
2018 world gold medalist
2019 world bronze medalist

Nina Back (Sweden):
no. 2 ranked strawweight
2018 European silver medalist
2018 world silver medalist
2019 European silver medalist

Jenna Horto (Finland):
no.5 ranked atomweight
2018 European gold medalist
2018 world bronze medalist

2019 World Championships: Ukmar earned a unanimous decision win over former world gold medalist Daria Samchik

Ukmar was highly impressive in victory, first earning a second win over Ukraine’s Samchik, this time even more emphatically by securing a rear-naked-choke submission in the second round against the 2018 world champion. In the Oceania final, Ukmar scored a unanimous decision nod from the judges to best Sweden’s Nina Back and claim the continental title on home soil.

“I just look forward and get excited to be able to showcase my skills and hard work that my team and I put in, and with that I know the results will follow,” Ukmar commented.

Given the quality of opposition, earning the gold medal would have proved to be a major statement for any of the four strawweight standouts. Ukmar’s victory will no doubt further her confidence and leaves a significant mark on the division, showing her potential to go one step further to claim gold at the 2020 World Championships among top ranked opposition. The status of the world silver medalist is intact as a firm favourite for future titles, second only for now to Ukraine’s Anastasiya Svetkivska, the reigning world and European champion.

Main picture: Olivia Ukmar alongside, Australian MMA Federation president Richie Cranny.

By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

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