Welsh prospect Scott Pedersen among Team UK newcomers for 2017 IMMAF World Championships

With a total of 15 athletes selected and registered to compete in Bahrain, the UK is looking to dispatch one of the nation’s most extensive squads to date for the 2017 IMMAF World Championships in Manama, Bahrain.

The UK team has regularly featured a prominent Welsh contingent with the likes of Jack Shore winning gold at the 2015 European Open Championships, and most recently, Ben Robson taking silver at this year’s inaugural Asian Open Championships in Singapore.

20-year-old Welshman Scott Pedersen is among the new faces to have been selected by the UKMMAF national team. Despite entering as an unseeded newcomer, he will likely be among the standout challengers heading into the Men’s Lightweight bracket with a significant domestic background in both amateur MMA and as an IKF amateur kickboxing champion.

Having relocated to Swansea in order to commit to full time training as an amateur, Pedersen is a product of the renowned Chris Rees Academy, also home to 14-0 UFC contender Brett Johns.

Per Tapology.com Pedersen holds a 10-3 amateur record and notably remained undefeated throughout 2016 with a 6-0 streak of victories. Pedersen most recently solidified his status as one of the UK’s top amateur mixed martial artists in capturing the Cage Warriors North West championship with a decision victory over Team UK alumni and 2016 World Championships veteran Beau Gavin.

Pedersen’s first taste of international competition fell through as earlier this month he was scheduled to face Sweden’s Tobias Harila – the world’s number 2 ranked lightweight, 2017 IMMAF Asian Open gold medalist and European Open silver medalist.

However, at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships, the pair could potentially be facing off in the opening round of the 155lb division, if not later in the tournament. In the absence of world no.1 Ferdun Osmanov, Harila will enter the World Championships as the top seed.

Taking place at Khalifa Sports City Arena from 12 to 19 November, as part of Brave International Combat Week, the 2017 World Championships are anticipated to be the biggest event in the history of amateur MMA under IMMAF with more participants than ever before representing nations from all continents. 2017 marks the first year of the IMMAF Worlds taking place outside of Las Vegas, USA.

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McGregor photographer David Fogarty back in action at 2017 IMMAF World Championships

Above: 2016 IMMAF World Championships, Men’s flyweight podium from left to right – David Fogarty (Ireland, silver), Brayden Graham (New Zealand, gold), Fahad Abdulrazaq (Bahrain, bronze), Josh Neal (UK, bronze).

By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran

27-year-old David Fogarty will be putting down the camera and picking up the gloves as he returns to action at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships in November.

Throughout the summer the Irish amateur MMA standout accompanied Conor McGregor around the world, shooting for the TheMacLife.com as the UFC champion’s personnel photographer during his training camp and Mayweather vs. McGregor World Tour.

This November the 2016 World and European silver medalist returns to competition, representing the Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association (IMMAA) national amateur MMA team. For each international championships the IMMAA team brings together a selection of the nation’s top home grown prospects from registered gyms nationwide.

Fogarty is a familiar face in the Men’s flyweight division: the BJJ specialist is a veteran of top flight international amateur events under the IMMAF banner, first earning bronze at the 2015 European Open before progressing to feature among the Flyweight standouts at the 2016 World and 2016/2017 European Open Championships.

The SBG Charlestown product is 7-4 as an amateur with 5 submission stoppages to his name. In 2016 he was a double IMMAF silver medalist reaching the final of the Men’s 125lb bracket at the World Championships and European Open Championships, respectively. Fogarty is ranked third in the IMMAF Men’s flyweight world rankings.

The Irishman will be looking to bounce back after an early exit from the 2017 European Open in which he was eliminated via a judges’ decision by top Bahrain representative Hussain Ayyad-Abdulla. Fogarty had previously defeated Abdulla at the 2016 Worlds with an opening round rear-naked-choke submission.

Taking place at Khalifa Sports City Arena from 12 to 19 November, as part of Brave International Combat Week, the 2017 World Championships are anticipated to be the biggest event in the history of amateur MMA under IMMAF with more participants than ever before representing nations from all continents. 2017 marks the first year of the IMMAF Worlds taking place outside of Las Vegas, USA.

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IMMAF DOPING DECISION: 2016 AFRICA OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has found that Douw Eksteen (Gold Medalist in the 170lb division), committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation at the 2016 IMMAF Africa Open Championships in Johannesburg, last year.

Mr. Eksteen participated in a series of tournament matches to win the division gold medal. It was following his final bout on 3rd September 2016 that a no-notice, in-competition doping control test was carried out on Mr. Eksteen and analysed at a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory, Qatar, in accordance with the procedures set out in the WADA International Standard for Laboratories. The analysis revealed adverse findings for the presence of the following Prohibited Substance:

Exogenous Anabolic Androgenic Steroid:
STANOZOLOL and its metabolite 3’OH-stanozolol, 4BOH-stanzolol, 16BOH-stanozolol,
classified as prohibited on the 2016 Prohibited List of Substances and Methods

Mr. Eksteen has not made IMMAF aware that he has, nor has he ever held, a Therapeutic Use
Exemption in respect of this substance.

On 1st February 2017, IMMAF issued a ‘Notification of an Adverse Analytical Finding’, relating to the commission of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation pursuant to Article 2.1 of IMMAF’s Anti-Doping Rule (Presence of Prohibited Substances). The Notification explained the facts concluding the adverse findings in the A Sample, procedures for analysis of the B Sample should these findings be disputed and consequences for admission or confirmation of an ADRV. Mr. Eksteen was provisionally suspended from all competition from 1st February 2016. Mr. Eksteen failed to respond to IMMAF’s notice. Failure to respond means that Mr. Eksteen is deemed to have accepted the result of his A Sample finding and waived the B Sample analysis, thus admitting an Anti-Doping Rule Violation.

As result, a period of 4 years’ ineligibility has been imposed upon the athlete (until midnight on 2nd September 2020). Results obtained by Mr. Eksteen at the 2016 All Africa Championship are disqualified, resulting in the forfeiture of his gold medal. No appeal has been filed against this decision.

IMMAF CEO Densign White said:

“IMMAF continues to take the matter of doping very seriously, albeit without support or recognition from the World Anti-Doping Agency. This is because sporting integrity is a core value of IMMAF’s: Sport competition relies on fair play.  Equally importantly, in contact sports any illegal advantage through doping can crucially impact on the health and safety of opponents. We therefore take a zero-tolerance approach to drug misuse.”

See IMMAF’s WADA compliant Anti-doping Rules

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Pound-for-pound king Smajic back to defend IMMAF world title

By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran

Sweden’s Irman Smajic will return to the heavyweight bracket to defend his world title at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships in Manama, Bahrain.

Taking place at Khalifa Sports City Arena from 12 to 19 November, as part of Brave International Combat Week, the 2017 World Championships are anticipated to be the biggest event in the history of amateur MMA under IMMAF with more participants than ever before representing nations from all continents. 2017 marks the first year of the IMMAF Worlds taking place outside of Las Vegas, USA.

For the ‘Bosnian Bomber’ his list of amateur accomplishments continues to expand: a two-time European Open silver medalist (2015, 2016), the 2016 World Championships gold medalist, 2017 European Open gold medalist and most recently he took gold at the 2017 Asian Open in Singapore to extend his lead as the world’s number-one ranked amateur in the IMMAF pound-for-pound rankings.

For the 2017 European Open in Sofia, Bulgaria, Smajic stepped up to the 265lb+ super-heavyweight division where he achieved the gold medal, swiftly finishing Austrian Damian Visenjak via TKO in the opening round before progressing to avenge an early career loss to Marcin Kalata, defeating the Polish veteran via submission. After a strong first round performance in the final against the giant defending champion Atanas Krastanov, Smajic claimed the gold medal after the Bulgarian suffered a shoulder injury that forced a second round TKO stoppage.

For this year’s World Championships Smajic is back in the -265lb bracket to defend his world title. With an amateur record of 13-4, Smajic has 11 victories competing on the international IMMAF platform, including 3 submissions and 6 knockouts. His fastest victory to date came in the 2016 European Open semi-finals with a thunderous KO strike that sent Irishman Ryan Spillane to the canvas in just 16 seconds of the opening round.

Smajic has the opportunity to make history with only 2 athletes having successfully defended the IMMAF world title, each representing the USA: Men’s bantamweight trailblazer Jose Torres earned the gold medal in 2014 and retained the crown in 2015 followed by Will Starks winning the welterweight crown in 2015 and retaining in 2016.

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VOLUNTEERS OPPORTUNITY FOR IMMAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

VOLUNTEERS OPPORTUNITY FOR 2017 IMMAF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Bahrain – November 12 – 19 2017

IMMAF is pleased to announce once-in-a-lifetime volunteer opportunities available for the 2017 IMMAF World Championships (of Amateur MMA) at Brave International Combat Week, to be held in Bahrain between November 12 and 19 2017.

IMMAF volunteers

Volunteers form an integral part of all IMMAF Championship events

There are various positions within the event to which suitable volunteers may apply including, but not limited to:
– Inspectors (commissioners)* *training course and certification included
– Sports team
– Admin team
– Medals ceremony team
– General event duties

Volunteer’s package includes:

– Tickets to Brave 9 (MMA event held on 17th November)
– City tour of Manama on Friday 18th November *details to be finalised
– Limited edition bespoke event t-shirt
– Goody bag
– Certificate of Participation
– Meals provided

IMMAF VolunteerIf you are interested in travelling to Bahrain and being a part of IMMAF’s flagship, week-long MMA tournament alongside national teams and participants from around the globe, apply to volunteers@immaf.org with an up to date CV and supporting cover note by Monday 2 October 2017.

IMMAF will then follow up with further instructions and details regarding your volunteer
application.

Please note, Volunteers must be prepared to cover their own costs (including travel and accommodation).

For more information about the 2017 IMMAF World Championships go to: http://www.immaf.org/championships/2017-immaf-world-championships/

Volunteers form part of the presentation team for the Medals Ceremony

 

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