Senior Female Athlete of The Year Nominee: Alish Smith (2019 Amateur MMA Awards)

It has not been an easy journey for Australia’s Alish Smith, yet her undeterred dedication in the face of frustrating results has seen the young contender remain a prominent fixture at the international level and in 2019 the 23-year-old picked up her first international accolades on the IMMAF platform.

Representing the Aussie national team, Smith has been a consistent supporter of IMMAF championships since 2017 and remains committed to seeking out competition at the elite amateur level. Having been stopped only once, way back in 2017 by Swedish world silver medalist Anja Saxmark, subsequent mixed results do not tell her full story with the striking specialist consistently going the distance against standout medal winners, time and again battling with heart and talent yet coming up short on the scorecards.

On Day 2 of the 2018 World Championships, a knockout win over Ukraine’s Olga Volkova showed the potential of Smith’s striking and power of a well timed counter shot.

Despite facing elimination in the World Championships quarter-finals, Smith would go on to bounce back and turn heads as she hit the ground running in 2019, picking up gold at both the Oceania Open and Asia Open championships, besting Australia’s Jacinta Austin and China’s Huihua Ni in respective finals, taking her progression even further with exciting displays of counter grappling and control on the ground which contributed greatly the breakthrough performances that saw her take to the podium and climb the world rankings.

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

Senior Female Athlete of The Year nominations include:

Nina Back (Sweden)
2018 World Championships: silver
2019 European Open: silver

• Alish Smith (Australia)
2019 Oceania Open: gold
2019 Asian Open: gold

 Gase Sanita (New Zealand)
2018 World Championships: gold

• Alexandra Kovacs (Hungary)
2018 World Championships: gold

By lead writer: Jorden Curran

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