3 World Champions in Action at IMMAF-WMMAA Asian Open

The 2019 IMMAF-WMMAA Asian Open Championships kick off on May 1, the four-day international event is set to host 80 athletes from 13 national teams in Bangkok, Thailand, with an emphasis on providing a platform for amateur MMA talent from across Asia in addition to those from farther afield.

The unrivaled and unified talent pool under IMMAF-WMMAA draws from a vast international membership spanning years of evolution, and the high caliber talent of the Asian Open will be underlined by the event’s world class athletes, with three reigning amateur MMA world champions among those set to contest for the continental title as the next stop en route to the 2019 World Championships, the premier stage of Amateur MMA.

Bagdat Zhubanysh (Kazakhstan)

Perhaps the most complete amateur talent in the world right now, 22-year-old Bagdat Zhubanysh announced himself on the international stage at the 2018 Unified World Championships with a rounded skill set of speed, power and instinctive finesse that mesmerized not only those in attendance, but his opponents across the cage, with two first round stoppages via arm-bar and TKO, his gold medal campaign was complete with a flawless unanimous decision triumph in the men’s strawweight final.

Muhammad Mokaev (UK)

One of the UK’s most exciting amateur talents, 18-year-old Muhammad Mokaev dominated on the domestic circuit while only a teenager. Shortly after his 18th birthday, Mokaev entered the 2018 IMMAF-WMMAA Junior World Championships where his trademark wrestling base was unmatched, enabling him to relax and enjoy the opportunity for growth through amateur competition, at times experimenting with strikes and utilizing a variety of angles on his way to claiming the gold medal.

Pasha Kharkhachaev (Bahrain)

Russian national champion Grigoriy Ponomarev was an assumed favorite to win the super-heavyweight gold medal at last year’s IMMAF-WMMAA World Championships. Nobody was ready for Team Bahrain newcomer, 24-year-old Pasha Kharkhachaev, who produced a clean sweep trilogy of first round KO triumphs to snatch the title, including his shocking one-punch walkaway stoppage of Ponomarev, rendering his opponent unconscious in the championship final.

By IMMAF.org lead writer/photographer: Jorden Curran

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