Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Mahboob Khan Mohammed (2019 Amateur MMA Awards)

Mahboob Khan Mohammed made history for India in the 2018 – 2019 year, achieving the nation’s first ever World Championships gold medal.

At the age of 20, he joined Team India in Bahrain at the 2018 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships, competing in the junior men’s strawweight division, exclusively for athletes age 18-20.

Making his debut on the international amateur platform, Mahboob was no doubt considered as an underdog in the division with standouts from decorated nations Kazakhstan and Bulgaria starting as strong favorites to contest the gold medal.

Mahboob dispelled any such notion without delay, against Kazakhstan’s Yerlun Kabdulov, taking just 76 seconds to eliminate one of the division favorites with a first round guillotine choke submission.

All preconceived expectations for the junior strawweight podium were turned upside down at the semi-final stage. Mahboob had booked his place in the final while home grown Bahrain product Ebrahim Darwish produced a unanimous decision triumph over Bulgaria’s Radostin Angelov.

Both Mahboob had Darwish had showcased the potential of their nation’s young talent, battling against nations already proven as exporters of elite medal winners.

Victory in sight as Mahboob delivers a knockout blow

“The Pride of India” took his moment on the day of the World Championships finals, once again finishing his opponent in the opening round. Shortly following the 90 second mark, a step-in left hook created the opening for Mahboob to follow with an overhand right knocking Darwish to the canvas for a KO stoppage (pictured above).

Upon returning home to India’s Telangana region, Mahboob and coach Shaik Khalid were welcomed back with a street rally and celebration among the local population.

Crowds gathered to welcome back India’s world champion

Having emerged as a truly pioneering talent for MMA in India, challenging expectations and achieving emphatic success, Mahboob subsequently becomes India’s first athlete nominated for the International Amateur MMA Awards.

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.

Junior Athlete of The Year nominations include:

  • Muhammad Mokaev (UK)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 European Open: gold

  • Shamsutdin Makhmudov (Russia)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 European Open: gold

  • Reo Yamaguchi (Japan)
    2018 World Championships: silver
    2019 European Open: silver

  • Megan Morris (UK)
    2018 World Championships: gold

  • Mahboob Khan Mohammed (India)
    2018 World Championships: gold

For more information on award categories and nominates, click HERE.

By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

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