Promising UK trio go for gold at 2017 IMMAF Asian Open

Pictured above: 2017 European Open, Robson vs. Osmanov.

Next month the United Kingdom will be represented at the inaugural IMMAF Asian Open Championships in Singapore by the trio of Benjamin Charles Robson, Josh Neale and Raf Voza. The UK national amateur team will be bidding for gold in the lightweight, bantamweight and flyweight brackets, respectively. Each of the three competitors return having displayed promising efforts in their previous IMMAF championship campaigns.

21-year-old university student Benjamin Charles Robson (pictured above, left) returns as the freshest face of the UK team following his international debut at the 2017 European Open in Sofia, Bulgaria. A talented Brazilian jiu jitsu purple belt; Robson showcased his bread and butter in Sofia with a triangle choke submission of Norway’s Andreas Endrerud before losing out on the scorecards having gone with distance with pound-for-pound standout and number-1 ranked lightweight Ferdun Osmanov.

23-year-old Josh Neale (pictured below) returns as the most experienced of the three international veterans and is a 2016 world bronze medalist. In addition to his domestic experienced, Neale has taken on standout representatives of Norway, Sweden, the USA, Canada and New Zealand. After going 1-1 at the 2015 European Open Neale secured a bronze medal position for himself at the 2016 World Championships in Las Vegas, USA, submitting tough American Carlos Hernandez via arm-bar and besting Canada’s Jarrett Vornbrock by way of a unanimous decision. Neale was eventually eliminated in the semi-finals by New Zealand’s Brayden Graham who went on to secure the 2016 bantamweight world title.

Josh Neale

2016 IMMAF World Championships: Josh Neale alongside coaches Danny Mitchell (left) and John Maguire (right)

Following national level success Raf Voza (pictured below) stepped up to the IMMAF international platform for the 2016 World Championships. Voza advanced to the second round of the 2016 world bantamweight bracket with a first round rear-naked-choke submission win over South Africa’s Shaun Taylor before suffering defeat to Spain’s Sergio Hortelano Rodriguez via an arm-bar submission. The experience left Voza inspired and the 22-year-old has since dedicated himself to training overseas in Thailand and at the Carlson Gracie New Zealand Academy.


Raf Voza – Team UK

The 2017 IMMAF Asian Open Championships of Amateur MMA will take place from June 12 -16 at Marina Bay Sands hotel.

For live team developments and results visit

By lead writer and website manager, Jorden Curran

The post Promising UK trio go for gold at 2017 IMMAF Asian Open appeared first on IMMAF.

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