Team of The Year Nominee: Kazakhstan (2019 Amateur MMA Awards)

Regularly in action as one of the largest national teams on the IMMAF | WMMAA platform, Kazakhstan maintained consistency in 2019 as a continental leader with standout achievers on amateur MMA’s elite world stage.

Team Kazakhstan at the 2019 Asian Open Championships

Kazakhstan ended 2018 among the prominent medal winning nations of the World Championships, earning 4 bronze and 1 silver medal at the Junior Worlds, plus 3 bronze at the Senior World Championships in addition to one of the year’s star competitors, Bagdat Zhubanysh, who won gold in the men’s strawweight division.

The 23-year-old Zhubanysh (pictured below) completed his gold medal winning campaign with one of the most energetic and untouchable striking displays of the World Championships week.

In 2019, Kazakhstan took over at the Asian Open, taking place from 1-4 May in Bangkok, Thailand. The Kazakh national team excelled at the summit of the medal table earning 7 gold medals, 9 silver and 6 bronze.

The nation’s female talent stood out as the most decorated of the Asian Open, earning 3 silver medals with Talshyn Zhumatayeva (lightweight) and world championships medalist Ayan Tursyn (atomweight) both earning gold. Back in the men’s strawweight division, world champion Zhubanysh bagged submission wins to score the continental title.

Atomweight Asian Open gold medalist, Ayan Tursyn

Kazakhstan’s success at the Asian Open saw the nation reach number-one in the official world team rankings.

The most active team of the year were not done yet as they featured at the in Rome at the 2019 European Open where Jr. men’s featherweight gold medalist Anatoliy Zolotykh produced a sublime modified kneebar from his opponent’s back. Never before seen on the international amateur platform, and rare still at the professional level, 21-year-old Zolotykh’s completion of the hold echoed the style Zabit Magomedsharipov’s near identical submission in 2018 under the UFC banner. Zolotykh would also pull off a stunning head-kick KO later in the tournament.

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.

National Team of The Year nominations include:

• Russia
• Kazakhstan
• Ukraine
• Ireland

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

By lead writer: Jorden Curran

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