USA and Australia to compete at IMMAF Africa Open for the first time

Pictured above: Romeo Orosco will debut for the USA at the 2018 IMMAF Africa Open Championships

By lead writer, Jorden Curran

This year’s IMMAF Africa Open Championships are on track to be the biggest to date when the event returns to the Brakpan Sports Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 24 to 26 May.

Competitors from the USA and Australia will join the diverse international lineup of competitors as the respective national teams dispatch athletes to the Africa Open for the first time since its inception in 2016.

Last month the inaugural IMMAF Oceania Open was hosted by Australia in the city on Melbourne, taking place at the Arnold Sports Festival. In the middleweight bracket, Australia’s own Joseph Luciano (pictured below) claimed the gold medal and elevated himself to the number-2 position in the IMMAF middleweight world rankings. The 2017 World Championships quarter-finalist looks continue his 2018 momentum when he targets the Africa Open title.

Luciano will be joined by Cody Barnwell, who picked up a bronze medal at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships at welterweight, plus Men’s bantamweight challenger Jean Alexander Romano who made his international amateur debut at the Oceania Open in March.

Meanwhile, the USA national team secured its first title on the 2018 IMMAF circuit, also at the Oceania Open, where Darian Weeks earned the gold medal in the welterweight division. At the Africa Open, Men’s flyweight competitor Romeo Orosco will represent the USA for the first time on the IMMAF platform after winning the USA MMA Federation’s 2018 UMMAF national championship.

Snatching a TKO victory in just 49 seconds at the UMMAF Nationals last month, the undefeated Orosco (4-0 on the U.S. circuit) stopped Trevor Barnes, an amateur veteran of close to 20 bouts, to book his place in the national team.

The registration deadline for athletes wishing to compete at the 2018 IMMAF Africa Open Championships is on Monday, 30 April.

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