Emirati fighters steal show at Youth MMA Championship in Abu Dhabi

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A winner of the fourth Youth MMA Championship with the officials during the presentation ceremony at the Mubadala Arena in Zayed Sports City.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Promising and young Mixed Martial Arts talent from the UAE continued to put on a brilliant show in the fourth Youth MMA Championship on Saturday at  Mubadala Arena in Zayed Sports City.

The championship, which saw as many as 40 Emirati youth taking to the octagon, is perceived to be the perfect precursor for the Youth MMA World Championship in August. 

The tournament featured fierce fights with a fight card of 30 bouts in a variety of weight divisions, in front of a boisterous crowd. The packed afternoon of competition was capped off with Saeed Al Hosani’s victory against Mansoor Alsayed in the 70.3kg class in the main event.

Abdel Moneim Al Hashemi, Chairman of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Federation, and Brigadier Mohammed Bin Dalmouj Al Dhaheri, board member of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation, Chairman of the Federation’s Mixed Martial Arts Committee and Senior Vice President of the Asian MMA Federation, were among the dignitaries who attended the competitions and honoured the winners.

Hashemi said the Youth MMA Championship solidifies Abu Dhabi’s status as one of the top destinations for combat sports.

“The large participation in Youth MMA Championship 4 demonstrates the presence of a talent pool that is capable of competing for the UAE national team and raising the nation’s flag on international podiums,” HE said.

“This is our fourth MMA event, and event after event, we notice a big improvement in our young fighters as they get more acquainted with the rules that they need to fight under and this is all in preparation for the World MMA Youth championship,” said Mohammed Al Hosani, a member of the Federation’s Mixed Martial Arts Committee.

“We have more than 40 Emiratis and another 20 Arabs. Hence, this competition could be regarded as an Arab or regional championship. It is crucial to make sure that our players have the opportunity to engage with top athletes from all over the world in order to provide them with the experience they need prior to competing in the World Championship,” Hosani added.

Ali Al Najjar, the UAE champion who competed in the Youth C 40 kg division, was crowned after winning the championship bout against competitor Rakan Al Yammahi. “Every athlete dreams of winning the first position, especially early in their careers. Securing the top spot would be a fantastic motivation for me to keep working out and get more experience. I’ll do everything I can to maintain this achievement,” he said.

Sultan Al Ghusain defeated Salim Al Shamsi in the decisive match to win the Youth A 65.8 kg division. “I see today’s accomplishment as a springboard for even greater successes as I get ready for the forthcoming World Championship in Abu Dhabi.”

Stephan Fox, President of Alliance of Independent Recognized Members of Sports (AIMS) and General Secretary of the International Federation of Muay Thai Associations (IFMA) and Vice President of World Muaythai Council, Mohamed Ibrahim, President of the Egyptian Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts  Federation, Faisal Zakaria, President of the Sudanese Muay Thai, Kickboxing and Mixed Martial Arts Federation, Tarek Al Muhairi, Executive Director of the UAE Muay Thai and Kickboxing Federation, Tariq Al-Bahri, Director of the Abu Dhabi Jiu-Jitsu Pro (AJP), Fouad Darwish Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Palms Sports, were also present at the event.

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