Young athletes impress at 8th Youth MMA Championship in Dubai - GulfToday

Young athletes impress at 8th Youth MMA Championship in Dubai

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Participants in action during the eighth Youth MMA Championship in Dubai on Saturday.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

The eighth Youth MMA Championship took place on Saturday, at Shabab Al Ahli Club in Dubai, showcasing the impressive skills of athletes aged 12–17 from various clubs and academies across the UAE.

With dozens of male and female athletes participating, the event saw awe-inspiring performances by talents, signalling a promising future in the sport.

The day-long event, held just a month before the IMMAF Youth World Championships in Abu Dhabi, which will be hosted by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Federation next month, was more than a competition.

Featuring 74 bouts, it provided crucial preparation for young athletes, gearing them up for the international stage in August.

Mohammed Bin Dalmouk Al Dhaheri, Board Member of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Federation said: “The 8th Youth MMA Championship reflects the Federation’s commitment to promoting and developing the mixed martial arts and solidifying the UAE’s status as a leader in this sport both regionally and globally.

“We are dedicated to developing the skills of our young athletes and preparing them for future competitions, especially the IMMAF Youth World Championships, which Abu Dhabi is hosting for the third consecutive year, and will commence in four weeks”.

“This championship provides valuable experiences, allowing athletes to test their abilities and achieve physical and mental readiness in a competitive environment on part with international standards. Through these championships, we are laying the foundation for the next generation of champions who will represent the UAE in various regional and international championships.”

Mohammed Al Hosani, member of the Mixed Martial Arts Committee at the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Federation, added: “the 8th Youth MMA Championship is our third event in 2024. We had the first one in Al Ain, and now this is the second event held in Dubai, all in preparation for the IMMAF Youth World Championships.

“This edition of the championship saw a 27% increase in athlete participation, reflecting the growing interest in the sport. Today, we witnessed exceptional performances that demonstrate the commitment of athletes, coaches, and academies to developing skills and raising standards of the sport.”

Antonio Inacio, coach of Shabab Al Ahli club, added: “Our team members have prepared well for the Championship over the past few weeks. I am pleased with their performance and the way they have honed their skills and techniques.”

Ali Ibrahim Alblooshi of Sharjah Self-defence Sports Club, who won gold in the -67kg weight category, said: “Winning gold here is a great honour. It shows how hard I’ve trained and prepared. I focused on strong defence and seizing the right moments to perform the techniques. This championship boosted my confidence and provided valuable experience for future competitions.”

Saeed Ahmad of ADMA academy, who won gold in the -57kg category, said: “Winning gold means a lot to me. I’ve worked hard to improve and remain calm during fights. Today’s results show that all the effort I put in over the last few days paid off.”

The eighth edition of the Youth MMA Championship saw participation from some of the country’s most prominent clubs and academies, including ADMA, Shabab Al Ahli, Sharjah Self-Defence, Team Nogueira Dubai, Force Sports Academy, Dento Dojo, KBW MMA School, and Black Wolf Fitness & MMA, among others.

Afraa Al-Mutawa, a 15-year-old athlete at the Sharjah Self-Defense Sports Club who competed in the under-57 kg category, said: “Participating in this championship was a great opportunity for my team-mates and me to compete and gain the experience needed to excel in future competitions, especially the IMMAF Youth World Championships in Abu Dhabi.

“We are fortunate to have a federation that provides us with opportunities to develop in sports and represent the UAE in various platforms.”

The UAE Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Federation continues to promote and develop mixed martial arts in the country by investing in young talent and providing top platforms to develop their skills and careers.

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