A group of six 18-year-old athletes will be among the youngest competitors in action at the 2017 IMMAF European Open Championships, taking place from March 29 to April 2 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
These young up and comers have reached the IMMAF international platform where they compete alongside the world’s best amateur MMA standouts, gaining experience and setting themselves up as the top young prospects for the future.
The youngest of all will be Bahrain’s Maher Hamed, born on 13/3/1999, the IMMAF tournament newcomer turned 18 earlier this month. He will be joined by fellow newcomers Denislav Hadzhiev (Men’s Bantamweight) of the no.2 ranked Bulgarian national team, Germany’s Wladislaw Keilbach (Welterweight), Hungarian Nora Nagy (Women’s Lightweight) and the UK’s Brandon Elwell (Men’s Featherweight).
Northern Ireland’s Jack Corr (pictured above) features as the most promising of the 18-year-old hopefuls to date. The Ulster Batamweight made his competitive debut at the 2016 European Open in Prague, cornered by his Father and national team coach Danny Corr. Competing at his natural weight Corr bested Norwegian Dillan Muhammed via a Unanimous Decision before losing out in the next round of competition where he was submitted by Czech bronze medal winner Jan Vaclavek. Corr showcased his heart and determination with an inspiring never-say-day approach in the battle against his first amateur defeat. With youth on his side and years of experience yet to come, the future looks bright.
In addition, the 2017 European Open welcomes the return of defending champions Nikolay Nikolov (Welterweight) and Super-Heavyweight Atanas Krastanov. The Bulgarian duo will look to defend their titles on home soil having each won gold at the age of 19 when competing at the last year’s 2016 European Open.
For tournament brackets and live results visit MyNextMatch.com
By IMMAF.org lead writer and website manager, Jorden Curran