By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran
IMMAF championships veteran Mohammed Abbas Khan (pictured above) recently extended his combat sport resume with the acquisition of a bronze medal at the 2017 Sambo World Championships in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
The multi-sport athlete utilized his amateur boxing background to clinch the achievement as he secured a thrilling knockout stoppage along the way.
One sport lends to another: Khan’s roots in combat sport began with amateur boxing in his native country of Pakistan. Upon taking up mixed martial arts and showing potential on the IMMAF platform, the 25-year-old relocated to the Kingdom of Bahrain to train with the nation’s KHK stable.
While also maintaining his commitment to boxing, it was at KHK MMA where Khan was introduced to the sport of Sambo by Eldar Eldarov: a professional MMA competitor and Bahrain’s national amateur MMA team coach. From its beginnings in the 1920s, Combat Sambo was developed for and is the official martial art of the Russian military.
Coach Eldarov himself competes actively as a professional mixed martial artist. With a record of 9-1 and an impressive 8 stoppages to his name, his only loss came in 2008 to undefeated UFC contender Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“IMMAF gives amateur athletes the right opportunity and exposure to initiate into the world of mixed martial arts,” Khan stated. He is a veteran of the IMMAF World and European Open Championships and accomplished his first medal in amateur mixed martial arts in June of 2017, picking up bronze at the inaugural Asian Open in Singapore. In 2017, Bahrain citizenship enabled him to represent the nation in Singapore and at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships in Manama, Bahrain.
The amateur welterweight competitor added: “With each [IMMAF] event the level of knowledge and exposure an athlete receives is immense. the Kingdom of Bahrain hosted the largest World Championships to date, this was an experience that I cannot forget.”
In addition to his mixed martial arts journey, Khan remains passionate towards learning multiple disciplines in order to evolve as true martial artist.
“I am committed to learning and diversify my skill set before I embark on my professional career. Learning under coach Eldar was an amazing experience. Combat Sambo indeed improves takedown skills as well as strength. I hope to be back soon at the next competition to showcase the latest skill set.”
To date, his amateur achievements include:
Muay Thai Record
All Pakistan boxing championship
2 time gold medalist
IMMAF Asian Open 2017
Combat Sambo World Championship 2017
Khan is among the countless examples of athletes within MMA who show that, from the grass roots to professional level, martial artists will forever embrace branching out into new realms of experience and competition.