India and Mexico jump on Oceania Open opportunity

Both India and Mexico will be among the international pool of nations making the long trip to compete at the inaugural IMMAF Oceania Open Championships in Melbourne, Australia, in collaboration with the Arnold Sports Festival from 16-18 March.

Both nations capped off 2017 with promising results and historic breakthroughs. At the IMMAF World Championships in November, the All India Mixed Martial Arts Association nominated a sizeable team of 11 athletes, their biggest to date, and introduced Female athletes to the national team for the first time. 18-year-old Flyweight Nishigandha Rao secured the groundbreaking triumph as the first woman to earn victory for India on the IMMAF world platform, she clinched a split-decision win over Russia’s Daria Sloviashchenkova.

In the Men’s Flyweight bracket, Shiva Raj emerged as India’s standout performer with two victories to progress as far as the quarter-finals.

Meanwhile, Mexico’s Sara Cova picked up a bronze medal for her country, representing the Mexican MMA Federation in the Strawweight division. The hardy challenger came up short on the scorecards against eventual silver medalist Hannah Dawson (New Zealand), but it was a solid performance over Ireland’s Aelish O’Hanlon that saw her progress to the semi-finals.

At the Oceania Open, Mexico hands an international debut opportunity to 20-year-old Hector Granados, competing in the Men’s Lightweight division.

For India, the duo of Anugrah Deshmukh (Men’s Featherweight) and Siddiq Bin Mahmood (Men’s Flyweight) are in action. Deshmukh steps up to represent his country for the first time while his teammate returns having previously come close to forging an upset triumph at the 2016 Africa Open, going to a split-decision with Swedish victor Sebastian Gonzales.

For more tournament details on the IMMAF Oceania Open visit