UK TEAM LINE-UP FOR 2016 IMMAF EUROPEAN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

·UKMMAF NATIONAL CHAMPIONS AKONNE WANLISS & JOE MILLWARD EYE MEDALS

· MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION WATCH OUT!

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UK National MMA champion, Akonne Wanliss (24) is expected to achieve highly at the upcoming IMMAF European Open Championships of Amateur MMA, in Prague, Czech Republic this month.

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Wanliss champions at BAMMA UKMMAF National Championships

Born in Jamaica and raised in Wolverhampton, the Birmingham UTC competitor comes with a background in kickboxing and professional break-dance, prior to turning to MMA at 21. Wanliss championed at the BAMMA-UKMMAF National Amateur MMA Championships at the Body Power Expo in Birmingham in May. He achieved a gold medal in the Welterweight category following a four-round robin tournament via 3 stoppages, 2 in the first round and 1 in the second. Wanliss went on to reach the semi-finals of the 2016 IMMAF World Championships at UFC International Fight Week in Las Vegas in July, to be defeated by Irish Bronze medallist Cian Cowley.

Joe Millward is the BAMMA-UKMMAF National Amateur Middleweight champion based on a 3-round robin tournament that saw him achieve a round 1, RNC victory at 1:28. He earned a default victory in his second match. He has also won Amateur MMA Middleweight championships for Made4theCage and Rise and Conquer. Millward will be making his IMMAF debut at the 2016 European Open as a Light Heavyweight.

Team UK’s most accoladed athletes are perhaps Tom Crosby and George McManus, who can be expected to cause some serious upsets in the Men’s Middleweight division (see details of awards below). Tom Crosby previously fought at the 2016 IMMAF World Championships, losing to ultimate silver medallist Dallas Jennings on decision. Other title winners on the team are PK Zadeh (BCMMA Amateur Featherweight champion) and Kierandip (Kiru) Singh Sahota (Fightstar, Machine MMA and TMC Bantamweight British MMA champion.)

See below for biographical information for the full team representing the UK at the 2016 IMMAF European Open Championships, under the auspices of the United Kingdom Mixed Martial Arts Federation (UKMMAF).

IMMAF’s national team vs national team event takes place from 22 to 26 November at Prague’s Arena of Sparta and is set to feature 180 competitors from 30 countries worldwide.

Contact admin@ukmmaf.org.uk for interviews or for further Team UK information.
For more information about the 2016 IMMAF European Open visit www.immaf.org

TEAM UK – BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

*as supplied by competitors via UKMMAF

Name: Joanne Doyle
Weight class: Women’s Featherweight
Age: 29
Hometown: Bradford
Occupation: Emergency services
Amateur MMA record: 1-0
Titles/ medals: BJJ gold medals
Fight style: grappler
Comment: “It’s difficult to get matched as a female so I want to test myself against the best in Europe.”

Name: Jack Antony Flanagan
Weight class: Bantamweight
Age: 20
Hometown: Doncaster
Occupation: Anaerobic Digestion Plant Operative
Amateur MMA Record: 1-1
Style: mixed
Previous sports experience: football, taekwondo, boxing,
Comment: “The reason I am wanting to compete in the IMMAF European Championships is that it is an amazing opportunity not just to represent my country but also to progress with my amateur career and gain more experience.”

Name: Joshua Jay Mottram
Weight class: Bantamweight
Age: 21
Hometown: Blackwell
Occupation: Barber
Amateur MMA record: 6-3
Medals/ titles: GPUK title, 2 UMA NoGi silver medals
Fightstyle: MMA
Previous sports experience: javelin, athletics, football
Comment: “I entered the team trials because I was confident I could get in. I’m equally confident that I have the ability to bring back a gold.”

Name: Kierandip (Kiru) Singh Sahota
Weight class: Featherweight
Age: 21
Designer
Record: 7-2-0
Titles/ medals:
Fightstar Championship Bantamweight MMA British Title
Fightstar Championship Flyweight British K1 Title
TMC Bantamweight MMA Title
Machine MMA Bantamweight Title
Style: All round MMA
Previous sports experience: K1, kick-boxing and Thai boxing.
Comment: “I’d Like to compete in the IMMAF European Championships because I want to fight against the highest competition from around the world, beat them and win a gold medal. That’s the plan.”

Name: Jack Culshaw
Weight class: Featherweight
Age: 19
Hometown: South Kirkby
Amateur MMA record: 2-1
Fight style: freestyle
Previous sports experience: K1 (2-0), ABA boxing (2-1)
Comment: “I want to improve my skills and get as much experience at amateur against the best opponents. It’s a really big opportunity for me.”

Name: PK Zadeh (Paymahn Khleghi)
Weight class: Lightweight
Age: 24
Hometown: London
Occupation: Student
Amateur MMA record: 6-0
Titles/ medals: BCMMA Amateur Featherweight Champion
Fight style: boxing, wrestling
Previous sports experience: County level football
Comment: “Experience is very important in combat sports. I’d rather prolong my amateur career and be extremely prepared for professional, where I feel it isn’t necessarily about the amount of fights you have, but what you do in them. The IMMAF offers a safe, regulated platform against each country’s top representatives, which seems more beneficial for my career than fighting in the middle of nowhere in front of 24 people.”
Other comment: “I don’t let my successes or failures in MMA define or dictate who I am as a person.”

Name: Milad Ahady
Weight class: Lightweight
Amateur MMA record: 8-4
Biographical information pending

Name: Alex Elsey
Weight class: Welterweight
Age: 22
Hometown: Cambridge
Gym: Tsunami
Occupation: Coach, University of Leeds graduate
Amateur MMA record: 2-1
Titles/ medals: Medalist at English Open No Gi and Rolling Thunder
Fight style: Freestyle, adaptable
Previous sports experience: rugby, tennis
Comment:
“I want to compete in the IMMAF European Championships because it provides the chance to test yourself against high level international competition. The fact that you get potentially five fights in one week is a great opportunity to gain a wealth of experience in a condensed time frame. The tournament also offers an exciting level of exposure.”
Other information: Started training at the age of 17

Names: Akonne Wanliss
Age: 24
Hometown: Birmingham
Amateur MMA record: 8 – 1
Titles/ medals: UKMMAF-BAMMA National National Amateur MMA Champion
Occupation: climbing trees, backflipping off walls, eating Jaffa cakes, being a ninja.
Comment: “I want to test myself day-in, day-out so what better way than to fight in this tournament. It will be a fun and testing experience that I will value.”
Other information:
Follow my journey to J3DI Master on –
Instagram: J3DIAkes
Twitter: J3DIAkes
Facebook: J3DIAkes
YouTube: J3DIAkes
Snapchat: akespicys

Name: Tom Crosby
Weight class: Middleweight
Age: 28
Hometown: Leeds, Wakefield
Gym: AVT
Occupation: Full time family man, childminder and fighter. Former security/ doorman. Played rugby in Australia before taking up MMA.
Amateur fight record: 12 wins, 5 losses
Titles/ medals:
2013 UK National MMA Open LHW champion
2013 North East Sub Series gold medallist
2014 British Sub League BJJ white belt gold
2014 WFMC MMA, grappling and light continous kickboxing world champion
2014 World Martial Arts Games blue belt BJJ and under belts light continuous champion
2014 Grapple Nation NoGi gold
2014 Sub Zero NoGi U2 yrs sub only gold
2014 MAFGB grappling champion
2014 ISKA MMA British champion
2015 World Martial Arts Games MMA, grappling, points kickboxing and light continuous champion
2015 Combat Challenge MMA Welterweight champion
2016 WFMC MMA and grappling world champion
2013 AVT Newcomer and Amateur Fighter of the Year
2014 AVT Grappler of the Year with 54 competitive grappling wins
Fight style: MMA
Previous sports experience: Ex rugby league player (Castleford Tigers senior academy, Hunslet Hawks and Southport Tigers on the Gold Coast in Australia.) As a teenager played for Oulton Raiders, Middleton Maurauders and Hunslet Warriors. Also, I played for Hunslet Warriors as final club as an adult before quitting rugby to take up MMA.
Comment: “I want to represent the UK at an Amateur level to the highest standard before turning professional.”

Name: George Seamus McManus
Weight class: Middleweight
Age: 18
Hometown: Leicester
Occupation: Gym Manager
Amateur MMA record: 4-1-0 (with headshots), 5-2-0 (Junior – without headshots)
Titles/ medals/ belts:
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blue Belt
Jnr British MMA Title
British BJJ Gi & NoGi Gold Medallist
European BJJ Silver Medalist
NAGA European Jnr Champion
NAGA London Gold & Silver Medalist
Golden Ticket Fight Promotions Welterweight Champion
Nottingham Open Gold Medallist
Blackpool Open Double Gold Medallist
Member of Gracie Barra Elite Squad (Notts).
Fight style: BJJ, grappling.
Previous sports experience: rugby, Brazilian jiu jitsu
Comment: “I want to compete at the highest level in the sport that I love.”
Other information: “My brother (Josh McManus) competed in the first IMMAF Amateur World Championships in Las Vegas in 2014 when he was 19 and won a Silver Medal.”

Name: Joe Millward
Weight class: Light Heavyweight
Age: 23
Hometown: South Shields
Gym: Fighting Fit
Amateur MMA record: 7-1-1
Titles/ medals:
BAMMA UKMMAF National Amateur Middleweight champion
Made4TheCage Amateur Middleweight champion
Rise and Conquer Amateur Middleweight champion
Fight style: Aggressive
Comment: “I want to compete under the IMMAF as I want to medal and get as much publicity and attention as possible as I end my amateur career to begin my pro career as someone who is already known. I am already making a dent in the middleweight division in my first year of competing and following just 2 years training. I have fought everyone I can that is ranked and have offered to fight all the top ranked Amateurs. The ones who have accepted I have beaten. Hopefully I can follow this through into my pro career, quick as lightening .”
Other comment: “My only loss was before I actually ever trained in MMA. I was young and daft and jumped into match too soon.”

Name: Navid Rostaie
Weight class: Light Heavyweight
Age: 26
Hometown: South Shields
Occupation: Self Employed
Amateur MMA record: 9-1
Fight style: MMA
Previous sports experience: kickboxing

6th November 2016

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