Swedish flyweight Anja Saxmark (pictured above) was due to return to IMMAF’s international amateur platform this year at the 2016 European Open Championships in Prague, Czech Republic. Saxmark established herself as a top contender at 125lbs throughout 2015, earning the silver medal at both the 2015 IMMAF World Championships and European Open Championships.
Having taken time off from competition, the world’s no.2 ranked flyweight was expected to make her highly anticipated return to the division, but was forced to withdraw due to a knee injury.
“I first wounded my knee during a grappling session on may 7 this year,” Saxmark told IMMAF.org. “I was almost fully recovered four weeks ago when I hurt it again during wrestling. My doctor and physiotherapist estimate about 2-4 months before I’m 100% recovered, but probably less time since I’ve already spent a long time doing rehab. I’m indescribably sad that I can’t compete at the European Open. My physicals and skills felt really good before I hurt my knee again. My goal now is to come back stronger then ever, and also train smarter then ever.”
Sweden will still be represented in the 125lb Women’s bracket by 2016 World Champion Gabriella Ringblom. Ringblom has dominated throughout 2016, taking Gold at both the World Championships and African Open. The world’s no.1 ranked pound-for-pound amateur returns to the European Open having earned silver at the competition in 2015.
Taking place from 22 to 26 November at the Arena of Sparta in Prague, Czech Republic, the 2016 IMMAF European Open Championships welcomes Amateur MMA competitors from member countries as selected by their national, IMMAF affiliated federation. 210 athletes competed at the recent 2016 IMMAF World Championships at UFC International Fight Week in Las Vegas; and with its dynamic European membership, the IMMAF European Open is expected to at least match the World Championships in numbers. The tournament will see IMMAF Worlds medal winners of 2016 looking to maintain a successful year, and European Open medalists from 2015 returning to defend or surpass last year’s accolades.
By IMMAF.org lead writer and website manager, Jorden Curran