By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran
Iceland’s Ingibjōrg Helga Arnþórsdóttir earned a bronze medal back in June at the 2018 IMMAF European Open. Now, ahead of the fast approaching 2018 Amateur MMA World Championships, she issues a warning to all rivals with a vow of dominance.
“I want to be the first Icelandic world champion,” Helga declared as she outlined out her ambitions. “I’m not going to stop there, my goal is to be the best in women’s MMA as a pro as well.”
The 2018 IMMAF-WMMAA Unified World Championships take place in Manama, Bahrain, from 11-18 November. Bouts are available live and on demand via IMMAF.tv.
Since 2015 Iceland has maintained a strong presence on the IMMAF competition platform, producing 3 European Open gold medalists between 2015 and 2016, in addition to silver medalist Björn Lukas Haraldsson impressing as he reached the middleweight final of the 2017 World Championships.
At the 2018 European Open in Bucharest, Romania, Helga cruised past Finland’s Inka Räty with a well a paced striking displaying that oozed experience and confidence. At age 30 she made her international amateur MMA debut having started out in karate 20 years ago and now possessing a BJJ blue belt, in addition to kickboxing exploits and multiple national boxing titles to her name.
In the women’s ranks, Iceland’s most accomplished amateur to date is Sunna Rannveig Davidsdottir, who stormed her way to a gold medal in the 2015 European Open flyweight division. She now maintains a 3-0 professional record under the banner of top flight all-women’s MMA promotion, Invicta FC.
Training out of the Týr gym, named after the Norse war god, Helga discussed the lessons learned in having to settle for European Open bronze earlier this year, as a split-decision loss to Ilaria Norcia saw the inspired Italian press forward without hesitation to take advantage of a more relaxed Helga offence.
“I learned that I should never leave it to the judge’s score card,” she commented. “I have to be a bit more aggressive and do more damage, and I have to mix up my techniques better. I was being way too nice to her (Norcia), I could have won that fight so I won’t give them any chance next time.”
As Helga visualizes a prime showcase of her potential, the senior Icelandic standout gives a vivid description that suggests her killer instinct has been awoken. To cap off her training, Helga recently jetted to Texas, USA, where she trained with reigning Invicta atomweight champion Jinh Yu Frey.
“Now I’m a weight class below,” Helga drops from flyweight to now contest the strawweight world championship bracket. “I’m quicker, I have done a lot of wrestling, grappling and BJJ since the European championship. I’m in better shape and I won’t let the judges be in any doubt about who’s winning the fight. I’m going to dominate these girls in all areas and show them that hard work pays off.
“I train very hard, 3-4 times per day and I coach others. I thank my friends, family, Sjoppan hair saloon, 5.11 and Halldór for sponsoring me.
“Fighting is all I think about, I don’t think [my opponents] train as hard as I do. I don’t get stressed out. I just get excited to fight them.”