By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran
With ranking points acquired from the 2018 European Open and World Junior Championships, the inaugural year of unified junior competition (athletes age 18-20) under IMMAF and WMMAA concludes.
*Due to ongoing technical updates, individual division lists are pending while team rankings and pound-for-pound rankings are available for Senior and Junior competitors, respectively.
Click HERE for senior team rankings review
JUNIOR TEAM RANKINGS
With 5 golds, 2 silver and 1 bronze, the late debut of Russia’s recalibrated squad at the World Championships was more than enough to top the junior team rankings with a substantial lead, setting the bar high for 2019. In the pound-for-pound standings, men’s featherweight champion Elbek Alyshov sits in second place.
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND (2)
While Russia leads significantly, the Republic of Ireland stands as the next most successful team of the year, continuing the momentum of topping the Junior European Open table with a massive tally of 2 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze, to place third at the Junior Worlds with 1 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze. After claiming the European Open title and World Championships silver, Irish heavyweight Trevor Makengo takes lead in the junior pound-for-pound rankings.
Representing Team England under the UKMMAF banner, Megan Morris and Muhammed Mokaev took the nation all the way to a pair of gold medals to place second in the medal table. Accompanied by the UK’s European Open triumphs (gold medalist Roan Crocker now set to represent the independent Team Wales), the UK sits third in the rankings as one of the world’s top three junior talent developers.
Germany’s incredible 2018 was defined by the nation’s breakthrough medal haul at the European Open, and continued into the Worlds at both the junior and senior level. Men’s featherweight Eduard Kexel cruised to the European Open title before sensationally progressing to take the senior silver medal at the World Championships, adding to the team’s accolades alongside senior gold medalist Julia Dorny. Meanwhile, European Open gold medalist Anna Gaul secured World Championships bronze in the junior women’s flyweight division.
BAHRAIN (5), KAZAKHSTAN (6), CZECH REPUBLIC (7), INDIA (8), CANADA (9), POLAND (10)
Producing three silver medalists between the European Open and World Championships, committed and fast growing youth development has seen Bahrain spread its mission for success to the junior ranks where the nation clinches a top five position ahead of Kazakhstan, whose national talent pool continues to produce sizeable national squads of consistent, high level talent.
The Czech Republic made its junior competition debut at the World Championships with the second largest junior squad, producing 2 silver medalists at lightweight and light-heavyweight. This was enough to hold the number-7 spot ahead of India who snatched a historic first world title through the knockout triumph of men’s strawweight champion Mahboob Khan Mohammed.
Canada also enters the top 10 after the warhorse efforts of welterweight Jett Grande to claim a first junior world title for his nation. Poland clinches the final top 10 position with the European Open men’s featherweight crown secured by Eryk Walecki. Poland just holds out the up and coming Team Japan (11), as the spiritual home of MMA begins to show promising signs through its own rejuvenated national squad.
Click below for current Senior and Junior National Team Rankings and Pound-for-Pound Rankings.