Pictured: Nkosi Ndebele (left), Abdulmanap Magomedov (right)
By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran
Bouncing back from his first amateur defeat in the semi-finals of last year’s IMMAF World Championships, Bahrain’s Abdulmanap Magomedov today forced himself into the 2018 IMMAF Africa Open final.
Employing his high-pressure top game, the defending champion stopped local hopeful Nathanial Komana with little delay, securing a rear-naked-choke submission at just over two-minutes into their featherweight semi-final bout.
For Magomedov, the importance of this year’s Africa Open goes far beyond retaining the title and becoming a two-time gold medalist of the continental event. The Africa Open is just phase-one of his 2018 vision, as victory in tomorrow’s final will see him once again become the world’s number-one ranked competitor at 145lbs.
Currently with 1254 rankings points, just 11 points behind 2017 World and European Champion Delyan Giorgiev, the guaranteed minimum of 300 points that come with a continental silver medal are enough to see him become the new world-number-one. However, the gold medal and accompanying 500 points would see Magomedov further his chances to remain as the division’s top seed for the remainder of IMMAF’s 2018 event circuit.
Standing in his way will be South Africa’s own Nkosi Ndebele, the 2017 Africa Open lightweight champion, who is now looking to make an impact among the featherweights in 2018.
Having gone 3-0 since his exit from the 2017 World Championships, the exciting 22-year-old has remained active through February, March and April, and finds himself in fine form, primed and ready to continue his momentum in pursuit of what would be one of the biggest breakthrough performances of the year, should he topple Magomedov and make history as a two-weight Africa Open champion.
IMMAF is piloting its new immaf.tv video platform this Saturday 24 May from 12pm (GMT+2), with the FREE live streaming of the 2018 IMMAF Africa Open Championships from Johannesburg. Click HERE for more information.
2018 IMMAF Africa Open, Finals Schedule – May 26, 2018:
Flyweight (56.7 kg/125 lbs) – Youtseu kenman tchueng Lynda (Cameroon) VS Cassandra Le Roux (South Africa)
Bantamweight (61.2 kg/135 lbs) – Mambou Dorine Stephane (Cameroon) VS Christine Wolmarans (South Africa)
Featherweight (65.8 kg/145 lbs) – Zoua Alvine willy (Cameroon) VS Kenfack Nadia (Cameroon)
Flyweight (56.7 kg/125 lbs) – Mohammed Almuamari (Bahrain) VS Julio Plaatjies (South Africa)
Bantamweight (61.2 kg/135 lbs) – Hamza Zrira (Bahrain) VS Katiso Matime (South Africa)
Featherweight (65.8 kg/145 lbs) – Abdulmanap Magomedov (Bahrain) VS Nkosi Ndebele (South Africa)
Lightweight (70.3 kg/155 lbs) – Shamil Gimbatov (Bahrain) VS Endom bikim Steve Durant (Cameroon)
Welterweight (77.1 kg/170 lbs) – Cody Barnwell (Australia) VS Abbas Khan (Bahrain)
Middleweight (83.9 kg/185 lbs) – Joseph Luciano (Australia) VS Souhaib Dahmani (Tunisia)
Heavyweight (120.2 kg/265 lbs) – Siaka Hermann Thierry (Cameroon) VS Rengou Mefire Simplice (Cameroon)