Pictured: Welsh contenders Scott Pedersen (left), Ben Miles (center) and Will Davies (right) – photo by Richard Valerado|Adrenalin Fight Night
By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran
Members of the Swedish national amateur MMA team were in Wales this past weekend for a nation vs. nation cup event and warm-up as we head towards the 2018 IMMAF European Championships.
Team Wales and UKMMAF national coach Chris Rees paid tribute to the number-one ranked nation ahead of the event:
“The Swedish athletes are the epitome of what I believe fighters should be: dedicated, skilled, conditioned and intelligent fighters in the octagon, and gentlemen out of it. Regulars on the IMMAF circuit, please do not be fooled by the fact that these are amateur athletes. The IMMAF events truly feature some of the world’s best fighters in the sport of amateur MMA and the Swedish team are right at the top of the food chain. I look forward to welcoming them to Wales tomorrow along with their coach Jörgen Hamberg and pitting our skills against each other.”
Sweden edged out the Welsh team with a 3-2 victory to take home the Adrenalin Fight Night cup. Securing wins for Sweden included 2016 European champion Renato Vidovic stopping Ben Miles with a first round TKO, Jonny Tauma completed a first round submission (rear-naked-choke) over Morgan Monk* and Robin Roos earned a split-decision win over Will Davies*.
The Welsh duo of Shane Price and Scott Pedersen, both veterans of the 2017 IMMAF World Championships, secured wins with Price locking on a first round arm-bar submission against Alexander Lindgren* and Pedersen clinched a narrow split-decision over the world’s number-one ranked lightweight, Tobias Harila.
For Price and Pedersen, their triumphs carry particular significance as the pair continue to bounce back from defeat at the 2017 World Championships, each being drawn against the eventual gold medalist in the opening round of their respective divisions.
The current momentum of 21-year-old Pedersen sends a strong message to potential rivals ahead of this year’s European Championships in Bucharest, Romania, as the Chris Rees Academy man aims to return to the UK national team. If there was any doubt following his exit from the 2017 Worlds, the Welshman’s victory over Harila, who won silver at last year’s Euros, has since reaffirmed his position as a threat to all contenders.
“With my last two wins I’ve proved to myself that I can beat the best amateurs in the world,” Pedersen told IMMAF.org. “After losing (in the 2017 World Championships), I’ve just put my nose to the grind and haven’t looked back, I can’t wait to show what I can do in the Europeans and Worlds this year.”
The 2018 IMMAF European Championships and Youth European Open take place from 17 to 23 June at the Grand Rin Hotel in Bucharest, hosted by the Romanian Kempo MMA Federation (RMMAF).
With registration now open, athletes wishing to participate should contact their national federation for local tryouts information and updates.