By IMMAF.org lead writer, photographer: Jorden Curran
Canada is the first nation to complete registration for the first IMMAF – WMMAA Pan-American Open Championships, the national team set to depart for The Bahamas in May will feature reigning junior world middleweight Champion, Jett Grande (pictured above on the 2018 World Championships medal podium).
Hosted by national federation, Empire Mixed Martial Arts Bahamas (EMMAB), the 2019 Pan-American Open is scheduled to take place from 15 to 18 May in Nassau, at the Kendal G. L Isaacs National Gymnasium, Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre.
Representing IMMAF member federation, the Canadian Combat Alliance, Canada’s national amateur team will usher the first outing of 2019 for reigning junior world championships gold medalist, Jett Grande. The 20-year-old middleweight contender and Canadian national champion remains undefeated as an amateur with over 10 victories.
Junior championships offer divisions exclusively for young athletes aged 18-20, while senior divisions are open to all over the age of 18.
Pictured above: Grande (right) secured his third unanimous decision of the World Championships, against Bulgarian semi-finalist Bozhidar Ivanov.
Grande will challenge for a first senior international title at the 2019 #MMAPanAms, following triumph last November where four victories in as many days saw him take the junior middleweight gold medal at the first IMMAF – WMMAA Unified World Championships in Bahrain, besting opposition from New Zealand, Hungary, Bulgaria and standout Irishman, Paddy Wilkinson, in the final after a thrilling three rounds with Grande awarded a majority decision by the judges,
Competing alongside Grande will be 24-year-old national team-mate, Justin Grey. Grey was also in action at the 2018 World Championships, competing in the men’s senior featherweight division. Although Grey missed out on a podium place in Bahrain, the Canadian duo will likely be among the standout favorites to clinch Pan-American accolades.