By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran
September 7 marks the end of the priority registration window for the top 32 ranked nations heading into the 2017 IMMAF World Championships. From 8 – 28 September, the window opens for all IMMAF member nations to register athletes representing their national teams. For more information on athlete registration, click HERE.
Taking place in Manama, Bahrain, at Khalifa Sports City Arena from 12 to 19 November, as part of Brave International Combat Week, the 2017 World Championships are anticipated to be the biggest event to date under IMMAF with more participants than ever before representing nations from all continents.
With a plethora of veterans and defending champions set to return, surprises can always be expected from the wealth of new talent making their amateur World Championships debut.
8-0 Dario Bellandi (pictured above) is one such athlete tipped to make an impact. Italy’s undefeated middleweight will enter the 2017 Worlds as one of the most exciting new prospects after claiming the gold medal in impressive fashion at the 2017 European Open Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The 21-year-old qualified for the European Open and his first international outing via the FIGMMA national team qualifying championships and set himself apart as a finisher with 4 stoppages to his name.
Bellandi has showcased himself as a cerebral boxer whose controlled offence and confident grappling keeps him a step ahead of opponents. His well measured strikes pack natural power capable of producing sudden and devastating results as felt by Austria’s Mario Kainz in the opening round of the 185lb bracket in Sofia. The Italian went on to edge UK standout Tom Crosby via a split-decision before besting Sweden’s Heytham Rabhi in the semi-final with a Guillotine choke submission. In the European Open final he out performed exciting Swedish newcomer Khaled Laallam, going the distance to a unanimous decision triumph after three rounds.
Bellandi is the no.3 ranked middleweight under IMMAF and made history as the first Italian to win European Open gold. The Italian national team is ranked 8th with former IMMAF world champions including Alessio Di Chirico (Men’s light-heavyweight, 2014) Micol Disegni (Women’s flyweight, 2015) and Lucrezia Ria (Women’s bantamweight, 2015).
Check out the 2017 IMMAF World Championships promotion video below.