MMA

Irish Amateurs Pick Up Three Gold Medals At IMMAF World Cup

Irish Amateurs Pick Up Three Gold Medals At IMMAF World Cup

It was a hugely successful IMMAF World Cup outing for Ireland's amateur mixed martial artists in Prague, Czech Republic.

This was a milestone tournament that saw athletes from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland compete on the same team for the first time.

The World Cup in Prague is the first of an MMA World Cup Series, allowing those to gain points for the upcoming World Championships in November.

It follows on from a tough year or two for mixed martial artists across the globe. Many countries, including Ireland, couldn't travel to Russia for the IMMAF Euros this summer.

Ireland sent a huge representation to the games, with fifteen mixed martial artists competing in a number of different weight classes.

Countries such as the Ukraine, Czech Republic and Slovakia also sent big teams with athletes representing the likes of Germany, Greece and Norway as well.

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Gold for Three

WAKO World Kickboxing Champion Shauna Bannon followed up her 2019 World Championship silver with a gold medal performance in the women's bantamweight class.

Bannon was part of an all-Ireland affair in the final, as she defeated fellow Irish woman Kerry Ann Vernon who took silver in the loss.

The nicknamed 'Mama B' trains under former UFC fighter Paddy Holohan at Holohan Martial Arts in Tallaght, Dublin.

There was gold too for Ryan Keogh in the Junior men's featherweight class, who has added to an impressive 3-1-0 amateur record by finishing all his opponents in the competition.

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Keogh overcame Norwegian Iskhan Ayupov in the final. His first competitive venture came at the IMMAF World Championships in 2019.

Another all Irish affair battled it out in the Junior women's flyweight category, with Kiya O'Sullivan taking gold and Megan Hamill taking silver.

O'Sullivan competed as a sixteen year-old in the IMMAF Cadet World Championships in 2019, earning a silver medal. Hamill has also medaled at previous IMMAF events.

Thirteen Medal Haul

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The Irish team managed to bring home thirteen medals overall, which will no doubt signal a successful campaign for all involved.

Aside from the golds medals above and Hamill and Vernon's silvers, other Irish performers dominated the competing weight divisions.

In the Junior category, Sarah Carney and Sineadh Ni Nuallain earned silver and bronze respectively in the bantamweight class.

Dara Ward battled it to a semi-final in the middleweight category and won a bronze medal for his efforts. In the Senior category, Caitlyn Hadfield won strawweight bronze after making it to the semi-final.

Taylor Quinn was beaten by unanimous decision in the bantamweight, taking home silver. Solomon Simon earned a bronze in the men's lightweight division.

Eoin Sheridan rounded out the Irish participation by making the final of the men's middleweight category, winning silver in a submission loss.

All eyes will be on the upcoming IMMAF World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, in November.

See Also: "The Team Is Sticking Together For Paris" - Aidan & Michaela Walsh On Life After Tokyo

Aidan Michaela Walsh

Jonathan Byrne

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