The Mubadala Arena in Zayed Sports City will transform into a festive environment starting tomorrow as it hosts the fourth edition of the IMMAF Youth World Championships,held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the AbuDhabi Executive Council. On the opening day, athletes in the Youth C category (12-13years)will take to the octagon, promising a spectacular display of Mixed Martial Arts(MMA).
On Wednesday, the champion ship activities wil lbegin with weigh-ins at 7am, followed by the Group Stage and Knockout fights starting at 10am. The Finals will take place at 2:30pm, followed by the awards ceremony. The international teams and accompanying delegations have arrived in the capital and are currently engaged in last-minute preparations.
“Mubadala Arena is fully prepared to host the prestigious IMMAF Youth World Championships. The participating athletes are under going final training, honing their skills for the ultimate showdown,”said His Excellency Brigadier Mohammed Bin Dalmouj AlDhaheri, board member of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Federation and Chairman of the Federation’s Mixed Martial Arts Committee.
“As the event is being hosted by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Federation for the second consecutive year, we have spared no effort in creating a distinctive and welcoming atmosphere for all participating athletes and delegations, showcasing AbuDhabi’s position as a leading destination for international sporting events,”Al Dhaheri added.
Al Dhaheri also expressed his confidence in the national team’s ability to deliver an exceptional performance. “We have full faith in our National Team to perform exceptionally well and win medals. Our athletes have been preparing diligently for the championship in the past few months and are determined to give their best performance. They are well aware of the responsibility placed on their shoulders and are committed to raising the UAE flag high.”
Abdulla Aldarmaki, the UAE national team member participating in the Youth B 44 kg division, too exuded confidence in his performance. “In the past few months, we have been preparing diligently to take part in this championship. During the course of the training, we have focused on enhancing both our mental and physical strength, prioritizing areas where we needed to improve. My fellow national team members and I are fully determined and ready to shine. I carry the pride of our nation, with my sole aim being to bring home a glorious medal.”
“The preparations are over, and now it’s time to showcase our mettle to the world and raise the UAE flag high,” he added.
The four-day championship, running until August 5, will see a record-breaking 636 athletes from 45 countries participating, ensuring an exceptional showcase of world-class MMA.
Strong US team
Christian Alvarez is a coach with the US national team, and he has been taking his team to the IMMAF Youth World Championships for the last three years. He said, “It’s been an awesome experience to accompany the team to the World Championships. We have been doing everything needed to get ready for the championship, training four hours every single day. Last year, we ended up in the second position, and this year I am sure we can finish first. The competition is getting better, everybody is learning, and all other countries are moving up. We have 40 athletes participating, and I hope we can do well and finish on top.”
Bridget Costner, a US athlete fighting in the Youth C division, also expressed similar views. She said, “Last year, I was here in Abu Dhabi taking part in the MMA Youth World Championship, and I won the third place, which was great, but this time I want to do even better and win the first place. I am really looking forward to that.”
Ukraine aims to defend the title
Andrii Vykliuk, a Ukrainian athlete participating in the Youth A division, expressed hope that he can win a gold medal this year. He said, “I am participating in the IMMAF Youth World Championships for the first time, and I am so excited to be here. I I am really impressed by the hospitality. “
“It’s so good to see so many MMA athletes from around the world, and it’s really helpful to interact with them and learn so many things. I have won the medal at the Ukrainian national championship earlier, and I hope I can repeat my medal-winning performance and win a medal here,” he added.