The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) just held its 2018 Senior European Championships in Bucharest, Romania over the week and the amateur tournament event featured one of the meanest kicks to the face since Holly Holm dethroned Ronda Rousey in 2016.
Finland’s Jenni Kivioja caught Sweden’s Jessica Forslund Reis with the fight stopping headkick at 2:38 of the first round in their women’s featherweight fight. Watch it now:
June 20, 2018
The fight was Kivioja’s first of three in as many days. She’d go on to beat Italy’s Fabiana Giampa on the scorecards in the semis before losing in the finals via decision to Germany’s Julia Dorney. That landed Kivioja a silver medal in her weightclass and a highlight that will live on forever.
A quick explanation on why Kivioja was fighting so often: the IMMAF dubs itself “the global governing body for amateur MMA, working for Olympic recognition” so their events are structured to simulate what Olympic MMA could look like. In this case, that’s fourteen weight classes worth of 8-fighter tournaments contested over three consecutive days of fighting.
The MMA landscape will be very different in 10yrs largely down to the efforts of @IMMAFed crew. Ammy's education, training and competing levels higher than those of Pros not too long ago. Really impressive what they've done in such a short period of time. https://t.co/4J3U01mCuM— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) June 20, 2018
Who knows how big of a role the IMMAF could play in MMA’s inclusion in the Olympics (if it ever happens at all). But it’s pretty cool that this massive amateur tournament worked out without half the competitors getting injured after day one.