PRAGUE, Czech Republic (December 7, 2015) -- Russian fighters dominated the recent 2015 World MMA Championships (WMMAA), winning gold medals in six of seven divisions to easily capture the team title, in Prague, Czech Republic.
On the strength of Zaur Gadzhibabaev's victory in the heavyweight competition, Azerbaijan won a silver medal in terms of quality medals won in team competition. Gadzhibabaev became the first two-time WMMAA champion. In quantity of medals earned, Kazakhstan won five silver and one bronze medal, second only to Russia with seven, including six golds and one bronze.
In other team scoring, Latvia and Tajikistan both won silver medals; China, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia took home two bronze medals apiece; Greece, Colombia, Czech Republic and Ukraine all earned one bronze medal.
Here's a breakdown of results from each weight class:
BANTAMWEIGHT DIVISION: -61.2 kg (135 lbs.)
1. Bakhachali Bakhachaliev (Russia)
2. Sergey Morozov (Kazakhstan)
3. Andrey Roa Ruiz Dumar (Colombia)
3. Yuan Liu Ping (China)
FEATHERWEIGHT DIVISION: -65.8 kg (145 lbs.)
1. Magomed Yunusilau (Russia)
2. Zhumageldi Zhalgassuly (Kazakhstan)
3. Archil Taziashvili (Georgia)
3. Elnur Veliev (Ukraine)
LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION: -70.3 kg (154 lbs.)
1. Gadzhi Rabadanov (Russia)
2. Loik Radzhabov (Tajikistan)
3. Rashid Dagaev (Kazakhstan)
3. Changxin Fu (China)
WELTERWEIGHT DIVISION: -77.1 kg (170 lbs.)
1. Gadzhimurad Khiramagomedov (Russia)
2. Shavkat Rakhmonov (Kazakhstan)
3. Denis Maher (Belarus)
3. Beknazar Kainazar uulu (Kyrgyzstan)
MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION: -84 kg (185 lbs.)
1. Gamzat Khiramagomedov (Russia)
2. Dauren Ermekov (Kazakhstan)
3. Daniyar Abdibaev (Kyrgyzstan)
3. Giorgi Lobjanidze (Georgia)
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION: -93 kg (205 lbs.)
1. Magomed Ankalaev (Russia)
2. Khasan Mezhiev (Latvia)
3. Michal Kotalik (Czech Republic)
3. Yulian Borisov (Belarus)
HEAVYWEIGHT DIVISION: +93 kg (+205 lbs.)
1. Zaur Gadzhibabaev (Azerbaijan)
2. Mokhmad Sulimanov (Kazakhstan)
3. Rizvan Kuniev (Russia)
3. Angelos Giatras (Greece)
Go here to watch video of the 2015 WMMAA Championships:
CHAMPIONS' QUOTES OF NOTE
2015 WMMAA Bantamweight Champion Bakhachali Bakhachali:
"It was a wonderful experience. You know it was a long road. I'm so glad it's over and I was successful in reaching all the goals I had set. The final fight was very hard, my opponent was a serious test for me. He's physically strong and determined. But thanks God I got the victory.
"The next step is of course the Russian MMA SuperCup. I hope God will help me win it.
I'd like to say thank you to my coaches: Rasul Magomed-Aliev, Abdulla Gaidarbekov. Thanks to Shamil Alibatyrov who was cornering me throughout the whole championship and helped me a lot."
2015 WMMAA Featherweight Champion Magomed Yunusilau:
"Extreme happiness. First of all, I was not sure I would be able to participate because of injuries, but my coaches, friends and family helped me gather physically and mentally. I flew to Prague and got the best possible result.
"I had four fights. The first one (1/8) went the distance. My opponent, from Colombia, was really determined, he would not give up. It was a hard-fought battle. In my other fights I finished all three opponents.
"First, I need to heal my injuries; it's revalidation time. I'll take a break for the first post-World Championship week and then I'll focus on my health. I have issues with my back and one knee. And then, God bless, I'll get back in business within 2-3 months. I intend to transfer to professional MMA competition. We have great coaches and the team that are highly qualified and able to facilitate in my transition. I'm sure I'll be OK."
2015 WMMAA Lightweight Champion Gadzhi Rabadanov:
"I'm extremely happy. It's such a nice feeling to make your friends and family happy. I'm really grateful for all support I got from them.
"I had four fights in total and I finished all of my opponents. I can't say which one was harder, everyone in front of me was quite good in his own right.
"If I look back, I've had five full training camps this year. Now, it's time for a break from competition. I need to heal my wounds, rest and then return as a different fighter. There is enough room for improvement. I know I had one more fight planned at the Russian MMA SuperCup in December but I'll have to cancel it because of my knee injury. Moreover it's rather hard to make weight twice within a 10-day frame. It would be to the detriment of my health under these circumstances. Sorry, everyone who was hoping to watch me fight in Chelyabinsk (Russia - wmmaa.org
) come December 5."
2015 WMMAA Welterweight Champion Gadzhimurad Khiramagomedov:
"I can't describe my feelings right now. It has been a long road. Two years ago, me and my brother, (Gamzat Khiramagomedov - wmmaa.org
) set our sights on the World Championship. And here we are - both champions. I'm so happy.
"I really need to repair my body before planning anything else. My hand and foot are broken. One ligament is torn on my left leg. I need time to heal and then we'll see."
2015 WMMAA Middleweight Champion Gamzat Khiramagomedov:
"This experience is the best possible. After all work that I had done it's time to catch a breath for a little while. Still, I'm not going to relax on my laurels. I have a fight scheduled at the SuperCup against Gamazan Gamzatov. After that fight I'll be able to rest normally.
"At the World Championship I had four bouts. Assessing my opponents, I can say they were all good fighters. The hardest battle I had was against a warrior from Georgia. He would not give up; extremely powerful and good wrestler. I injured my left arm that's why I couldn't show my best in the finals. However, I'm so happy I made my people smile, especially my brother, Gadzhimurad, who puts a lot of effort into helping me. He's always happier than me when I win. He's my biggest fan."
2015 WMMA Light Heavyweight Champion Magomed Ankalaev:
"My feelings are the best possible. Gold in this amateur MMA World Championship had been my target for a long time.
"I had five fights and the final one was the most difficult for me. I felt huge responsibility because it was up to me whether or not the Russian flag would be flying that high. Thank God, I was able to achieve that.
"I plan to take part in the Russian MMA SuperCup. After that, I'll take a rest that, I believe, I'll have fully deserved."
2015 WMMA Heavyweight Champion Zaur Gadzhibabaev:
"A lot was at stake in the finals since my opponent, Mokhmad Sulimanov, wanted to avenge his loss from last year's WMMAA World Championship. I'm glad I prevailed again.
"I'm honored to be the first two-time WMMAA champion. The competitors in my division were outstanding this year. I trained very hard to give my best and I'm very happy with my performances during the tournament."