The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has announced its nominees shortlist for the Best Senior Male Athlete Award 2020 ahead of its third annual Amateur MMA Awards.
The winner of the category will be decided by member vote, with one vote per National Federation: Links to vote will be emailed to federation presidents on 1 December, with voting closing on 4 December.
The nominees for Best Senior Male Athlete 2020 are as follows:
Murtaza Talha Ali (Bahrain)
Undefeated juggernaut Murtaza Talha returned from injury to reclaim the world light-heavyweight title, taking the gold for a second time. After missing the 2018 World Championships, a symbolic triumph saw Murtaza edge a split-decision win over Russia’s Magomed Shakhrudinov, who occupied the 205lb division through during his absence. The 2019 world champion capped off his amateur tenure with an opening round TKO to pick up the 2020 Oceania Open title before announcing that he will turn pro.
Ramazan Gitinov (Bahrain)
The world’s pound-for-pound no.1 ranked amateur was in astonishing form this past year, capturing the 2019 welterweight world title with back-to-back anaconda choke submissions and a semi-final TKO stoppage before claiming the title and following up 2020 with gold medal success at the Oceania Open. As of 2020 Gitinov has now won titles at the Asia Open, Oceania Open and European Open in addition to claiming the World Championships crown and reaching the IMMAF rankings summit.
Bagdat Zhubanysh (Kazakhstan)
Kazakhstan’s exciting Bagdat Zubanysh extended his flawless undefeated tenure. The 2018 World and Asia Open strawweight champion picked up his second world title in 2019 as the standout prospect of the prominent Kazakh national team.
Ata Atdayev (Ukraine)
Running parallel to his Ukraine team-mate Anastasiya Svetkivska, Atdayev entered the 2019 World Championships as the reigning European Open champion. Prior to besting the USA’s Israel Galvan at the World Championships finals, the Ukrainian bested former world champion Ruslan Satiev, handing a first loss to the Russian prospect.
Gadzhimurad Bagautdinov (Russia)
The Russian heavyweight and European Open finalist enjoyed his breakthrough moment at the 2019 IMMAF Worlds. Bahrain’s European Open champion Shamil Gaziev entered last year’s World Championships as the standout favourite for the gold medal: Yet, Bagautdinov had other plans and tore up the script to submit the undefeated Gaziev in the opening round of their semi-final before advancing to the finals where he claimed the gold.
ABOUT THE 2020 IMMAF AMATEUR MMA AWARDS
The prestigious occasion will take place on Friday 11 December at 15:00 hrs (UTC) to celebrate achievements across amateur mixed martial arts of IMMAF athletes, coaches, officials and National Federations during the period spanning November 2019 to October 2020.
Awards fall into three categories; those open for Member Vote, data based awards and those decided by an IMMAF panel. See below for the full list of award categories, with nominees for Member Vote Awards to be announced shortly.
The dress code for the virtual Awards is black-tie, with invitations due to be issued to National Federations.
Member Vote Awards (Athletes)
· Best Female Athlete
· Best Male Athlete
· Best Junior Athlete
· Best performance (of the 2019 World Championships/ 2020 Oceania Open )
National Federations Awards (IMMAF panel decision)
· Most Proactive National Federation
· Host Federation of the Year
· Social Impact Award
· Best on Social Media Award 2020
National Federations Awards (data based)
· Best National Federation for MMA Coaching (Most active National Federation in implementing IMMAF Coach Certification Program)
· IMMAF Anti-doping Award ( for achievement of the highest number of WADA ADeL certifications)