Recently, the UK MMA Federation (UKMMAF) confirmed the names of 10 women (6 seniors, 4 juniors) selected to represent the national team at IMMAF-WMMAA international amateur championships in 2019.
The UKMMAF is confident of surpassing the 2018 team total, dispatched last November to the Unified World Championships, featuring 6 women in a team of 18 athletes. Next slated for action in June at the 2019 European Open Championships in Rome, with senior and junior competition taking place concurrently, the UK women’s lineup would mark the biggest representation of female talent to date on the international platform.
Decorated competitor Joanne Doyle won European Open gold for the UK in 2016, in addition to World Championships bronze the following year before claiming the European Open silver medal in 2018. For last year’s World Championships, Doyle transitioned to take the reigns as UKMMAF women’s team coach, alongside husband James Doyle, junior team coach Mark Spencer and UK team leader, Nigel Burgess. Doyle and the UKMMAF have since remained active in their campaign to further women’s MMA within the UK squad through national team trials.
“I’m really excited to build on the success we had at the 2018 World Championships,” Doyle commented, “we have a great team of junior and senior women all on the hunt for a place on the podium.”
The UK enjoyed a hugely successful 2018 European Open campaign, placing 8th in the senior medal table and third in the juniors with medals secured by the national team’s Welsh contingent, including junior gold medalist Roan Crocker and senior bronze medalist Josh Hudson. Following in the footsteps of Northern Ireland, Wales later established an independent team in 2018 following the confirmation of Welsh National MMA Federation, MMA Cymru.
At the 2018 IMMAF-WMMAA World Championships, it was the UK’s junior squad members who secured two gold medals to place the nation 2nd in the junior medal table, via men’s bantamweight champion Muhammad Mokaev (11-0) and women’s flyweight champion, Megan Morris (pictured above), who now steps up to the senior athlete level on the hunt for European Open gold.
World bantamweight quarter-finalist Charlotte Brown also returns with the team, in addition to fellow world championships veterans Marie Spencer and Levi Steedman. Among the team’s newcomers is the promising Lexi Rook with the standout 4-0 record, plus Melissa Mullins who in 2018 made her amateur MMA debut with an early glimpse of devastating KO power, snatching a 14 second knockout win with a precise straight right hand.
UKMMAF selections for 2019 European Open women’s divisions include:
Records via online sources Junior Athletes (exclusively for ages 18-20) Strawweight – Liv Taylor (2-1-1) Strawweight – Shannon Troup (1-1) Bantamweight – Milly Horkan (2-0) Lightweight – Izzy Mitchell
Senior Athletes (18+) Strawweight – Marie Spencer (1-2) Flyweight – Megan Morris (5-2) Flyweight – Levi Steedman (2-2) Bantamweight – Charlotte Brown (2-2) Bantamweight – Lexi Rook (4-0) Featherweight – Melissa Mullins (1-2)