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Akonne set to fly the British flag

BIG HOPES: Akonne

UK NATIONAL MMA champion, Akonne Wanliss is expected to achieve highly at the upcoming IMMAF European Open Championships of Amateur MMA, in Prague, Czech Republic this month.

Hosted by the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), the nation vs nation tournament features 170 competitors from 30 countries, competing over five days from November 22-26 at the Arena of Sparta.

Born in Jamaica and raised in Wolverhampton, Birmingham UTC competitor Wanliss comes with a background in kickboxing and professional break-dance, prior to turning to MMA aged 21-years-old.

In the three years since finding the sport he has been working on his ground game under the tutelage of judo olympian and IMMAF President, Kerrith Brown.

Wanliss championed at the BAMMA-UKMMAF National Amateur MMA Championships at the Body Power Expo in Birmingham in May.

He achieved a gold medal in the welterweight category following a four-round robin tournament via three stoppages, two in the first round and one in the second.

Wanliss went on to reach the semi-finals of the 2016 IMMAF World Championships at UFC International Fight Week in Las Vegas in July, to be defeated by Irish Bronze medallist Cian Cowley.

The midlands fighter joins a team of 13 British Amateurs to represent the UK under the United Kingdom Mixed Martial Arts Federation. Team UK head coaches include UFC veterans John Maguire, Danny Mitchell and Luke Barnatt.

Read more about the 2016 IMMAF European Open Championships here: http://www.immaf.org/championships/2016-immaf-european-open-championships/

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