By Dane McGuire, IMMAF U.S. Correspondent


The 2018 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships, part of the Arnold Sports Festival held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre is in the books and the one word to sum up the action down under is: dominance.


In a men’s bracket that went up to middleweight (185 pounds) Japan topped the rest of the field with Reo Yamaguchi, Kohei Maeda, Teruhiko Kato winning gold medals from bantamweight (135 pounds) to lightweight (155 pounds) respectively. Australia or New Zealand then filled almost every other spot in the medal table.


2017 welterweight (170-pound) national champion Darian Weeks of the United States became an alternate for the 2018 IMMAF World Championships due to an injury loss at nationals in February. He was the lone competitor to represent the U.S. and walked away with his first IMMAF medal, a gold, to date.


Weeks, now 14-3 per, first had to surpass Australia’s Cody Barnwell, now 5-3 in the semi-finals.


The native of the UMMAF’s home state of Missouri took control of the contest in the second round with knees to the body against the fence following a takedown attempt. A second chance at a takedown was good and much of the bout remained on the canvas from that point on.


Weeks then led the last round thanks to a double-leg takedown, only having to defend against a throw from Barnwell that Weeks turned into a whizzer submission attempt in the final seconds.


The U.S. took the victory by way of a unanimous decision and Weeks got the job done by finishing Australia’s Cody Reeves by knockout in the finals.


“This has been a test of my dedication and perseverance in training for this sport,” Weeks said on social media. “I thank all who invested their time and attention into helping and supporting me in this success. You all are such a huge part of why I am able to do what I do.”


“All of the cheering, words of encouragement, light hearted jokes and messages, sparring sessions and coaching- it all comes together at a tournament and I cannot say enough about how much I appreciate EVERYONE for all they do.”


The victory gets the UMMAF, ranked fifth in the world (4,016 points) as of this writing, an additional 500 points in the rankings to help lessen the gap with fourth-ranked (4,663 points) South Africa. The U.S. now has its sights set on the Africa Open Championships in Johannesburg, South Africa which is set for May 24-26.



2018 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships Full Results


  • Bantamweight (135 pounds):

Reo Yamaguchi (Gold,JPN) Jean Alexander Romano (Silver, AUS)

  • Featherweight (145 pounds)

Kohei Maeda (Gold, JPN) Abzzy Mahdawi (Silver, AUS) Pece Naumovski (Bronze, AUS)

  • Lightweight (155 pounds):

Teruhiko Kato (Gold, JPN) Jordan Thomas (Silver, AUS) Flynn Booth (Bronze, NZ)

  • Welterweight: (170 pounds):

Darian Weeks (Gold, USA) Corey Reeves (Silver, AUS) Cody Barnwell (Bronze, AUS)  Josh Eccles (Bronze, AUS)

  • Middleweight (185 pounds):

Joseph Luciano (Gold, AUS) Ezekiel Wetere (Silver, NZ)



  • Flyweight (125 pounds):

Anne Wilson (Gold, NZ), Alish Smith (Silver, AUS)

  • Bantamweight (135 pounds):

Amber Thompson (Gold, AUS) Angelica Silva (Silver, AUS) Calista Hudson

(Bronze, AUS)