Team USA now has two new World Champions as well as two Bronze Medalists to close out the final day of action at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships.

In a venue full of lights, jumbo tron screens and music, the 2017 IMMAF World Championships were as glamorous as the country of Bahrain itself.  The IMMAF World Championship finals lived up to the hype and delivered the most significant amateur MMA event ever held in the history of the sport.

In the 155 lb weight division, US National Champion Quitin Thomas became the reigning 2017 IMMAF World Champion with his 3 round unanimous decision win over Vitali Andruhovich of Bulgaria.  Thomas controlled the action for much of the contest scoring with his right hand while walking down Audruhovich.  His trademark style of walking down his opponents became a centerpiece of Thomas’ game plan throughout the tournament.  Thomas becomes the first IMMAF World Champion from the Eastern United States.

In one of the most anticipated fights of the tournament 170 lb UMMAF National Champion Benjamin Bennett claimed the title of IMMAF World Champion by defeating Sola Axel of France.  In Bennett’s fourth attempt at an IMMAF World Title, he showed incredible poise throughout the final contest. Bennett used his trademark striking to set up shots on Axel as he backpedaled.   At the end of the third round the result seemed clear to everyone. That is except one of the judges.  As the fighters stood in the center of the cage, the announcer began reading the scores of the first two judges and it became obvious that a split decision had occurred.  With the American flag draped over his shoulders, and the flag of his home state of Alaska clinched firmly in his hand, Bennett waited for the third scorecard to be read.   When the final score was read giving Bennett his long awaited world title, the tears could be seen running down his face as UMMAF Head Coach Robert Hulett wrapped his arms around him in embrace.  It’s been a 4 year haul for Bennett in his quest for IMMAF Gold and he found it at the end of the rainbow in Manama, Bahrain.

UMMAF National Champion Sean Stebbins and Former National Champion David Evans both stood on the medal podium today as well to collect their Bronze Medals. For Evans, this is his 2nd medal in as many IMMAF World Championship campaigns.

Whats in store now for Team USA is anyone’s guess at this point.  Some may choose to turn professional or they may choose to compete in the 2018 UMMAF National Championship Tournament on February 1-3 in Boonville, Missouri at the Isle of Capri Casino to try and earn another berth on the team and chase a World Title.  Team USA members can compete at the IMMAF Asian, Oceanic, African and European Open Championship tournaments and be ranked worldwide.

To register, interested fighters should visit to sign up.

Written by Ryan Brueggeman