IFMA Finals bring the House Down

The Yubileiny arena was electrifying thanks to an enthusiastic crowd while the VIP section was brimming with VIPs. Along with live coverage on national TV and Eurosport, it was the perfect ending to the 3 days of competition.

Fierce female finals in 51, 54 and 60 KG divisions saw Pinto from Norway claiming a well deserved goal after a world class performance while Wihantamma from Thailand slid by for Thailand’s first gold on a split point decision. Shevchenko dominated all 3 rounds against Sharmonova and showed everyone yet again why they call her unbeatable and took the gold for Peru.

The 2 highlight male fights of the night were Russia’s 2 main hopes, Artem Levin (81KG) and Artem Vakhitov (91KG). Both fights had the crowd on their feet. Artem Levin dominated throughout all 3 rounds, starting strong with a high kick to Valent’s face. Levin, showing great technique, consistent power and devastating sweeps took the gold home. In the 91KG bout, experience prevailed. Vakhitov came out with text book muaythai, stopping the eager Italian Barone with a series of powerful body shots driving it home with a final flying knee and sealing the fate of the Italian and giving the crowd the one spectacular knock out of the entire event.

Ukraine secured their first gold in the 63.5KG division. Liubchenko dominated the first 2 rounds taking advantage of the height difference, Srirupi unable to get close enough to cause any damage. Srirupi gave everything he had in the final round, but unfortunately it was too little too late.

The 2nd Ukrainian gold was claimed at the final bout of the night. Nikiforov and Harris were neck and neck throughout the 3 rounds and in a very close fight the win went to Ukraine.

The host country and Thailand were tied for gold earning 3 each.