Some of the biggest teams landing for the Muaythai World Championships 2018!
With over 80 countries coming to compete for gold, the growth in muaythai is clear from the funding and support being given to an increasing number of countries via government support.
Turkey has brought 38 athletes across male and female divisions. This is an even greater achievement when considering that the Turkish Muaythai federation held qualifications for the FISU university world championships just last week. Ali Dogan, gold medal winner at The World Games 2017 in Wroclaw is among them, and defending IFMA champion Behida Tacyildiz.
Russia has also brought a full team with 39 athletes across all divisions. Their numbers include defending world champion and The World Games champion Svetlana Vinnikova, defending champion Irina Larinova and silver medalist Aslanbek Zikreev.
And Team Thailand is also on the way with packed with superstars keen to represent the spiritual home of muaythai in a new arena including Sawsing Sor Sorpit and defending world champion Prawit Kwan.
This is the first time that the muaythai world championships are being held in the Pan-American region.
Host team Mexico are facing the pressure with the home crowd looking for results against the power-houses of muaythai. Certainly in the last five years Mexico has risen to the top in the Pan-American region, and perhaps with home advantage they have the chance now to show what they can do.
The first bouts are on Saturday May 12th – follow the action on IFMA social media with live results on IFMA Live