Raphael Federico made it to the final. © IMMAF
A young South Tyrolean makes people sit up and take notice on the international stage of mixed martial arts competitions (“mixed martial arts” / MMA).
13. September 2021
MMA is a full contact martial art that uses punching and kicking techniques from boxing, kickboxing, taekwondo and karate as well as floor fighting and ring techniques from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling and judo. An aspiring South Tyrolean athlete in this sport is Raphael Federico. He is 21 years old and comes from Jenesien.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, Federico drew attention to himself: in 2019 at the Italian MMA championships, he won the junior title, at the World Cup in Bahrain, he impressed with 5th place. Last weekend he made a strong statement in Prague in the Czech Republic. In the MMA World Cup, Federico managed to make it into the finals in his “featherweight” category up to 65.8 kilograms, where he only had to admit defeat.
One after the other: In the first round he won a 3-0 win against Matej Valousek (Czech Republic). Federico convinced with his excellent Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques. In the following match against Manuchehr Rioev (Tajikistan) the fighter from Jenesien fully attacked and won with a spectacular fight against the strong Tajiks again 3-0. On Sunday the big final against the Spaniard Juan Izquierdo was on the program.
Defeat after referee decision
The South Tyrolean was also able to convince in the final and did well against the technically strong Spaniard. Ultimately, the decision was made only after the referee’s decision. Federico suffered a narrow defeat. In the end he was able to look forward to a strong 2nd place in this prestigious international fighting tournament.