New champions crowned during a thrilling finale in Bangkok at the GAMMA World Championships 2023 © GAMMA

As another edition of the The Global Martial Arts Association (GAMMA) world championships concluded on December 10, Team Kazakhstan once again asserted their dominance, securing the top position on the medals table for the second consecutive World Championships. They clinched an impressive tally of 8 gold medals, bringing their total to 16 in Bangkok.

In a showcase of the global depth of world-class MMA within the GAMMA community, 37 nations competed, and 28 left the Thai capital with at least one medal.

Notably, newcomers China delivered a stellar performance, winning 17 medals and securing the second spot in the table, narrowly missing the top position due to two fewer gold medals than Kazakhstan. Following closely, Kyrgyzstan secured 5 gold medals and a total of 9.

Amidst a vibrant display of Thai culture through rhythmic drumming and the striking of a traditional gong by GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt, the stage was set for an entertaining finale to the three-day event, featuring a total of 34 gold-medal bouts.

The opening bout saw China's Xianoi Liu triumph over Meline Asoyan of Armenia in the women's 52.2kg striking MMA category. China secured another gold as teammates Yanan Wu and Yang Yang faced off in the 65.8kg striking MMA category, with Wu emerging as the champion.

The first medal for Africa went to Rwan Elsayed from Egypt, defeating Aurore Sahyoun from Lebanon in the 72.6kg striking MMA category. The gold rush for Kazakhstan commenced with the victory of Kairat Zharzhanov.

As the afternoon unfolded, World Championship titles were claimed by Sonny Kirisome of Samoa in the -120.2kg category and Ilalio Ilalio of Tonga in the +120.2kg category. Champions from different continents followed, including Lola Ruelle of France, Zoe Nowicki from the USA, and Kelley Hamming from the Netherlands.

The contests alternated between MMA and striking MMA, with China, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan consistently securing medals. Australia's Artemis Trepca won the only gold medal for the nation in the 77.1kg category.

Indonesia secured their first-time medal in the 47.6kg Striking MMA category, won by Viona Putri Adinda Amallia, while the local crowd erupted in cheers as Adthapong Saengtep claimed a popular gold medal in the heavyweight category.

China and Kyrgyzstan completed their medal collections, and the championships concluded with the victory of Frenchman Aurelien Teyssonneyre, marking the fitting end of the event.

In a final gesture of gratitude, the event concluded with a thank-you ceremony for all the officials who worked tirelessly over the three-day Championships. Looking ahead, 2024 holds promise for GAMMA, with MMA set to be included as a demonstration sport in the African Games in Ghana in March.