Muller retains African crown 

Damian Muller (centre) displays the Namibian flag after winning the senior men’s flyweight division at the IMMAF Africa Championships on Saturday. Obakeng Mahura of SA (left) won the silver medal, while Mafuana Mbungo of Angola and Daniel James of SA (right) both won bronze medals. Photo: Helge Schütz

Damian Muller retained his African crown when he beat South Africa’s Obakeng Mahura on a points decision over three rounds to win the flyweight title at the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation Africa Championships in Windhoek on Saturday. 

In a close fight that saw few clearcut punches as the fighters mostly clinched on the floor, Muller edged the first round, but Mahura landed some punches in the second, while the third seemed to be quite even. The judges, however, gave the win to Muller, with the decision loudly cheered by the ecstatic home town fans at a packed Hybrid Fitness Centre. 

With that Muller successfully defended his African flyweght title after winning gold at the 2023 IMMAF continental championships in Luanda, Angola and Muller was clearly relieved after the fight.

“It was a great fight – definitely one of my toughest bouts of the tournament, Obakeng is a really tough opponent, especally on the ground, his wrestling is exceptional, and he had me guessing there to be honest. But I think I won round one and two and round three was one for the judges to decide, but at the end of the day I pulled it through and managed to secure another gold medal back to back and I’m really happy,” he said. 

Muller said it was a great feeling to retain the African crown. 

“It’s something that’s indescribable – I’m completely awestruck, it’s a surreal feeling and I can’t really encapsulate it, but I just feel blessed, everything comes from the man upstairs, and as I said earlier without God none of this would be possible.”

Muller has now qualified for the 2024 IMMAF World Championships which take place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in October and he said he will soon get back to training. 

“I’ll have a few beers now, but definitely as soon as we are well rested and recovered, then I’ll get back to training. I think we have another competition coming up towards the end of July, and then we are looking at the world champs in October,” he said. 

Muller was the only Namibian to win a gold medal at the IMMAF African Championships, although Quinnservando Malander won a bronze medal in the senior men’s 77,1kg welterweight category. 

In the junior men’s division, Bagdhad Muundjua won a silver medal in the 65,8kg featherweight category after losing the final to JJ Karagiannidis of South Africa, while Ronaldo Feris won the bronze medal in the 77,1kg welterweight category. 

In the youth men’s division, Adriano Bock won a bronze medal in the strawweight category (52,2kg), while Shange Kamwi won a bronze medal in the Youth B 57kg category. 

Team Angola topped the medal table again with a whopping 11 gold medals, followed closely by South Africa, which took home seven gold medals. DR Congo came third with two gold medals, followed by Zambia, Namibia, and Zimbabwe with one gold medal each. Cameroon and Egypt also earned silver and bronze medals.

The various category winners were as follows:

Men strawweight 52,2kg

1 Philani Ngqoyiya (SA) 2 Francisco Tchapaina (Angola) 3 Adilson Zacarias (Angola).

Men flyweight 56,7lg

1 Damian Muller (Namibia) 2 Obakeng Mahura (SA) 3 Mafuana Mbungo (Angola).

3 Daniel James SA.

Men bantamweight 61,2kg:

1 Sisa Jungula (SA) 2 Abraham Banda (Zambia) 3 Adalberto Ntyamba (Angola). 

Men featherweight 65,8kg:

1 Lewis Mataya (Zimbabwe) 2 Matias Monteiro (Angola) 3 Clelio Diogo (Angola) 3 Bryn Gwavava (Zimbabwe). 

Men lightweight 70,3kg:

1 Jeremie Likobele (DRC) 2 William Bombo (Angola) 3 Killiam Lungu (Zambia), 3 Alex Kamgang (Cameroon).

Men welterweight 77,1kg:

1 Tulunda Daniel (Angola), 2 Tyyrone Platt (SA), 3 Quinnservando Malander (Namibia), 3 Aron Bingo (DRC). 

Men middleweight 83,9kg:

1 Gilbert Ndlovu (Zambia) 2 Grecio Lopes (Angola) 3 Amro Abdeen (Egypt) 3 Aime Begnone (Cameroon). 

Men light heavyweight 93kg:

1 Anderson Gouveia (Angola) 2 Herve Zeng (DRC) 3 Mario Stefan (Angola). 

Men heavyweight 120kg:

1 Elfran Marques (Angola) 2 Tinus Stoop (SA) 3 Jose Txambunga (Angola). 

Men super heavyweight +120kg:

1 Helder Manuel (Angola) 2 Nicklas Helander (Angola). 

Women flyweight 56,7kg:

1 Esperanca Pereira (Angola) 2 Shelda Chipito (Zambia) 3 Gessimara Fonseca (Angola). 

Women featherweight 65,8kg:

1 Demi-Shaye Thomas (SA) 2 Nubia Miguel (Angola) 3 Mutinta Mweene (Zambia). 

Women lightweight 70,3kg:

1 Jeorgina Ludmila (Angola) 2 Bela Da Silva (Angola).  

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