Are Cave, D’Anjou ready for the octagon in Abu Dhabi?
…Guyanese pair looking forward to historic fight at the IMMAF World Championships?
After months of preparation, it’s now time for Corwin D’Anjou and Ijaz Cave to show their worth against some of the world’s best fighters when they step into the octagon today at the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) World Championships.
Following yesterday’s tournament draw at the Millennium Al Rawdah Hotel in Abu Dhabi, D’Anjou will come up against Ireland’s Adam McEnroe in the first round of the Men’s Welterweight (77.1kg) division, while Cave got a ‘bye’ to the Round-of-16 in the Men’s Light Heavyweight (93kg) category.
Hosted by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and MMA Federation, with the support of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and in partnership with Palms Sports, the senior and junior national tournaments will take place at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Zayed Sports City, near UFC Fight Island (Yas Island).
Unlike Cave, D’Anjou is no stranger to Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), having had five fights prior to today’s event, but he admitted that nothing would compare to the World Championships.
D’Anjou tasted defeat once in his fight outings, winning four fights via submission, while his opponent, McEnroe, picked up two losses in his six fights.
“I’m not taking anyone for granted,” D’Anjou has said. “I watched a couple of his fights, and I’ll be working with coach on executing whatever plans we come up with, and taking things one fight at a time.”
The well-known judoka spoke profoundly of his eagerness to step into the octagon, but more so about launching his international MMA career.
“This is something I’ve been waiting on, and with my sensei, I have been working very hard to do myself, family and country proud,” D’Anjou has said.
Meanwhile Cave, while being known for his exploits in the ring as a boxer, is looking forward to the competition.
A Lance Corporal in the Guyana Police Force (GPF), Cave has said that while having a bye is good, he’s remaining focused on the fight ahead.
“This has been an amazing journey for me so far. I want to thank the GYMMA for this opportunity. I also want to thank my family and my superiors in the Guyana Police Force for the support so far. I am just going to remain focused and confident; listen to coach, and stick to our plan. I am here to win and do well for my country,” the humble Policeman has said.
Following an unavoidable 24hr delay in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana’s Mixed Martial Arts team arrived in the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Capital on Saturday, ahead of today’s start of the IMMAF marquee tournament, which will conclude on January 29.
Coach, renowned judo/Jiu-Jitsu sensei Bruce Fraser, has expressed his optimism in the duo’s upcoming bout, while pointing to how hard they have worked to be ready for the competition.
“The guys were working hard over the last five months, covering all the aspects of training before coming here (to Abu Dhabi). It has indeed been a privilege to be here, and I just hope we do well,” the usually candid Coach Fraser has said.
Guyana is making its debut at the IMMAF World Championships despite the Guyana Mixed Martial Arts Federation (GYMMA) being in its infant stage of existence, and Fraser is hopeful that it is just the start of an amazing journey for the sport in the Land of Many Waters.
(By Rawle Toney in Abu Dhabi, (compliments: Guyana Mixed Martial Arts Federation/ National Sports Commission)