World MMA Association Represented at Recent Ground Breaking Bellator Oktagon in Italy
By PDG Staff
The World MMA Association (WMMAA) was well represented by Senior Vice President Alexander Engelhardt at the recent ground-breaking event, Bellator Oktagon, at Pala Alpitour in Torino, Italy. Bellator Oktagon was a co-promotion between Bellator MMA and Oktagon Kickboxing, featuring MMA and kickboxing fights.
In addition to watching Bellator’s first event ever held outside of the United States, productive meetings were held in private Italian lounges during a three-day stretch between many of the greatest worldwide exponents in the MMA sports industry, including Engelhardt, UFC Hall-of-Famer Royce Gracie and Oktagon Kickboxing president Paulo Biotti.
Engelhardt has been a driving force in terms of promoting MMA, as well as Combat Sports in general, to help bridge the sport and promotions. He is a passionate advocate of more power for federations in order to support and regulate the sport, in addition to getting blue-chip sponsors into market campaigns.
“Biotti is well known within the world of mixed martial arts and combat sports as a host/presenter of several television broadcasts of martial arts and extreme sports for Red Bull,” Engelhardt said. “He’s also a Professor of a Master course of advanced communications and media innovation at the IULM University in Milan. Paolo has been one of the greatest gurus of sports marketing and TV on an international level for the last 20 years with whom it was possible to exchange ideas of new innovative solutions regarding the promotion and organization of MMA globally.”
(L-R) – WMMAA Senior VP Alex Engelhardt, Paolo Biotti and Royce Gracie
A sold out crowd of 14,000 in attendance, plus countless viewers who were watching the action live throughout the United States and in 140 different countries, watched Russian and Italian athletes dominate competition.
“All of the greatest exponents of MMA in the world were hosted as VIPs in a reserved area where they exchanged handshakes with the most well-known stars from the world of Martial Arts,” Engelhardt continued. “Also there were the most important sports managers in the world of combat sports, famous action-movie actors, and leaders of the world of finance and the show business entertainment industry, including General Consultant and President of Chinese Federation of WMMAA, Joe Qiao, and Jiuli Han, popular actress and former Strikeforce champion Gina Carrano, Bellator president Scott Coker, representatives of numerous federations from a wide variety of countries involved in MMA, and many others.
Among the many great fights of the evening’s super show were victories in the first round by Russian champion Anastasia Yankova against the American champion Anjela Pink, along with Italian star and UFC fighter since 2005, Alessio Sakara – “The Legionarious from Rome” – who knocked out American champion Brian Rogers.
Anastasia Yankova wins in the first round by submission against the Angie Pink of the US
The fortunate people able to acquire a ticket for this tremendous event also witnessed the unique change from a boxing ring to a cage for the first time because Torino was the site for the launching of a new project, Bellator Kickboxing.