England head to Italy with high hopes of medals as they get set for the IMMAF European Championships in Lignano Sabiadoro.

The EMMAA team will consist of 18 athletes, the most ever fielded by the nation in IMMAF competition, for the championships, with fighters set for action across both the junior and senior championships at the five-day event, which runs between September 26 and October 1.

The tournaments take place in a knockout format, with winning fighters progressing to the next stage of the tournament until two remain, who do battle for gold in the European Championship final for that weight category.

Team England will head to Italy full of confidence after a successful tournament at the inaugural Four Nations championship, where they picked up six golds, six silvers and four bronze medals.

EMMAA head coach Paul Kelly will take a team of five coaches with him to the tournament, and said he’s looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“I am proud to be leading the England Team out to Italy for the IMMAF European 2022 Championships in Italy,” he said.

“The England coaching team has been strengthened in the last 12 months and the work and dedication by the coaching team and the athletes will be evident in this tournament.

“I believe the IMMAF style competition with same-day weigh-ins and knockout rules offers valuable experience and exposure at the International level for our athletes to develop their future and the future of MMA in England, Europe and indeed the World.”

That enthusiasm was shared by EMMAA vice president and head of performance Paul Reed, who also acts as a coach for the team.

“Exciting times for the squad leading on from the great success of the Four Nations to represent at the IMMAF Europeans,” he said.

“Super pleased with the team spirit at the squad days and the application by all in the technical training days.

“I am constantly in touch to monitor weight and Nutrition strategies and there will be no weight cutting taking place with our team, I am proud of them all in their approach to this.

“All that is left is for them to soak up the experience, perform at their best and bring some medals home.

“Onwards and upwards for Team EMMAA. See you Italy!”