25 Sept 2022

Gold medal for SBG Naas teen at youth MMA World Championships

Kildare v Offaly world final in Bulgaria!

Gold medal for SBG Naas teen at youth MMA World Championships

Max Lally, left, beat Irish team-mate Jordan Scully in the World Championships final on Sunday

Max Lally of SBG Naas took gold in the Mixed Martial Arts Youth World Championships in Bulgaria on Sunday afternoon.

The 17-year-old beat Jordan Scully of SBG Tullamore in an all-Irish welterweight final in the Youth A (age 16/17) category.

Lally took the decider in a quick minute and a half, winning by arm-bar in the first round of a final which saw Ireland guaranteed gold and silver. On a packed day of action in Sofia, Bulgaria, he decisively won three earlier match-ups to make the final, beating Billie Merreighn of the USA by decision; and taking submission victories over Danil Kapustin of Russia and Hod Maman of Israel.

The talented young prospect, who will shortly turn 18, is the oldest of three teens to represent the Kildare gym at the world championships.

His Naas team-mate Alex Keogh took bronze in the Youth A bantamweight division, taking a unanimous decision and two submission wins to earn his semi-final spot, before losing out in a hard-fought match-up with eventual Bantamweight champion David Ozmanyan of Russia.

Saturday saw SBG Naas Youth B (age 14/15) bantamweight Brandon Blake win one of his two fights via unanimous decision.

Twenty-seven young Irish athletes, between the ages of 12 and 17, travelled to Bulgaria last week for the competition, with SBG Naas’ Sergey Pikulskiy also serving as the squad’s wrestling coach.

Ireland took a further four bronze medals, for Louise Brady, Alison Syron, Olivia Babiarz and Ben Harding, during the three-day event.

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