Georgian Mariam Topuria was crowned as the first champion of the GAMMA European Championships ©GAMMA

Various defending champions progressed through the opening rounds of their weight categories at the Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts (GAMMA) European Championships in Tbilisi.

Ukraine's defending champion Anatoli Zhurakivskyi, who received a first round bye, locked Georgian Giorgi Gogotchuri into a submission to conclude the men's under-70.3kg match early.

Gogotchuri had previously beaten Turkey's Emrah Sevinc to give the host nation their first victory of the competition.

Zhurakivskyi was in the ring again later, this time in the striking discipline of the same weight category.

He fought off Alexander Mrabet of Spain to mark the start of his quest to win both titles.

Reigning men's under-77.1kg champion Kyrylo Kolomiets, also of Ukraine, and men's under-65.8kg title holder Petr Striz of Germany also made successful starts to their title defences.

Kolomiets had beaten Slovakia's Lukas Soroka to advance while Striz bettered Enes Celik.

The opening contest of the competition saw Italy's Jimi Tchintcharauli take down Slovakia's Patrik Sebek in the under-77.1kg men's MMA category.

The first day of the GAMMA European Championships were held ©GAMMA
The first day of the GAMMA European Championships were held ©GAMMA

Ivan Kozhechenkov of Latvia also enjoyed early success as he was awarded the decision versus Richard Dobrotka, also representing Slovakia, in the under-61.2kg group.

Prior to the core part of the action, a Parade of Nations was held during the Opening Ceremony with Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, and Ukraine featuring as the competing countries.

GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt and Georgian MMA Federation President Gia Chiragisvili were among those to make welcoming speeches.

"Seeing many of you returning to these Championships after competing last year is a positive sign that our sport is growing in the right way, and the value that these Championships have for you all," said Engelhardt.

"Thank you to our hosts the Georgian Federation for welcoming us to your great country for these Championships.

"I have no doubt that over the next three days we will see enjoy some excellent competition and that the spirit of our sport will be on display to the world."