Bagdat Zhubanysh celebrated a third world title on top of the cage ©IMMAF

Bagdat Zhubanysh made history as the first fighter to win three titles at the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) World Championships as the event reached its conclusion in Abu Dhabi.

The Kazakh strawweight had triumphed at the past two editions and made it a glorious treble here by beating Farkhod Rakhmonaliev of the Russian Mixed Martial Arts Union (RMMAU) by unanimous decision.

Zhubanysh celebrated his victory by straddling the top of the cage and his coach picked him up in a fireman's carry.

He was denied the chance to win a third title on home soil when this event was moved here from Kazakhstan in November, but has now written his place in the history books.

On a night of 16 finals, Bahrain enjoyed great success with six wins including two for defending champions.

The Gulf nation has assembled a team of foreign-born stars, mainly from Brazil and Russia, who now represent the Kingdom. 

Sabrina Laurentina De Sousa defended her women's featherweight crown by unanimous decision after dominating Cecilie Bolander with a clinic in punching which bloodied the Norwegian's nose.

Pound-for-pound number one Ramazan Gitinov also retained his welterweight title by getting the verdict on all three cards against Jovidon Mahmudov of Tajikistan.

Bahrain also won the men's heavyweight thanks to Rasul Magomedov's unanimous victory over the RMMAU's Shamil Kuramagomedov.

Aieza Ramos Bertolso, who had not fought at the IMMAF Championships due to a series of byes and withdrawals, won the women's strawweight for Bahrain against Sweden's Josefine Modig, again unanimously.

There was also a unanimous Bahrain success for Beatriz Consuli Diniz over Brazil's Giulliany Perea in the women's flyweight, while Kurban Idrisov only beat Salamat Isbulaev of the RMMAU by split decision despite appearing to dominate.

The RMMAU followed up their night of dominance in the junior finals, where they won 13 titles, by winning another five at senior level.

Olga Lagodnaya won a world title at the age of 42 for the RMMAU ©IMMAF
Olga Lagodnaya won a world title at the age of 42 for the RMMAU ©IMMAF

Super-heavyweight Shamsutdin Makhmudov was the only fighter all night to achieve a stoppage as he beat Rassul Khatayev of Kazakhstan by strikes in round two.

Bektur Zhenishbek Uulu won a unanimous decision over Dastan Zhakypbekov of Kazakhstan in the men's flyweight and at bantamweight Shakhban Gapizov won in the same fashion against Sweden's Oskar Jaskari.

There was a fine display for the RMMAU's Olga Lagodnaya, who won a world title aged 42 after taking a split decision against Aizhan Abdykadyr in the women's lightweight.

Dzhamal Medzhidov overpowered Robin Enontekio of Sweden for light-heavyweight gold by unanimous decision.

Kazakhstan added another gold to pair with Zhubanysh's title thanks to Bekzat Zhassiya's split-decision verdict against Spain's Juan Izquierdo in the men's featherweight.

New Zealand, Ireland and Sweden also enjoyed golds as the event concluded.

Fergus Jenkins, who was hyped up by a haka performed by New Zealand officials before his middleweight final, beat Iusup Magomedov of the RMMAU by split decision.

Ireland's Nadine Abbott Bissett won the lightest class, the women's atomweight, by unanimous decision against Finland's Jenna Horto, and Sweden's Nina Nikolija Milosevic won the women's bantamweight unanimously against Bahrain's Raiane Vinuto Guimaraes.