WARRNAMBOOL mixed martial arts fighter Alish Smith claimed a bronze medal at her maiden international competition.
The 21-year-old claimed third place in the women’s flyweight division at the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation Asian Open, after she was defeated in the semi-finals stage by Sweden’s Anya Saxmark via submission.
Smith’s coach, Spartan Mixed Martial Art’s David Gibb, lauded her efforts in Singapore.
“She did well – she’s 21, it was her first go at fighting internationally and her first fight was against a number-four-ranked-in-the-world opponent,” he said.
“She was actually beating her (Saxmark) in the standing up in the fight, but when the Swedish girl got her on the mat, she got her in the choke and won.”
Gibb said it was a valuable learning experience for Smith, who has qualified to represent Australia at the IMMAF World Championships in Bahrain in November.
“It was good to see what the competition is going to be like,” he said. “We’re working on a long-term plan; we’re aiming for gold in a couple of years’ time.
“The only way to get there is through experience.”
Smith qualified for the Australia team after winning gold at the Arnold Classic and will compete at another Australian qualifier in Brisbane on August 19.
“She’s already got a place on the team, but we still want to do this competition to get some more experience in her,” Gibb said.