IMMAF World and European Open flyweight silver medallist Anette Österberg (11-4) has stepped in on a week’s notice to face British up-and-comer Cory McKenna (6-0) at BCMMA 19 on May 6 in Colchester, England.
McKenna, who for the first will be stepping up to face top international flyweight competition, will retain the opportunity at facing a top ranked competitor having originally been set to take on number-1 women’s flyweight Gabriella Ringblom, she now faces the number-3 ranked Österberg.
Fighting out of Hardknocks Helsinki, Finland’s 2016 world silver medallist most recently battled her way to the final of the 2017 IMMAF European Open in Sofia, Bulgaria, with an incredible semi-final performance against Sweden’s Anja Saxmark, coming out on top through a series of thrilling standup exchanges to take the decision win. In the final Österberg was edged out by Hungarian Alexandra Kovacs by way of a hotly contested split-decision with Kovacs having previously stunned Ringblom to win the title in 2016 with a TKO upset in Prague, Czech Republic.
The Finnish striking enthusiast is a perennial top contender within the world amateur scene and in her last 3 IMMAF tournament campaigns has only been defeated after going the distance with the eventual champion. Österberg also has extensive experience outside of MMA, competing in amateur Muay Thai.
The young McKenna has shown durability and diverse skills since making her amateur debut in 2014 with experience in going the distance alongside a trio of submission wins and 1 TKO stoppage. This will not be the first time that McKenna has stepped up to face world level competition, as an amateur kickboxer herself in 2015 she mixed it up with Muay Thai sensation Dakota Ditcheva. In addition, McKenna last year submitted Poland’s Aleksandra Rola who was awarded the silver medal in the Women’s 115lb Strawweight division of the 2016 IMMAF World Championships, but was subsequently stripped of second place due to testing positive for performance enhancing substances.
Contributed by IMMAF.org lead writer and website manager, Jorden Curran