IMMAA announces provisional team of 15 Seniors, 8 Juniors for 2018 IMMAF European Championships

Pictured: Daryl Clarke earned bronze for Ireland at the 2017 European Open, competing in the Men’s bantamweight division.

The Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association (IMMAA) has announced its provisional team to represent the Republic of Ireland at the 2018 IMMAF European Championships and Youth European Open, taking place from 17–23 June in Bucharest, Romania, hosted by the Romanian Kempo MMA Federation (RMMAF).

For the first time, two IMMAF nation vs nation, amateur MMA tournaments will take place in Bucharest at the Grand Rin Hotel. Each competition will have its own draw as the 2018 European Championships and Youth European Open (open to worldwide competitors age 18, 19 and 20) run concurrently.

The European Championships remains open to senior athletes age 18+. Competitors of the senior event must be citizens of a European nation, making this competition IMMAF’s first closed continental event.

All competing athletes are selected to represent their country by their respective national MMA Federations/Associations.

See below for IMMAA’s provisional European Championships and Youth European Open team. For more information on how you can become affiliated, compete and get involved with IMMAA – contact IMMAA secretary Deano


Eilís Ní Hanluain (SBG Cork)
Dee Fitzpatrick (SBG HQ)



David Fogarty (SBG Charlestown)
Dylan Kennedy (No Fear)

Mikey McCoy (Fantom) JUNIOR
Jamie Abbott-Bissett (Ryano HQ) JUNIOR

Dylan Ó Donovan (SBG Cork)
Ronan Butler (SBG Cork)

Patrick Dunne-Symes (Ryano HQ) JUNIOR

Jack Maguire (Cork MMA)
Ryan O’Connor (SBG Cork)

Nahom Alem (Living I) JUNIOR
Jordan Bradshaw (C-MAC) JUNIOR

Ciarán Clarke (SBGi)
Lee Hammond (SBGi)

Adam Darby (Ryano HQ) JUNIOR
Patrick Lehane (SBG Cork) JUNIOR

John Mitchell (Cork MMA)
John Byrne (SBGi)

ALTERNATE Mark Gallivan (Ryano)



Ryan Spillane (SBG Cork)
Padraig Kelleher (SBG Cork)

Brian Draper (Ryano HQ) JUNIOR

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Cage Warriors Academy SE will mark UK’s top flyweight in 8-man amateur tournament

British Challenge MMA (BCMMA), the south-eastern branch of the Cage Warriors Academy network, will host an 8-man tournament on April 7 to determine the UK’s top amateur flyweight.

Taking place at the Charter Hall in Colchester, Essex, the participating 125lb contenders currently slated to compete include:

Warren Mason (10-11)
Robbie Brown (8-10)
Reece McEwen (5-0)
Jordan Baxter (10-3)
Jack Temple (6-4)
Jack Eglin (3-3)
Ciaran Mulholland (6-4)
Ashley Kilvington (7-0)

The diverse lineup presents a standout platform and opportunity for some of the nation’s leading flyweight talent. The victor, who will secure three triumphs in the space of one night, will most likely be earmarked by the UK MMA Federation (UKMMAF) to potentially represent the national team at this year’s international IMMAF championships, for events including the June 17-23 European Championships in Bucharest, Romania, and the 2018 IMMAF World Championships during November in Manama, Bahrain.

While the April 7 contest is not officially billed as a national team qualifier at this time, it is confirmed that UKMMAF representatives will be in attendance and paying close attention to the tournament outcome.

BCMMA co-promoter and professional MMA veteran, Jack Mason, stated via social media: “It’s an absolute privilege for us at Cage Warriors Academy SE to be able to host an event like this. What a spectacle for the fans and what an opportunity for the fighters! Region’s from all around the UK represented to prove who is the UK’s #1 Amateur Flyweight in an 8 man, one night tournament.”

22-year-old Warren Mason, the most experienced tournament contender, earned a silver medal for the UK team at the 2015 European Open Championships in Birmingham, UK. Victories over Frenchman Correira Humberto and Ireland’s David Fogarty, a future world silver medalist, saw him advance to an all-British final against team-mate Jake Bond. Mason last competed for the UK at the 2016 World Championships in Las Vegas, but was dealt an early exit upon sustaining a broken collarbone, resulting in a TKO in the first round of his opening bout in the Men’s flyweight bracket.

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Lee Hammond qualifies to represent Ireland in IMMAF 2018, watch the replay here

Pictured above: Hammond (left) battles Ferdun Osmanov in the 2016 IMMAF European Open Finals

By lead writer, Jorden Curran

22-year-old Lee Hammond recently qualified for Ireland’s national amateur MMA team, set to compete at international IMMAF championships throughout 2018.

The Dubliner and SBG Ireland product took on MMA Cork’s Jack Monahan in a 2018 lightweight qualifying bout. After a pressing start from Monahan who sought to pin Hammond against the fence, Hammond dragged his opposition into deep waters on the ground and found his way to sinking in a rear-naked-choke submission in the second round. Replay at bottom of the page.

Hammond, a regular training partner of UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, will now once again represent his country on the international IMMAF platform. Having been forced to withdraw from the 2017 IMMAF World Championships due to injury, he was replaced by Ciaran Clarke who showcased an impressive run of form in Bahrain, eliminating number-one seed Tobias Harila (Sweden) and narrowly missed out on a guaranteed medal after a split-decision loss in the quarter-finals to eventual silver medalist Vitali Andruhovich (Belarus).

Hammond returns to the Irish MMA Association (IMMAA) squad having last featured at the 2016 European Open Championships in Prague, Czech Republic, where he earned the silver medal in the Men’s lightweight division. He also earned bronze the previous year, at the 2015 European Open in Birmingham, UK.

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IMMAF’s prolific 2018 continued to unfold this past week

By lead writer, Jorden Curran

IMMAF’s most prolific and eventful year to date continues to unfold at a sensational pace.

Over the past week, IMMAF has been engaged in a variety of activity with major developments taking place that will impact upcoming announcements and progression for years to come.

March 4-5
The week began following the mention via IMMAF on Twitter (@IMMAFed) that President Kerrith Brown and Chief Executive Densign White had met in London with UFC COO Lawrence Epstein. The two organisations discussed key details such as worldwide regulation and anti-doping as the World’s leading MMA promotion continues to support Amateur MMA and the reach of its international governing body.

On March 5 the IMMAF team welcomed to London former European and World gold medalist Leah McCourt, plus former European silver medalist Mario Moreno Hortinha, for a day of filming for promotional video content. The duo shared their inspirational and extraordinary stories for an upcoming film that takes a look at why MMA deserves to be a recognised sport with the amateur format earning its place in the Olympic Games.  

Northern Ireland’s Leah McCourt showcased herself in a terrific amateur tenure on the IMMAF platform. The Judo blackbelt and BJJ champion won gold medals at the 2015 IMMAF European Open and 2016 World Championships. Moreno Hortinha entered the 2017 European Open for Portugal as an unseeded, unranked outsider. His determination and emotion thrilled all in attendance as he secured one victory after another to make it all the way to the Bantamweight championship final.

March 7
There’s no rest for the IMMAF heads as CEO Densign White makes his way to Paris, France, while President Kerrith Brown heads to Manama, Bahrain.

As a member of the Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA), IMMAF was present in Paris for the SIGA event honoring gender equality and good governance in sport. France’s 2017 IMMAF world champion Manon Fiorot gave a speech on equal gender rights, in addition to the IMMAF CEO who also serves on the SIGA Council.

Meanwhile, the IMMAF President was in Bahrain for the official announcement of the nation serving as hosts for the 2018 and 2019 IMMAF World Championships. Mr Brown and Col. Al Khayyat, President of the Bahrain MMA Federation, signed hosting agreements at the first press conference of this year’s event.

March 8

IMMAF steps up its pursuit for WADA signatory status in order to ensure safety within the sport for generations to come. Also, seeds are planted for an all new legacy in the region of Oceania. Director of International Events, Alistair Pettitt, traveled to Australia where he joins organisers from the International MMA Federation of Australia (IMMAFA) to oversee the 2018 Oceania Open Championships.

On March 8 IMMAF publicity announced the filing of a civil lawsuit against the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

IMMAF is disputing the rejection of its application to become a WADA signatory on the grounds of infringement to its personality rights according to Swiss law. Although IMMAF meets all WADA criteria, the agency which was founded to independently protect and support participant safety in sport, rejected IMMAF’s application. The sole reason given was rebuttal by other recognised International Sports Federations, mainly combat sports federations.

WADA’s rejection has wide reaching impact on the development of the sport of MMA.

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Old School vs. New School: what’s at stake as Jack Shore faces UFC vet Vaughan Lee

Photo credit: Cage Warriors

By lead writer, Jorden Curran

Former IMMAF European champion Jack Shore (pictured) takes on the biggest challenge of his professional career to date when he faces UFC veteran Vaughan Lee at Cage Warriors 92: Super Saturday on March 24 at the O2 Indigo in London.

The highlight encounter serves as a compelling eliminator to decide the number-one contender to the Cage Warriors bantamweight title, currently held by Nathanial Wood who aims to defend the crown in the event’s headline collision against Italian Luca Iovine.

For Shore, the contest marks his first career milestone since turning professional in 2016 and quickly finding himself on the Cage Warriors roster, building a name for himself, remaining undefeated and “on fire” with an undefeated 7-0 record. The 23-year-old Welshman has been prolific in his exploits, snatching all seven triumphs via stoppage, boasting 5 submissions, but not without a pair of stylish TKO’s adding to his highlight reel and reputation as a devastating and increasingly well rounded competitor.

In 2012, he made his amateur debut in Wales for an undefeated amateur tenure that came to and end in late 2015 upon winning the 2015 IMMAF European Open Championships in Birmingham.

Shore claimed the gold medal in the Men’s Lightweight bracket as he secured four victories in three days, including a first round submission of Bulgaria’s Ferdun Osmanov, another young challenger who would go on to earn silver at the 2016 IMMAF World Championships in addition to winning back-to-back European Open titles in 2016 and 2017.

Shore represents the best of an up-and-coming generation, and so, what better litmus test than that of Vaughan Lee (pictured below) – the former UFC contender fondly remembered for his own well rounded and energetic showcases of clinical striking and submission prowess.

Vaughan LeeAt age 35 Lee has been to the heights of the sport. By the time that Shore had taken part in his first amateur bout, Lee was already a UFC contender with a career highlight submission victory over the highly touted “Kid” Yamamoto. Securing an arm-bar submission in the opening round of their 2012 meeting, Lee was the first and only man to categorically finish the Japanese star beyond a TKO in 2002, of which was forced due to a cut sustained in the opening seconds.

Lee embodies all that is associated with old school martial arts. He is a philosophical warrior with career longevity, originating from Kung Fu and the Jeet Kune Do (JKD) system inspired by Bruce Lee. As an avid proponent of the spirituality entwined with martial arts, his motivation through spirit has only grown wiser in the later stages of his career.

Lee finds himself with the opportunity for redemption and a potential rematch with Nathaniel Wood. In his first bout since 2015, the seasoned veteran suffered a TKO loss at the hands of the reigning CWFC champion. Against Shore, he continues on a quest for resurgence, aiming to best the front runners of a new generation as both Shore and Wood pursue the trail of the pioneering old guard.

Cage Warriors 92 airs live from 9pm on UFC Fight Pass on March 24.

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