Formation of New French MMA Committee

Meeting of June 4, 2019 & the Creation of the French MMA Committee

The French government recently announced its willingness to supervise MMA in order to integrate it into the French sports ecosystem. A Call for a Demonstration of Interest (AMI) will be launched by the Ministry of Sports on June 24, allowing Federations who wish to apply to host MMA.

A group of representatives of different groups from the French MMA community met for the third time Tuesday, June 4 to lay the foundations of a common vision of the future of MMA in France, including Fernand Lopez, Bertrand Amoussou (President of IMMAF | WMMAA national federation, CFMMA), Stéphane Chaufourier and Cyril Diabate.

This meeting brought together the different parties under a new entity to address the following matters:
• Creation of the French MMA Committee and election of two interim co-presidents, Bertrand Amoussou and Stéphane Chaufourier, as well as members of the board;
• Modalities for the launch of the AMI by the Ministry of Sports;
• Establishment of committees and working groups to structure a common approach;
• Coordination of joint communications

While waiting for the launch of the AMI, the French MMA Committee will meet regularly.

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The issues of the AMI – Interview with Bertrand Amoussou and Stéphane Chaufourier “Atch”, Co-Chairs of the French MMA Committee.

After several years of debate, the government finally legalizes the MMA. Why is this decision taking place today?

Bertrand Amoussou: It is above all the fruit of several years of conviction, sometimes against all odds, with the public authorities and the French sports ecosystem. Thanks to the instructional work carried out by many MMA representatives and relayed in a very professional way by the media who have played a crucial role in the changing of minds, this young discipline has gradually emerged as a sport in its own right…. We are reaping the fruits of these years of investment.

Stéphane Chaufourier “Atch”: Education was essential, it is undeniable. Public representatives have progressively accepted the fact that MMA is a discipline like the others, based on values, processes, structure and above all a set of trajectories and individual stories. The new generation of elected officials, who are perhaps more sensitive to this craze, have understood the necessity of listening to those in the field in order to make the necessary decisions.

What do you consider to be the conditions for success for AMI?

S.C .: For more than 10 years, many representatives have been working individually to structure MMA and for its recognition in France. They have finally gathered under the French MMA Committee to advance the sport and to pool skills. In particular, we initiated substantive work, piloting around 14 commissions led by groups of experts, as our contribution. The key to success will lie in the quality of the work and the value provided by the skills that we will make available to the future entity in charge of structuring French MMA.

B. A.: The structuring work will be decisive. However, after all these years of activism and being so close to the goal, we will be particularly vigilant about respect given to the integrity of our sport. MMA is based on coherent and specific rules as well as on an international, unified progression system, as the result of some remarkable work….. There is no doubt that MMA started in France in a rawer form. Then, do not call it MMA and start from scratch!

What do you see as the future challenges of MMA in France?

BA: At first, the priority will be structural: organizing the new federation, identifying all the national representatives, setting up appropriate training, certifying coaches and taking into account all participants. The next step will be to advance MMA competition.

S. C .: The structuring of MMA education, based on what has already been achieved despite the lack of resources and recognition so far, remains the top priority. When this project has reaped its first fruits, it will enable us to deliver more professionally and efficiently.

Pictured: French MMA Committee co. interim President, Bertrand Amoussou, who stands as IMMAF | WMMAA Board Director and President of the French national MMA federation, CFMMA

MMA INDIA Elects New Board

Yesterday in Bangalore, MMA INDIA held board elections for the term 2019 – 2023 with the following directors elected:

Sharif Bapu – President
Suresh Gopi – Honorary Chairman
Prasad Gaitonde – General Secretary
Ajit Sigamani – Treasurer
Ajay Marwah – Senior Vice President
Khriemilie Mehta – Vice President (Eastern region)
Radhika Jhaveri – Vice President – (Western region)
Kevin Alfred David – Vice President (Southern region)
Vikas Sharma – Vice President (Northern region)
Jitesh Banjan – Technical Director

Honorary Chairman, Suresh Gopi, commented: “IMMAF |WMMAA’s sole National MMA Governing Body in India has democratically elected members to its 2019 – 2023 Executive Board comprising of dynamic young leaders hailing from four zones of the Indian continent. Confidence is high, and the future looks brilliant.”

Dates Announced for 2019 IMMAF – WMMAA World Championships at BRAVE International Combat Week

9 – 16 November 2019

Main image: (from left to right) Mohamed Qambar (BMMAF), Mohammed Shahid (BRAVE president), Col. Al Khayyat (BMMAF president & NOC Director), Kerrith Brown (IMMAF President), Densign White (IMMAF – WMMAA CEO), DJ Mojay Jahani (presenter) and Redha Haji (BMMAF)

At a press conference held in Manama on Wednesday, BRAVE Combat Federation, the Bahrain MMA Federation and IMMAF- WMMAA announced the schedule for 2019 BRAVE International Combat Week, in which this year’s IMMAF – WMMAA World Championships is to take place for a third year running. The week is to culminate in an explosive professional card presented by BRAVE.

BRAVE International Combat Week will take place in Isa Town, Bahrain, between November 9 and 16, with the 2019 IMMAF- WMMAA World Championships tournament spanning 5 days.

BRAVE president Mohammed Shahid and Bahrain MMA Federation president Col. Khalid A. Aziz Al Khayyat were joined in the press conference by IMMAF President Kerrith Brown and CEO Densign White, as they announced the full details of what they promised to be the biggest International Combat Week yet.

Brown said he expected up to 60 nations and 550 athletes to participate in the amateur World Championships, and praised Bahrain’s delivering of the tournament to the highest standard.

“Our job is to empower national federations and athletes around the world. And our mission needs to have the right partners. BRAVE CF and the Kingdom of Bahrain are just that. They have gone above and beyond to help us achieve what we set out to do, and I can’t wait to deliver our biggest World Championships yet”.

Col. Al Khayat said: “Bahrain has played a prominent role in supporting the sport of mixed martial arts through the steps taken by His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, in promoting the culture of this sport not only at a local level, but..(at).. continental and international…. through his establishment of the Bahrain Mixed Martial Arts Federation, as well as his launching of the Bahraini brand BRAVE, which exceeds local borders to reach cities and capitals of the world, and which has contributed to Bahrain’s position on the global sports map”

He went on to credit Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad as the driving force behind BRAVE International Combat Week and the partnership with IMMAF-WMMAA, in the interests of developing the sport.

The Bahrain MMA Federation is recognised by the Bahrain Olympic Committee of which Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad is President.

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Women’s participation Jumps to 89% Increase for 2019 IMMAF – WMMAA European Open

With over 300 athletes from 36 nations set to compete at the 2019 IMMAF – WMMAA European Open & Junior European Open Championships, women’s participation at the event will be at an all time high since its 2015 inception.

With the annual growth of women’s participation at the European Open jumping to a massive 89% following 2018, 53 female athletes will bid for gold, representing national teams including Poland, Finland, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Ireland, UK (England & Scotland), Estonia, Wales, Spain, Russia, Germany, Belarus, Sweden, Italy, the Czech Republic and Greece.

As we approach the event’s 2019 installment, taking place from 18- 23 June in Rome, the European Open serves as amateur MMA’s second largest event after the World Championships. With six weight divisions ranging from Atomweight (105lbs/47.6kg) to Lightweight (155lbs/70.3kg) and concurrent junior divisions for athletes age 18-20, expanding the total number of brackets to twelve, IMMAF – WMMAA provides more opportunity than ever before to women in MMA.

In addition to the plethora of new faces and exciting up and comers set for the 2019 Euros, some of the competition’s top seeds and returning medalists include:

Atomweight
Jenna Horto (Finland) – 2018 European Open champion & World bronze medalist
Ayan Tursyn (Kazakhstan) – 2019 Asian Open champion
Strawweight
Nina Back (Sweden) – 2018 European Open & World silver medalist
Jr Strawweight
Anna Gaul (Germany) – 2018 European Open Jr champion
Flyweight
Janika Antinmaa (Finland) – 2018 European Open champion & World silver medalist
Ilaria Norcia (Italy) – 2018 European Open silver medalist & World bronze medalist
Millie Eriksson (Sweden) – 2018 Jr World silver medalist
Bantamweight
Frida Vastamaki (Sweden) – 2018 European Open champion
Megan Morris (UK) – 2018 Jr World champion
Lucie Vacova (Czech Republic) – 2018 World bronze medalist

For full details including weight brackets and national teams, visit event page at MyNextMatch.com.

By IMMAF.org lead writer, photographer: Jorden Curran

US MMA Federation Placed into Special Measures

On Monday 3 June 2019, the board of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF – WMMAA) voted unanimously to place the United States MMA Federation (UMMAF) into special measures. The policy may be applied if a member is rated as inadequate.

President Kerrith Brown commented: “In line with the values, spirit and ideals of the Olympic movement, IMMAF – WMMAA requires its members to uphold a high standard of ethical conduct.

“We expect our members to properly carry out the functions and duties of a National Governing Body, with a focus on sport development for the benefit of members and participants of MMA, from the grass roots up.”

The special measures policy requires that the issues identified by the board to UMMAF are rectified within three months, by 6 September 2019.

During this period UMMAF must undertake that American athletes and coaches are eligible to partake in IMMAF-WMMAA competitions. This includes members of the newly formed United States Federation of MMA (USFMMA), who were until recently valued and active members of UMMAF but felt compelled to leave due to concerns.