Two-Hundred-And-Sixty-Nine 12 to 17 Year Olds To Compete In First MMA Youth World Championships

[London. 14 April 2019] Two- hundred-and-sixty-nine U18s competitors, aged 12 – 17,  have registered to compete in a historic first Youth MMA World Championships, which takes place from 3 – 4 August at the PalaPellicone in Rome under the auspices of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF).

The controversial sport of MMA has evolved as a reformation in martial arts over the last twenty-five years, starting out as a test of skill among elite professionals. Part of IMMAF’s mission has been to develop safe pathways from a grassroots level upwards, to cater for the phenomenal participant demand for education in the skills of sport, including from recreational participants, minors and their parents.

IMMAF has set a precedent among striking combat sports with its Youth MMA rule sets which bar head-strikes for under 18s. The rules see a modification of the world recognised Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts with respect to the physiological development of competitors across the following three age categories, as advised by IMMAF’s expert medical, coaching and regulatory committees:

• IMMAF Youth A 16-17s (U18)

• IMMAF Youth B 14-15s (U16)

• IMMAF Youth C 12-13s (U14)

Anti-doping education will be mandatory for participants and all safeguarding policies implemented.

The largest competing teams hail from the U.S. (34), Ireland (28), Ukraine (27), England (26), Russia (25), Kazakhstan (24) and Italy (20). While MMA is recognised as a sport in the majority of these countries, Ireland and England buck the trend, underlining the popularity of MMA and its need for government supported governance in these regions, as campaigned for by the IMMAF.

Of a total of 25 participating nations, others include: Albania, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mexico, Finland, Portugal, Germany, Australia, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Wales, South Africa, India, New Zealand and Romania.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

“The inaugural Youth World Championships pitches a stake in the ground for the development of MMA as a sport that is safely accessible to all, and provides the first rung of IMMAF’s international Competition Pathway. The Championships take place under the guidance of our technical experts and of FIGMMA (the Federazione Italiana Grappling Mixed Martial Arts), who are well experienced in hosting U18s competitions. It will set a first benchmark from which IMMAF Youth tournaments will no doubt evolve over time in response to feedback and new data. I speak on behalf of the board in saying that we are both proud and excited to usher in this seminal moment for the sport of MMA.”

View the full Mixed Martial Arts Unified Rules for Youth Competition here

WATCH IMMAF – WMMAA YOUTH MMA RULES VIDEO (U18s)

Regulatory Affairs Director Marc Goddard walks through the IMMAF – WMMAA Youth MMA rulesets for U18s competition:
https://www.immaf.tv/en-int/playerpage/49302

Following Latest Win, Mokaev Praises IMMAF Level and Reveals Next Target

The UK’s most prominent amateur MMA standout, junior World and European champion Muhammed Mokaev earned his 16th amateur victory over the weekend. The Manchester athlete out of All Powers Gym cruised to a unanimous decision on July 13 over Birmingham’s Myles Richards of Fearless MMA.

Yet again, the Team GB wrestler delivered his signature takedowns and unrivaled top game. Never sitting between rounds, the image of his confidence remains lucid from bell-to-bell as opponents remain unable to produce an answer for the young champion’s drowning effect and continuously evolving skill set.

After earning gold last month at the European Open in Rome, Mokaev spoke to MMA UK’s Katie Hunter following his latest victory in Sheffield, England. He praised the talent level of IMMAF – WMMAA championships as amateur MMA’s highest tier, and discussed the effect it has had on cementing his confidence when returning to action at the British domestic level.

“IMMAF is a good level,” he stated, “it’s a build up to the UFC and big stages, you go through medicals and weigh ins (daily) and you feel the atmosphere.”

As 2019 rolls on, Mokaev revealed hopes to compete under the Cage Warriors banner in September and looked ahead to the 2019 IMMAF – WMMAA World Championships in November, where he will represent Team England.

Mokaev exemplifies perhaps the best mindset of any amateur in the world today, he remains forthright and undeterred by the lure of what will no doubt be a prominent professional debut. As he commits to a further year of amateur development, he is reflective of elite amateur boxers showing awareness for just how much talent development can be achieved as an international amateur, in addition to the equity and marketability in being the best in the world. Mokaev is setting a trailblazing example.

“Next year I would like to do amateur as well,” he revealed. Mokaev set out his next target of gold at the senior IMMAF – WMMAA level, following the footsteps of national team mate and fellow junior world champion Megan Morris, who joined the senior ranks of this year’s European Open, earning the women’s bantamweight silver medal. Russia’s junior world champions, Igor Glazkov and Magomedkhabib Umarov also made the jump to senior in dominant fashion as the duo stormed their way to gold in Rome.

“This is not my last year of amateur,” Mokaev added. “I want to show I’m number-one. I’m the pound-for-pound number-one junior in the world. Maybe this year I will do senior IMMAF, I’m going to work with my coaches and speak to my team. I would be the youngest IMMAF [senior] world champion, and I believe I can.”

Mokaev went on to express his ambitions for UK MMA collectively on the international platform, and his hope to see a unified coming together of the nation’s gyms. Following the dissolution of the UK MMA Federation (UKMMAF), the UK’s standouts will next be in action at the 2019 World Championships representing Team England (EMMAA), Team Wales (MMA Cymru) and Team Northern Ireland (UMMAA).

Upon turning 18 years old, Mokaev made his international debut and represented the UK at the IMMAF – WMMAA Junior World Championships in 2018, followed by the 2019 Junior European Open, taking gold medals on each occasion in the men’s bantamweight division with a combined total of 7 bouts adding to his overall 16-0 record.

Watch the full interview below.

By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

NEW MEMBERS IN SWITZERLAND & NIGERIA BOOST IMMAF’s GLOBAL EXPANSION

[London. 12 July 2019] The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) welcomes two new members in Switzerland and Nigeria – the Federazione Svizzera Mixed Martial Arl (MMASF) and the Nigerian Mixed Martial Arts Federation (NMMAF).

Federazione Svizzera Mixed Martial (MMASF)

The MMASF has been established to promote and regulate MMA in Switzerland, where lies the heart of the Olympic movement. While its French-speaking region awaits the legalisation of MMA in France in September to follow suit, the sport is practised legally in the remainder of the country.

The federation is headed by Luigi Perillo, as President, who has twenty-five years in MMA, manages The Golden Cage and is involved in the promotion of Venator events in Europe.

Pictured: MMASF president Luigi Perillo alongside representative of Swiss French community, Bertrand Amoussou (left), alongside Swiss German community leader Patrick Drees (right).

Perillo outlined the MMASF’s first goals as follows:

“We are carrying out local promotions to give the opportunity to all national gyms and coaches, who are currently divided, to join a single federation. This will create a unity that will contribute a lot to the development of the sport, putting collaboration above individualism, which now only serves to limit sport development.

“During the past 10 days I have already managed to bring together representatives from the Swiss French, Swiss German and Swiss Italian regions. I also have a team of very good professional collaborators who have supported me in this mission and who I would like to thank – Giovanni Parisi, Sikvnao Trapella and Alberto Bastianelli.”

Nigerian Mixed Martial Arts Federation (NMMAF)

The addition of the Nigerian Mixed Martial Arts Federation to IMMAF’s membership boosts the international federation’s expansion in Africa.

Partnered with Nigerian promotion, Dynamite Fighting Championship, the federation is headed by President Amb Henry George Nkoro who was recently awarded for his contribution to the sport in Nigeria.

The federation is working for recognition from the Nigerian Ministry of Sport. President Nkoro commented:

“In adherence to the IMMAF Code of Conduct and my avowed commitment to our sport, I hereby express my gratitude to the president and board of IMMAF for this great honour and trust in many years of hard work for the development of our multi-talented MMA athletes in Nigeria.”

Pictured: NMMAF president
Amb Henry George Nkoro receiving award for contributions to the sport of MMA

IMMAF CEO gives update on UMMAF’s progress under special measures

The IMMAF (International Mixed Martial Arts Federation) placed UMMAF (the United States Mixed Martial Arts Federation) under special measures on 3 June 2019.

CEO Densign White commented:

“This was the result of a number of governance deficiencies and non-compliance with the IMMAF statutes. Baseline requirements for National Federations are democratic structure, elected Directors and President for a pre-determined period of time, financial transparency and an equitable selection process for national teams.”

Giving an update today, the CEO stated:

“UMMAF have started to rewrite their statutes and to make improvements to their processes. We are working together with them to try to improve their transparency in all areas of governance.

“IMMAF wants to see a unification of all stakeholders in the USA, and to see opposing bodies put their differences on one side for the greater good of the sport and its national development.”

Pictured: UMMAF athletes have enjoyed successes at IMMAF Championships. Here, LaNeisha “She Hulk” Vinson, is awarded Gold in the 2018 IMMAF|WMMAA Unified World Championships

European Gold Medalist Magdalena Czaban Took Poland Back to the Podium Summit

At just 19 years of age, women’s atomweight standout Magdalena Czaban made history for Polish MMA, winning the nation’s first senior amateur title since 2015.

Czaban triumphed at the 2019 European Open Championships in Rome, one year following Eryk Walecki’s gold medal success at the 2018 Junior European Open and just days removed from the groundbreaking announcement of Martin Lewandowski’s MMA Polska Association, as the latest member of IMMAF – WMMAA’s global network.

IMMAF – WMMAA’s junior platform caters exclusively to athletes age 18-20 with the senior ranks open to age 18+.

It was heavyweight Kevin Szaflarski who secured Poland’s first international amateur title at the 2015 IMMAF World Championships in Las Vegas. Since then, Poland had been unable to reach the podium’s summit, but had achieved as high as silver with much of the nation’s prominence sustained by multiple time world championships runner up, Marcin Kalata, who regularly competed at the World Championships from 2014-2018 at heavyweight and super-heavyweight.

Announcing herself with devastating potential on home soil, Czaban commanded her moment to represent the nation with a 3-0 streak from June of 2018 to May 2019, her highlight reel featured both a head-kick stoppage and a first round display of one-punch stopping power.

Czaban tallied three victories in as many days at the 2019 European Open, opening her campaign with a unanimous decision over Valentina Semal of the standout Ukraine team. Czaban proceeded to make light work of Ireland’s Aeilish O’Hanlon with a first round TKO before besting a second Irish opponent in the gold medal decider, going the distance to a unanimous decision over Nadine Abbott-Bissett who in the semi-finals dethroned 2018 gold medalist Jenna Horto.

Czaban was her country’s sole senior medalist at this year’s European Open with two bronze medals earned by the Polish junior team; arguably a significant underachievement for a nation representing one of Europe’s strongest MMA markets. Yet, as she stood with the Polish flag and the national anthem playing aloud, Czaban’s victory is symbolic of exciting times with Poland’s national amateur team expected to be re-energized by the MMA Polska Association.

By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran