USA and Australia to compete at IMMAF Africa Open for the first time

Pictured above: Romeo Orosco will debut for the USA at the 2018 IMMAF Africa Open Championships

By lead writer, Jorden Curran

This year’s IMMAF Africa Open Championships are on track to be the biggest to date when the event returns to the Brakpan Sports Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 24 to 26 May.

Competitors from the USA and Australia will join the diverse international lineup of competitors as the respective national teams dispatch athletes to the Africa Open for the first time since its inception in 2016.

Last month the inaugural IMMAF Oceania Open was hosted by Australia in the city on Melbourne, taking place at the Arnold Sports Festival. In the middleweight bracket, Australia’s own Joseph Luciano (pictured below) claimed the gold medal and elevated himself to the number-2 position in the IMMAF middleweight world rankings. The 2017 World Championships quarter-finalist looks continue his 2018 momentum when he targets the Africa Open title.

Luciano will be joined by Cody Barnwell, who picked up a bronze medal at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships at welterweight, plus Men’s bantamweight challenger Jean Alexander Romano who made his international amateur debut at the Oceania Open in March.

Meanwhile, the USA national team secured its first title on the 2018 IMMAF circuit, also at the Oceania Open, where Darian Weeks earned the gold medal in the welterweight division. At the Africa Open, Men’s flyweight competitor Romeo Orosco will represent the USA for the first time on the IMMAF platform after winning the USA MMA Federation’s 2018 UMMAF national championship.

Snatching a TKO victory in just 49 seconds at the UMMAF Nationals last month, the undefeated Orosco (4-0 on the U.S. circuit) stopped Trevor Barnes, an amateur veteran of close to 20 bouts, to book his place in the national team.

The registration deadline for athletes wishing to compete at the 2018 IMMAF Africa Open Championships is on Monday, 30 April.

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German MMA Federation says now is the time for DOSB recognition

By lead writer, Jorden Curran

Over the past seven months, operations within the German MMA Federation (GEMMAF) have been extensive under the stewardship of a newly elected board, as of September 2017, now led by President Clemens Werner (pictured below).

ClemensThe fresh GEMMAF leadership, officially elected on September 30, has wasted little time in ensuring that the nation’s governing body under IMMAF begins on the road to fulfilling its potential.

The GEMMAF President, Clemens Werner, who is also a certified judge under the International MMA Federation (IMMAF), believes that now is the time to push for national recognition with the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB). The aim is to see Germany come on par with leading European counterparts who have excelled in regulation of the fast growing sport with recognition under their own government or National Olympic Committee.

The status of MMA across Germany is patchy: while mainstream media has welcomed the return of the UFC in recent years and it is now back on German television, the sport is still subject to outdated prejudices and misconceptions which other nations have long since surpassed. Furthermore, GEMMAF believes that inexperienced competitors are turning to professional bouts too soon due to a lack of incentives for amateurs.

“Our aim is to become a member of the DOSB,” the GEMMAF President stated. “We contacted the German Olympic Federation (DOSB) to start a dialog about GEMMAF becoming a member. The first response of the DOSB showed us that GEMMAF must grow even more to meet the DOSB requirements, but we are confident of reaching this goal.”

“However, the DOSB signaled an outdated perspective of MMA as they stated that they are not sure whether MMA is the kind of sport which they want to supervise. I believe that the DOSB must develop an accurate understanding of any potential affiliate, as many other countries have done already. Once this effort has been made they will see that their reasons for hesitation are simply not valid.”

Contrary to outdated prejudices, studies show that professional MMA results in less head trauma than boxing. MMA has a complex rule set, modified for amateurs, to protect developing athletes. Amateur MMA competition under GEMMAF looks to ensure the use of IMMAF rules, shin-guards and larger gloves, plus education of Officials and anti-doping practice.

The nation is in great need of a recognised, strong regulator for the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Despite Germany’s prominent standing within the international community and historic sports pedigree, the central European nation is lagging behind nations such as Sweden, Portugal and Italy who, with affiliation to government, have introduced funding and athlete sponsorship, regulation such as event safety standards, educational and certification programs, anti-doping enforcement, safety ladders and pathways for participants, plus active and successful national competition teams.

GEMMAF provided a breakdown of national developments over the past 7 months:

– GEMMAF has doubled the number of its members over the last 6 months.

– GEMMAF has recruited several voluntary employees.

– For the first time, GEMMAF aims to host four regional championships in 2018, accompanied by national rankings which will decide which athletes can take part and be sponsored for the international IMMAF championships.

– Through collaboration with the Austrian MMA Federation and national coaches Gerhard and Michael Ettl, GEMMAF has sourced 100% sponsorship for five German amateur athletes to compete at the 2018 IMMAF European Championships.

IMMAF President and Olympic judo medalist, Kerrith Brown, has previously stated: “GAISF (formerly known as Sport Accord) is duty bound to not shy away from sport development.”

While this statement refers to the Global Association of International Sport Federations, the responsibility passes down to all national bodies to not shy away from the duty of ensuring safety within sport.

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UK’s home nations meet to discuss regional regulation in England, Wales and Scotland.

By lead writer, Jorden Curran

On April 11, 2018, IMMAF hosted a landmark meeting in Birmingham, UK, to discuss regional regulation of MMA within the British Isles and how the United Kingdom’s  home nations can further development of the sport, respectively.

Joining IMMAF President Kerrith Brown and Chief Executive Densign White, the meeting was attended by members of the current UK MMA Federation (UKMMAF), England’s Windy Miller (President) and Alan Packman (Clubs and Coaching Chairman). Attending on behalf of Wales was renowned coach Chris Rees, who last year made a strong impression as coach for the UK national team at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships. David Galbraith, attending on behalf of Scotland, was also introduced.

Pictured, from left to right: Chris Rees, Alan Packman, David Galbraith, Kerrith Brown, Windy Miller.

Pictured, from left to right: Chris Rees, Alan Packman, David Galbraith, Kerrith Brown, Windy Miller.

While representatives of Northern Ireland were unable to attend, the Ulster Amateur MMA Association has seen incredible developments made for MMA at the social level and on the IMMAF competition platform. Through independent operations, Northern Ireland has been a fruitful prototype of the UK’s future vision.

“Last week’s meeting represented a landmark for UK MMA,” Windy Miller stated. “Together, with the assistance and support of IMMAF, the template for governance, regulation and recognition of the sport in the UK was established.”

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(16 April 2018. Bangkok) The International MMA Federation President and CEO are currently in attendance at the SportAccord Convention in Bangkok, from 15 to 20 April 2018.

SportAccord is the world’s premier and most exclusive annual event in the world of sport attended by leaders in the Olympic movement.

IMMAF has applied for the official recognition of MMA as a sport by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), the umbrella organisation for all Olympic and internationally recognised sports.

This week, IMMAF President Kerrith Brown (pictured) and CEO Densign White will be meeting with representatives of GAISF to discuss MMA’s application, following an affiliation with former rival MMA federation, the World Mixed Martial Arts Federation (WMMAA). WMMAA chief, Vadim Finkelchtein is joining the IMMAF heads today. Together, MMA’s leaders will be working to garner support for the sport’s unified application.

IMMAF President, Kerrith Brown, said:

“We’d like to thank SportAccord for a fantastic set-up in Bangkok, which has already enabled a really positive first day for the IMMAF team. We look forward to discussing MMA’s application with the GAISF Council and to meeting the heads of the sports federations that make up the Olympic family, so they can learn more about the great strides IMMAF and its members have made in the development of amateur MMA.”

If you are at SportAccord, please drop by the IMMAF stand #139 from Tues 17 to Thurs 19

To arrange meetings or media interviews from today (Mon 16) onwards, contact IMMAF Director of Brand, Commerce & Communications, Isobel Carnwath at We would love to speak with you! 

The IMMAF stand at SportAccord is brought to you by partner,


FIGMMA completes 9th Italian amateur MMA championships, 10 athletes tested by NADO-Italia

Hosted by the Italian Grappling and Mixed Martial Arts Federation (FIGMMA), the ninth edition of the Italian Amateur MMA Championships took place at the PalaOlgiata in Rome on March 25 with a record 338 competing athletes.

The FIGMMA Italian Champions of 2018 are, in the Women’s categories:
Giulia De Dominicis (straw – 52kg)
Ilaria Norcia (fly – 57kg)
Elisa Charlotte Patono (bantam – 61kg)
Nicole Galliani (feather – 66kg and light – 70kg )
Men’s categories:
Giacomo Santoro (fly – 57kg)
Florian Doskja (bantam – 61kg)
Alfons Doskja (feather – 66kg)
Valerio Anzà (light – 70kg)
Dario Petrolo (welter – 77kg)
Gabriele Varesano (middle – 84kg )
Daniele Matiddi (light heavy- 93kg)
Valentin Chiticaru (heavy – 120kg).

The Team Championship was won by the “Family Fight Team” coached by Renato Subotic, in second place, the “Fight Clan” with coach Saverio Longo and in third place the “Hung Mun Martial Society” of Fabio Ciolli and “Persevera” of Asterio Lucchesini.

NADO-ITALIA, the nation’s WADA affiliated anti-doping body, under request of FIGMMA, continued its efforts to ensure that standards for clean and fair sport are upheld in Mixed Martial Arts. During the championships, ten competitors submitted samples for anti-doping control.

During the opening ceremony, FIGMMA President Saverio Longo presented the 2017 Athlete of the Year Awards to Fabiana Giampà, who secured a gold medal for Italy of the 2017IMMAF World Championships in the Women’s featherweight division in Bahrain, and Dario Bellandi, who won the 2017 IMMAF European Open middleweight title in Bulgaria.

Attending a special guest of the event was Greco-Roman Olympic Champion Andrea Minguzzi, who actively collaborates with FIGMMA and was welcomed with great applause by the large audience present.

For compete results visit

Videos of all bouts are available via Youtube.

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