FIGMMA announces single doping suspension following Venator Kingdom 2 event

The Italian Grappling and Mixed Martial Arts Federation (FIGMMA) has informed IMMAF of a single doping violation following tests carried out by Italy’s National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO Italy) at the Venator Kingdom 2 event in Milan on 12 December, 2017.

Suspended Pro fighter: Raffaele D’Eligio 

8 athletes were tested at the end of the Venator Kingdom 2 event featuring Pro and Amatuer MMA on 16 December, 2017, in Milan. Upon the request by FIGMMA for anti-doping controls, testing was arranged by the National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO Italy) and performed by the Italian Sports Medical Federation of CONI. The athlete Raffaele D’Eligio tested positive upon the analysis carried out at the anti-doping laboratory of the Italian Sports Medical Federation, for the substance Methandienone.

The Federal Commission of Appeal of FIGMMA therefore ordered the immediate indefinite suspension of the athlete Raffaele D’Eligio from any federal sporting activity.

All members are reminded that the use of prohibited substances in order to alter competitive performance or to mask the results of controls in sporting competitions, is not only not permitted under sport regulation, but is also a criminal offense under Italian law.

Methandienone: also known as methandrostenolone and sold under the brand name Dianabol, is an androgen and anabolic steroid.

D’eligio (3-1) competed as a welterweight on the main card against fellow Italian Leonard Damaini (5-1). Final terms of the NADO suspension are currently pending. The length of ban is expected to be in the region of 2 years with a potential maximum of 4 years.

FIGMMA serves as Italy’s official national governing body and is a representative of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation. The FIGMMA anti-doping process was undertaken in accordance with the WADA Code, in collaboration with the National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO Italy) – an affiliate of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA).

Last December FIGMMA confirmed a suspension was handed to American UFC veteran Cody McKenzie for refusal to provide a sample at Venator Kingdom 1 in October. In addition, Italian Francesco Bocca tested positive for the banned substance Furosemide (a diuretic) – read more here.

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Angelo Tarantini pioneers ‘new generation of cutman’ in Italy.

By lead writer, Jorden Curran

International cutman Angelo Tarantini (pictured above) was featured in Italy’s S&H Magazine on January 10, in an interview highlighting the importance of using certified and professional seconds for martial arts events.

Tarantini served as a cutman at IMMAF championships throughout 2017, including the European Open, Asian Open and World Championships where he worked under IMMAF course leader, Joseph Clifford.

Also an experienced Muay Thai coach, Tarantini was a practicing cutman prior to achieving official certification. He has since been a part of Joe Clifford’s revolution within the industry, taking on further education for the past three years, having been instrumental in bringing educational courses to Italy along with the Italian governing body, Federazione Italiana Grappling Mixed Martial Arts (FIGMMA).

“In Italy, the professional figure of the cutman is little known,” Tarantini explained, highlighting that regional promoters will often overlook the need for educated and certified professionals.

S&H Magazine picked up on his international travels for IMMAF amateur championships in addition to professional events, and formulated an article that has since appeared in several online news outlets.

“I explained the importance of having a cutman, for the safeguarding of athletes. I spoke of injuries to the hands and how important it is to have correct handwraps. Hand injuries represent 80% of injuries to athletes in our sports.

 “I explained that we are cutmen of a new generation, coming from the official IMMAF and SAFE MMA certified courses, we use only natural products for the treatments of lacerations and epistaxis.”

Men and women continue to progress through the grades of IMMAF certified courses. The next Grade C course takes place in Dublin, 17-18 February. This 2 day course is designed as an educational resource promoting athlete safety and duty of care to coaches working in MMA clubs and anyone working closely with MMA fighters and participants in training or competition.

To register contact For more information visit

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Kicking off IMMAF 2018: Australia ready to host national teams from across the globe

Pictured: At the 2016 Australian National Championships, from left to right – IMMAFA Director William Fagan, IMMAFA President Joe Minehan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, IMMAF President Kerrith Brown, IMMAFA Vice-President Cameron Quinn.

By lead writer, Jorden Curran

Host nation Australia is set to kick off the international IMMAF events circuit for 2018. The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation of Australia (IMMAFA) hosts the inaugural Oceania Open Championships in the nation’s sports capital, Melbourne.  The competition is slated for 16 to 18 March at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

The nation vs nation Amateur MMA tournament takes place in association with the Arnold Sports Festival – Australia’s biggest multi-sport event and regular hosts of the IMMAFA national amateur championships. The Oceania Open will also see the debut of two additional weight divisions: Women’s Atomweight (47.6kg/105 lb) and Men’s Strawweight (52.2 kg/ 115 lbs).

Registration for all IMMAF member nations officially opened on January 9 with personal invites also being sent by IMMAFA President, Joe Minehan.

According to the IMMAFA President, a diverse selection of IMMAF nations have already expressed their intent to compete at the first stop of the 2018 calendar, with others pending national qualification events in the coming weeks.

The Australian Federation anticipates to welcome: New Zealand, India, USA, China, Japan, Panama and Kazakhstan, with more expected.

In June of 2017, 15 national teams competed at the inaugural Asian Open Championships in Singapore, including Australia who picked up 4 medals: 3 bronze and 1 silver. National representatives will return to action for the first time this year following the record breaking 48 nations and 250 athletes who competed at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships in Bahrain.

For IMMAF 2018 is anticipated to be the biggest year to date for breakthroughs in international regulation of MMA, in addition to providing more opportunities than ever before on the international competition platform.

IMMAF 2018 events schedule:

2018 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships
16 – 18 March, Melbourne – Australia

2018 IMMAF European Championships
PLUS IMMAF European Youth Open Championships (age 18 -21)
17 – 23 June, Bucharest – Romania

2018 IMMAF Africa Open Championships
24 – 26 May, Johannesburg – South Africa

2018 IMMAF Asian Open Championships
PLUS IMMAF Youth MMA World Championships (age 18 -21)
2 – 7 September, Beijing – China

2018 IMMAF World Championships
November, Manama – Bahrain

To apply athletes must contact their National MMA Federation by Friday 16 February. See contact information here.
See Amateur eligibility criteria here:
See IMMAF Amateur MMA Rules here:


ocenaia open banner jpeg


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MMA champions who have carried the Olympic flame

By lead writer, Jorden Curran

This week former UFC strawweight world champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk (pictured above, right) represented both her home nation and the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) as she carried the Olympic flame ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics, taking place Feb. 9-25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The Olympic flame, first introduced in 1928 (1936 for Winter Games), commemorates the mythological theft of fire by Promethius, from the Greek gods, and thus was considered by ancient Greeks to be a divine element. Fire was understood to be symbolic of positive values including life and freedom; the Olympic flame serves as a link between the ancient and modern Olympic Games.

The torch relay, which sees standout persons carry the flame from Olympia, Greece, to designated sites of the home nation, was first introduced for the 1936 Summer Games. For Pyeongchang 2018, Jędrzejczyk was selected by the Olympic Organizing Committee to run the flame for Poland, the MMA star revealed in December.

Jędrzejczyk carried the torch on January 8, joining the likes of Kim Jae-Bum, South Korea’s 2012 Olympic Men’s Judo champion.

Jędrzejczyk is not the first champion of MMA to receive the honor of carrying the Olympic flame. In past years the Organizing Committees have shown recognition towards two of the sport’s all time greats.

Russian heavyweight and four-time Combat Sambo world champion, Fedor Emelianenko (pictured, upper left), was the first to do so as he carried the flame of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The iconic king of Pride Fighting Championships, regarded by many as MMA’s greatest ever heavyweight, was presented with the honor for a second time in 2014 when he carried the torch in his home nation for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

In addition, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master and national legend Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira carried the flame on home soil for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. A former rival of Emelianenko, ‘Minotauro’ was the original heavyweight champion of Pride and became the first MMA athlete to win titles in both the iconic Japanese promotion and later, the UFC.

At the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s 2017 General Assembly, IMMAF members approved the commencement of negotiations with the World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) for a proposed merger. Both organisations have applied to the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) for recognition as the global governing body for the sport of MMA.

The resolution is a significant development in the pursuit of MMA reaching the Summer Olympic Games. During an interview with MMA Junkie, IMMAF President Kerrith Brown revealed in August that seeing MMA debut at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles is a target of IMMAF’s long term vision.

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  • 16 – 18 MARCH

Athlete registration opens today (9 January) for the 2018 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships at the Arnold Sports Festival in Melbourne, Australia.

Amateur MMA competitors from all IMMAF affiliated nations are welcomed to participate in 14 weight categories, from Atomweight to Lightweight for women, and Strawweight to Super Heavyweight for men, with Women’s Atomweight and Men’s Strawweight being new categories under the IMMAF banner. Gold, silver and two bronze medals will be available to win in each division, and competitors will earn ranking points for the IMMAF World Amateur MMA Rankings.

Hosted by the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation Australia (IMMAFA) the competition is scheduled to take place from 16 to 18 March 2018 at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. It marks the first showcasing on the continent of IMMAF’s prestigious, nation vs nation Amateur MMA tournament, and will also be IMMAF’s first Championships to be streamed live.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown commented:

“The Oceania Open Championships marks the exciting launch of IMMAF’s 2018 competition calendar and the Championships’ continued expansion across the continents. The tournament, which forms part of the Arnold Classic Sports Festival and will be live streamed worldwide, promises to be a triumph. I wish every success for all those participating.”

To apply athletes must contact their National MMA Federation by Friday 16 February. See contact information here.
See Amateur eligibility criteria here:
See IMMAF Amateur MMA Rules here: