IMMAF-WMMAA Confirm Shortlist Nominees for ‘Changing Lives Through MMA’ Award

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) are proud to reveal the shortlisted nominees for the ‘Changing Lives Through MMA’ Award, set to be presented at the first international Amateur MMA Awards.

The inaugural, annual ceremony will take place on November 15 at the ART Rotana Hotel & Resort in Manama, Bahrain, during the 2018 IMMAF-WMMAA Unified World Championships.

This prestigious occasion aims at global recognition for the achievements of amateur mixed martial artists, national federations and the men and women working hard to develop MMA as a world recognised sport of excellence.

The invitation only, black-tie awards dinner is exclusively for IMMAF delegates, national federation presidents, award nominees and special guests. The evening will be hosted by British MMA journalist and MyNextMatch Communication Officer, Andreas Georgiou, and promises entertainment and special guest appearances.

Under IMMAF & WMMAA a significant number of national members are exceeding their social responsibly through community programmes, volunteer work, and other social projects.

The Changing Lives Through MMA Award aims to celebrate and recognise the commitment of figures such as coaches, volunteers and national leaders (non-competitors).

YOU CAN VOTE NOW VIA: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6ND5LW2

Miomir Vujovic – Luxemburg

The heartwarming passion of Miomir Vujovic inspires others to go above and beyond with his inspirational example of combining MMA with social work.

10 years ago he created the Streetsport Project providing free martial arts classes so that young and disadvantaged people can be guaranteed access to the sport of MMA and its core disciplines. Testimonies from participants have described success in overcoming personal issues and bullying as a result, with others progressing to develop competitive MMA careers and achieve on the IMMAF platform.

While serving as president of the Luxembourg MMA Federation, he has contributed personal financial investment for athlete participation fees, ensuring that Luxembourg is represented by its dedicated and talented athletes.

Stanislav Nedkov – Bulgaria

Stanislav Nedkov is a founding father of development and regulation for the sport of MMA in Bulgaria, and a key influencer in the nation’s long term prominence on the international amateur platform. With an ethos for leading by example through hard work and consistency, Nedkov has furthered his commitments to the sport’s grass roots development, dedicated to motivating hundreds of athletes after retirement as a former UFC contender.

As president of the Bulgarian MMA Federation, he has taken to introducing MMA at the community level encouraging young athletes to develop strong character and direct their energy in a positive direction.

Under Nedkov’s leadership, the BULMMAF has achieved several milestone developments including: achieving recognition from the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Bulgaria, significantly expanding BULMMAF membership across the nation from 10 to 33 member clubs in just 4 years and opening the pathway to lead 600 amateur athletes into regulated competition, domestically and internationally.

Danny Corr – Northern Ireland

A founding member and director of the Ulster Amateur MMA Association, Danny Corr has blazed a path for unprecedented development of grass roots MMA at the community level.

Danny Corr founded the free MMA youth development programme known as Fight To Unite. His unrelenting strive for the sport’s recognition has gained government support and groundbreaking funding to establish a project which works with young people age 12-24 facing the highest levels of deprivation and child poverty in Northern Ireland, exposed to educational underachievement, homelessness, drugs and paramilitary threat and other factors resulting in the UK’s highest suicide rate.

This vivid transcendence of sport has won over council and Comic Relief funding to use MMA as a vehicle to provide young people with education, employment and youth support Services.

In the last 3 years over 3000 young people have benefited from the programme, gaining qualifications in sports coaching and youth work, plus 100 young people becoming MMA Mentors in their local community.

Danny Corr has received high praise and awards from the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland, resulting in the government funded MMA Centre of Excellence in Belfast, plus a paid youth worker and MMA Coach to maintain longevity of the Fight to Unite Programme.

Fedor Emelianenko – Russia

Considered to be MMA’s all-time greatest heavyweight, countless athletes and fans worldwide received their introduction to MMA via the awe inspiring career of Fedor Emelianenko and his legendary run as champion of Pride. Undoubtedly, he is among the greatest catalysts of MMA’s global explosion.

Since 2012 Fedor has served as counselor to the Russian Minister for Sports, contributing to the official development of the sport in addition to his pioneering status among fans. In May of 2012, Fedor assumed leadership of the Russian MMA Union, responsible for the sport’s domestic progression. By September 2012 MMA was recognized as an official sport and today is among the most popular sports in Russia.

Under the umbrella of the Russian MMA Union, Fedor’s position helped to galvanize the 81 regional federations, which are currently in operation and sustaining regulated competition platforms, providing more and more opportunity for participation and influencing the establishment of martial arts in higher educational institutions.

Cristian Quintero – Colombia

A regional director of Colombia’s OCAMM federation under IMMAF, Cristian Quintero has opened the sport of MMA to young victims of social problems such as drug addiction, alcoholism, crime and armed conflict, among others. Under his management, a new direction for MMA has been created with a message of hope and improvement in the face of these adversities, through the practice of MMA together with the foundation “Voces de Aliento” working with all types of the vulnerable population to raise awareness and project discipline, respect and tolerance in all areas of life.

Today, OCAMM works with a body of members who have benefited from the impact of MMA on their lives, such as the case of Dayan Alejandro Álape, a young victim of armed conflict, who through MMA has found a route towards a promising future. He will be representing Colombia at the 2018 Amateur MMA World Championships.

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HH Sheikh Khalid makes the dream of Buhaz’a a reality at Asia’s Largest Combat Sports Event

Brave International Combat Week 2018 will have its opening ceremony at 7:30 PM on 11th November at the Khalifa Sports City in Bahrain. The event marks the largest combat sports event ever hosted in Asia and will feature the launch of KHK Heroes during the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony will be attended by His Highness Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa alongside dignitaries from around the world. During the launch of KHK Heroes, Mohammed Buhaz’a will realise his dream to be a part of a Mixed Martial Arts event. The vibrant youngster who lives with Down syndrome was supported by His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa to realise his dream to train in martial arts and was invited to train with the KHK MMA Bahrain Fight Team. 

Buhaz’a not only realised his dream to train in martial arts, but will also participate during the opening ceremony of Brave International Combat Week 2018. HH Sheikh Khalid will face him in a friendly light, technical sparring bout during the opening ceremony of the largest combat sports event in Asia. Having the opportunity to train under the coaches and team members of KHK MMA, Bahrain has helped his confidence level and sent a message that lives can be transformed with the right training and encouragement.

The event will be held with an aim to send the message of inclusivity and inspiring global compassion, as His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa will bring forward Mohammed Buhaz’a to be the prime focus of attention of the inauguration ceremony by launching the global initiative, KHK Heroes. KHK Heroes will send a message to the society that will create awareness and a much required change in perspective when it comes to inclusivity of people with special needs. 

“KHK Heroes is an initiative that speaks for itself. Social commitment and compassion are the ultimate mark of success of any project. With KHK Heroes, Kingdom of Bahrain aims to transform lives of youth and those underprivileged in the society who strived for so long. The initiative by His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa will bring individuals to the forefront of the society and will motivate them to achieve more”, said Mohammed Shahid, President of Brave Combat Federation.  

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‘I was too nice, now I will dominate’: Helga Arnþórsdóttir vows to rule World Championships after taking European bronze

By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran

Iceland’s Ingibjōrg Helga Arnþórsdóttir earned a bronze medal back in June at the 2018 IMMAF European Open. Now, ahead of the fast approaching 2018 World Championships, she issues a warning to all rivals with a vow of dominance.

“I want to be the first Icelandic world champion,” Helga declared as she outlined out her ambitions. “I’m not going to stop there, my goal is to be the best in women’s MMA as a pro as well.”

The 2018 IMMAF-WMMAA Unified World Championships take place in Manama, Bahrain, from 11-18 November. Bouts are available live and on demand via IMMAF.tv.

Since 2015 Iceland has maintained a strong presence on the IMMAF competition platform, producing 3 European Open gold medalists between 2015 and 2016, in addition to silver medalist Björn Lukas Haraldsson impressing as he reached the middleweight final of the 2017 World Championships.

At the 2018 European Open in Bucharest, Romania, Helga cruised past Finland’s Inka Räty with a well a paced striking displaying that oozed experience and confidence. At age 30 she made her international amateur MMA debut with a 20-year karate background and a BJJ blue belt, in addition to kickboxing exploits and multiple national boxing titles to her name.

In the women’s ranks, Iceland’s most accomplished amateur to date is Sunna Rannveig Davidsdottir, who stormed her way to a gold medal in the 2015 European Open flyweight division. She now maintains a 3-0 professional record under the banner of top flight all-women’s MMA promotion, Invicta FC.

Training out of the Týr gym, named after the Norse war god, Helga discussed the lessons learned in having to settle for European Open bronze earlier this year, as a split-decision loss to Ilaria Norcia saw the highly motivated Italian press forward without hesitation to take advantage of a relaxed Helga offence.

I learned that I should never leave it to the judge’s score card,” she commented. “I have to be a bit more aggressive and do more damage, and I have to mix up my techniques better. I was being way too nice to her (Norcia), I could have won that fight so I won’t give them any chance next time.”

As Helga visualizes a prime showcase of her potential, the senior Icelandic standout gives a vivid description that suggests her killer instinct has been awoken. To cap her her training, Helga recently jetted to Texas, USA, where she trained with reigning Invicta atomweight champion Jinh Yu Frey.

“Now I’m a weight class below,” Helga drops from flyweight to now contest the strawweight world championship bracket. “I’m quicker, I have done a lot of wrestling, grappling and BJJ since the European championship. I’m in better shape and I won’t let the judges be in any doubt about who’s winning the fight. I’m going to dominate these girls in all areas and show them that hard work pays off.

“I train very hard, 3-4 times per day and I coach others. I thank my friends, family, Sjoppan hair saloon, 5.11 and Halldór for sponsoring me.

“Fighting is all I think about, I don’t think [my opponents] train as hard as I do. I don’t get stressed out. I just get excited to fight them.”

The post ‘I was too nice, now I will dominate’: Helga Arnþórsdóttir vows to rule World Championships after taking European bronze appeared first on IMMAF.

‘I was too nice, now I will dominate’: Helga Arnþórsdóttir vows to rule World Championships after taking European bronze

By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran

Iceland’s Ingibjōrg Helga Arnþórsdóttir earned a bronze medal back in June at the 2018 IMMAF European Open. Now, ahead of the fast approaching 2018 World Championships, she issues a warning to all rivals with a vow of dominance.

“I want to be the first Icelandic world champion,” Helga declared as she outlined out her ambitions. “I’m not going to stop there, my goal is to be the best in women’s MMA as a pro as well.”

The 2018 IMMAF-WMMAA Unified World Championships take place in Manama, Bahrain, from 11-18 November. Bouts are available live and on demand via IMMAF.tv.

Since 2015 Iceland has maintained a strong presence on the IMMAF competition platform, producing 3 European Open gold medalists between 2015 and 2016, in addition to silver medalist Björn Lukas Haraldsson impressing as he reached the middleweight final of the 2017 World Championships.

At the 2018 European Open in Bucharest, Romania, Helga cruised past Finland’s Inka Räty with a well a paced striking displaying that oozed experience and confidence. At age 30 she made her international amateur MMA debut with a 20-year karate background and a BJJ blue belt, in addition to kickboxing exploits and multiple national boxing titles to her name.

In the women’s ranks, Iceland’s most accomplished amateur to date is Sunna Rannveig Davidsdottir, who stormed her way to a gold medal in the 2015 European Open flyweight division. She now maintains a 3-0 professional record under the banner of top flight all-women’s MMA promotion, Invicta FC.

Training out of the Týr gym, named after the Norse war god, Helga discussed the lessons learned in having to settle for European Open bronze earlier this year, as a split-decision loss to Ilaria Norcia saw the highly motivated Italian press forward without hesitation to take advantage of a relaxed Helga offence.

I learned that I should never leave it to the judge’s score card,” she commented. “I have to be a bit more aggressive and do more damage, and I have to mix up my techniques better. I was being way too nice to her (Norcia), I could have won that fight so I won’t give them any chance next time.”

As Helga visualizes a prime showcase of her potential, the senior Icelandic standout gives a vivid description that suggests her killer instinct has been awoken. To cap her her training, Helga recently jetted to Texas, USA, where she trained with reigning Invicta atomweight champion Jinh Yu Frey.

“Now I’m a weight class below,” Helga drops from flyweight to now contest the strawweight world championship bracket. “I’m quicker, I have done a lot of wrestling, grappling and BJJ since the European championship. I’m in better shape and I won’t let the judges be in any doubt about who’s winning the fight. I’m going to dominate these girls in all areas and show them that hard work pays off.

“I train very hard, 3-4 times per day and I coach others. I thank my friends, family, Sjoppan hair saloon, 5.11 and Halldór for sponsoring me.

“Fighting is all I think about, I don’t think [my opponents] train as hard as I do. I don’t get stressed out. I just get excited to fight them.”

The post ‘I was too nice, now I will dominate’: Helga Arnþórsdóttir vows to rule World Championships after taking European bronze appeared first on IMMAF.

‘It’s great to be back, the stage is set’: IMMAF president Kerrith Brown checks in as historic 2018 World Championships approach

By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran.

The International MMA Federation (IMMAF) and World MMA Association (WMMAA) come together for this first time this month, in collaboration for the 2018 IMMAF-WMMAA Unified World Champions of Amateur MMA.

The momentous nation vs. nation event is set to kick off on November 11 with both Junior and Senior world championships climaxing with gold medalists crowned at the finals on November 18.

After the final European event of WMMAA before joining the IMMAF fold, WMMAA president Vadim Finkelchtein spoke of his high anticipation for ‘the greatest event in the history of amateur MMA’.

Taking place in Manama Bahrain for a second year, IMMAF president Kerrith Brown has been overseeing World Championships preparations for the past week.

“The main ambition is for the athletes to have had a great experience,” he said, “with their coaches seeing how they perform at the highest amateur level. Right now we’re making sure that stage is set for all as they come together to represent the united brands IMMAF and WMMAA for the first time.”

Setting the stage: The 2018 World Championships venue in its final construction stages.

 

“Things are shaping up really well,” Mr. Brown added. “It’s great to be back and to witness the biggest amateur MMA event ever seen, in addition to the first Junior World Championships. All teams are putting the effort in to make this the most spectacular event to date.

“The past week has involved intense event set up. We have four cages being erected for simultaneous bouts, full competition gear being delivered and prepared for over 350 record breaking athletes; the medical tent and cutman facilities are all coming together.

“There’s a lot going on behind the scenes that nobody sees, tackling key agendas and making sure all issues are at a level where everything is controlled with all staff getting the help they need to get the job done.”

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