Swedish (SMMAF) National Championships: Finals Results

The Swedish MMA Federation (SMMAF) concluded the finals of its national amateur championships on January 27 at FCR 4 in the city of Västerås. The event’s professional main card also included the successful pro debuts of interntaional amateur standout Robin Roos and 2018 IMMAF – WMMAA middleweight world silver medalist, Andreas Berg Gustafsson. In addition, former IMMAF European Open light-heavyweight silver medalist, Anton Turkalj, moved to 2-0 in his pro career while decorated amateur standout Tobias Harila picked up his latest pro victory in the main event, now 5-1. For bout-by-bout photo galleries visit MMAViking.com

Each national A Class champion has now booked their place to represent the Swedish national team and the world’s number-one ranked country, throughout 2019 on the IMMAF – WMMAA international championships platform. Results below:

Class C

Lightweight – Jacob Karlén Persson (Nyköping Martial Arts Club) vs Benjamin Hajijan (Redline) – Hajijan via TKO (injury)

Class B

Strawweight – Josefine Modig (Apex Kalmar) vs Lisa Lingvall (Söders Fight Gym) – Lingvall via unanimous decision

Bantamweight – Arsen Tuganov (Söders Fight Gym) vs Rekas Zana (Västerås Fight Gym) – Zana via unanimous decision

Featherweight – Sofia Odbro (Gladius) vs Frida Hell (Nyköping Martial Arts Club) – Odbro via unanimous decision

Featherweight – William Frank (Fit4Fight Gym) vs. Awat  (Västerås Fight Club) – Kohzadi via rear-naked-choke submission, round 1

Lightweight – Gabriel Laserna (Forca) vs Delbej Al Youssef (Västerås Fight Club) – Laserna via arm lock submission, round 2

Welterweight – Robert Nilsson (Gladius MMA) vs Johan Dahl (Allstars Gym) – Dahl via unanimous decision

Middleweight – Yousef El Hussein (GBG MMA) vs. Oscar Gran (Kaisho Martial Arts Club) – Gran via decision

Class A

Strawweight – Bezhan Mahmudi (Allstars Gym) vs Nina Back (Söders Fight Gym) – Back via unanimous decision

Flyweight – Bianca Antman (Allstars Gym) Millie Eriksson (Västerås Fight Club) – Antman via unanimous decision

Flyweight – Sebastian Gonzalez (Redline) vs Zoran Milic (Västerås Fight Club) – Milic via TKO, round 3

Bantamweight – Tatjana Kacaniklic (Kaisho Martial Arts Club) vs Frida Vastamäki (Djurgårdens IF) – Kacaniklic via unanimous decision

Bantamweight – Fadi Asfar (Pancrase) vs Oskar Jaskari (Redline) – Jaskari via arm-in-guillotine submission, round 1

Featherweight – Janina Danes (MACC) vs Sofia Hedqvist (Sandviken Martial Arts Club) – Hedqvist via TKO

Featherweight – Amir Malekpour (Pancrase) vs Danyial Shamkhalov (Västerås Fight Club) – Malekpour via walkover

Lightweight – Yrsa Sandin (Allstars Gym) vs Sandra Meneses (Djurgårdens IF) – Meneses via walkover

Lightweight – Elvin Hoxha (MACC) vs Nermin Mehmedagic (Gladius) – Hoxha via TKO, round 1

Welterweight – Karar Al-Jaberi (Kaisho) vs Christian Stigenberg (Söders Fight Gym) – Stigenberg via guillotine choke submission, round 1

Middleweight – Danijel Grbic (Redline) vs Alexander Lindgren (Samurang Fightcenter) – Grbic via TKO, round 1

Lightweight – Daniel Peter (Forca Fighting) vs Andreas Knutsson (Västerås Fight Club) – Peter wins walk over

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Job Advertisement: Ethics Committee Members

Term: 2 years (renewable)
Remuneration: voluntary role, with pre-agreed expenses paid

Overview:

The Ethics Committee is the panel responsible for advising the CEO and Board on the development, implementation and review of organisational procedures and policies guidelines relating to ethical issues; and whom the CEO can call upon to provide advice and consultation to the IMMAF – WMMAA on ethics matters depending on the issues arising.

The Ethics Committee is responsible for ensuring that IMMAF – WMMAA acts in accordance with its Statutes and Policies including its Conflicts of Interest and Whistle-blowing policies. The Committee is responsible for the investigation of complaints at the request of the IMMAF CEO.

Structure:

• The Ethics Committee is comprised of three to five experts, including one chairperson and four members at large

• The Committee meets (normally online or via conference call) as required, usually twice a year to address an agenda of issue agreed by the IMMAF Board; plus for extraordinary meetings called to address specific more urgent matters or tasks as tasked by the IMMAF CEO.

• The Ethics Committee is democratically organised

Responsibilities:

The key responsibilities of the Ethics Committee are:

• To ensure that there are suitable guidelines, procedures, codes and other material that will support the IMMAF – WMMAA Board, staff, volunteers and other representatives to maintain the highest standards of integrity, as outlined in IMMAF’s Statutes, Code of Conduct and Policies.

• Any development or updates to the Code of Ethics

• To recommend to the IMMAF – WMMAA any actions to improve the framework and policies for governance and organisational ethics.

• In event of a violation of the ethical principles of IMMAF – WMMAA as arise through
incident or whistleblowing, to analyse and research complaints, as tasked by the CEO.

• The Ethics Committee may propose to the board a programme of reviews or a specific
review.

Person profile:

Members of the Ethics Committee will be:

• Pragmatic and fair minded in their approach to addressing ethics issues, showing
awareness of risk and complexity.

• Supportive internally and externally of the IMMAF – WMMAA’s leadership in its
commitment to upholding a rigorous process of ethical review and relevant follow-up
actions.

• Proactive in ensuring that all IMMAF – WMMAA is compliant with its Statutes and Code of Conduct and has the relevant and implementable policies in place to meet the crite-ria stipulated by the Sport Integrity Global Alliance in its Good Governance and Financial Integrity standards.

• A range of people with different relevant qualifications and experience. This could be legal or investigative, for example.

• Experience within the field of governance and working with boards or committee preferred.

• International, diverse and multi-lingual

• Since English is the official language of IMMAF, Advanced / Proficiency level in English Language is a must (speaking, reading and writing).

• Good communicators

APPLY

To apply please email your resume/ CV and covering letter explaining how you meet the per-son profile and what you could offer  IMMAF as a member of the Ethics Committee to info@immaf.org by Monday 11 February 2019 at 12:00 hrs GMT

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Job Advertisement: Arbitration Committee Members

Term: 2 years (renewable)

Remuneration: voluntary role, with pre-agreed expenses paid

Overview

Independent Committee Members are required to join the IMMAF – WMMAA Arbitration Committee, responsible for the resolution of complaints and disputes.

Structure

• The Arbitration Committee comprises five to eight experts, including one chairperson and four members at large.

• The Committee is required to attend necessary online meetings to address complaints or disputes (under IMMAF – WMMAA policies and procedures) to IMMAF – WMMAA.

• The Committee is responsible for the organisation of Hearings and Appeals.

Responsibilities

The key responsibilities of the Arbitration Committee are:

• To manage the resolution of disputes and complaints as tasked by the IMMAF CEO

• To establish suitable structures, policies and process to manage the resolution of disputes and complaints

• To organise Hearings and Appeals

• To recommend to the IMMAF – WMMAA any actions to improve the framework and policies for management of resolution of disputes and complaints

• To manage the resolution of complaints and disputes in accordance with IMMAF – WMMAA Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy and in line with IMMAF – WMMAA’s Statutes and Code of Conduct.

• To recommend suspensions and penalties as applicable

• Investigations of complaints are carried out independently by the Ethics Committee, and Arbitration Committee decisions are subject to review by the Ethics Committee

Person Profile

The Arbitration Committee will;

• have suitable qualifications and experience, e.g. legal, mediation or arbitration

• have demonstrable experience of working in a safeguarding environment

• be diverse, multi-national and multi-lingual

• have excellent oral and written communication skills in English, along with first-rate customer service skills and attention to detail

• the ability to handle confidential information in a discreet and professional manner

APPLY

To apply please email your resume/ CV and covering letter explaining how you meet the person profile and what you could offer the IMMAF – WMMAA as a member of the Ethics Committee to info@immaf.org by Monday 11 February 2019 at 12:00 hrs GMT

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GAISF to make decision about MMA membership status

Tomorrow, Monday 28 January, the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) will decide whether to accept IMMAF‘s application for Observation Status.

Meanwhile, the World Anti-doping Agency has filed a response to IMMAF’s legal suit against it in the ordinary Swiss courts. IMMAF’s case disputes WADA’s rejection of its application to be a signatory to the code, despite full compliance.

Likewise IMMAF meets all known GAISF criteria – with the exception of WADA signatory status, which is a prerequisite to GAISF recognition. This means IMMAF has been effectively grid-locked in its progress.

In an exclusive interview with SportCal this week, IMMAF CEO Densign White, explained how “lack of recognition at a global level is holding back members at a national level” and “[GAISF membership] is critical to the very existence of our sport.”

“WADA and GAISF were working hand in hand in building a case against WADA making IMMAF a signatory.”

“..WADA is saying that MMA is very violent and dangerous and doesn’t meet Olympic values. Yet, they never officially told us about any other complaint [from an international federation] except WMMAA [World Mixed Martial Arts Association], which they sent us to resolve.”

Only one federation can be accepted to represent a sport under GAISF (though there are exceptions, such as rugby). In May last year, WADA insisted that its hands were tied over the issue of IMMAF becoming a Code Signatory. It cited GAISF’s responsibility to advise whether accepting an organisation would lead to a potential conflict with an existing Code Signatory.

Since it was recommended by GAISF that IMMAF resolve its rivalry with the World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA), the two international MMA federations went on to amalgamate last year with a full merger set for completion by the end this year.

“We told everyone, ‘Now is the time to make it known if you object to MMA'” said White, “If they [other federations] consider us a rival, they have to say so. No one has, except behind closed doors.”

White also cited that any delay in recognition is increasing the potential risk for rivalry claims to be used against the now united IMMAF- WMMAA:

“While we are not recognised, other entities are coming out of the woodwork purporting to be representing MMA globally. There were two or three just in the last week. We don’t want them [GAISF] saying, ‘What about these other people?”

Meanwhile,  IMMAF – WMMAA do not recognise any further legitimate rivals.

White hopes for positive news tomorrow, which will hopefully also peaceably resolve the dispute with WADA: “As soon as we get observer status, we will get to be a WADA signatory.”

If not, then the court case against WADA continues:

“There will be a hearing and a judge will decide. Our case is that it’s anti-competitive, against cartel laws and an infringement of personality rights. WADA is also infringing its own statutes by allowing a third party [GAISF] to make the decision for them.”

“We have to keep on pushing, lobbying and trying to persuade. We don’t want to start a legal case [against GAISF], but it’s a last resort, a possibility. But we’d rather spend our money on development and growing the sport.”

Read the full SportCal interview by Callum Marray here (£ subscription only)

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IMMAF President Reflects on IMMAF – WMMAA’s Top 5 Achievements

On 28 January, GAISF (the Global Association of International Sports Federations) is set to make a decision regarding IMMAF- WMMAA’s application for Observation Status, as part of its longer term hope to become a full member of the organisation. This is not only an essential step for any sport wishing to become an Olympic sport but, more importantly, necessary for enabling development and gaining the support and access needed to safeguard members.

In this interview with immaf.org, IMMAF President Kerrith Brown reflects on IMMAF’s biggest achievements during his presidency since 2014, up to and including last year’s successful amalgamation with former rival WMMAA.

What excites you most about working for IMMAF – WMMAA?

“I love what we do: We have the opportunity and a somewhat clear canvas to build a completely new sport from the bottom up. No other sport is like MMA, which originated at a professional entertainment level in the early nineties and proliferated in the digital age alongside the birth and spread of the internet. Its cataclysmic rise in popularity has led to a mushrooming of MMA gyms and promotions worldwide at a grassroots level without any global structure or governance. This presents IMMAF – WMMAA with a great challenge.”

What are you most proud of?

“IMMAF can really celebrate the astronomical amount we’ve achieved in a short space of time since 2012. This includes creating from scratch and then implementing all the protocols and policies that a sport governing body requires, and also the setting up all of the right governance structures, working board and committees. We’ve established a global calendar of events that are run to the highest standard, had to grow and up-skill staff and volunteers. Perhaps the biggest challenge has been to galvanise the grassroots and encourage voluntary compliance, and to commercialise the whole thing so that we can keep the wheel turning.

“On top of all that, we have been going through the lengthy process of applying for GAISF recognition and ensuring that we meet all their requirements. Sport recognition at an international level or at national level cannot happen overnight. You need longevity and to have built the vast body of work that makes up the organisation’s foundations and more importantly to be representative. I think we have achieved this extremely fast.

“We have been privileged by the support of the largest commercial stakeholder in MMA, the UFC, and have also established solid relationships with other commercial stakeholders worldwide. But it has taken time to establish that credibility and to demonstrate that we are here for the long haul.

“Recently I’ve heard reports of people falsely associating themselves with IMMAF or pretending that they are suppliers of our Championships and so on. Frustrating as it is, I guess this shows that we must be doing something right and we are clearly after some years of groundwork perceived as aspirational.”

What in your opinion are IMMAF – WMMAA’s top 5 achievements?

1

CHAMPIONSHIPS CALENDAR
I’m most proud of the rapid growth and expansion of our championships calendar. We have seven international tournaments this year, including one world championships, five continentals and our first ground-breaking cadets event for under 18s. This marks exponential growth since IMMAF’s very first World Championships and sole event of 2014. The talent pool is also deepening and widening dramatically, through its expansion of member nations, athlete development and also return medallists.
 
 
 

2

COMPETITOR SAFETY
“IMMAF’s medical policies are world class in sport and it’s something we can be very proud of. As a young sport we have the privilege of being able to learn from other sports and to be very proactive in the furtherance of long-term health for our participants. I believe our screening and onsite medical processes to be world leading. We are blessed with a medical committee that is extremely proactive and forward-thinking when it comes to managing sports risks, such as concussion. In our policies and youth competition rules we are taking a pre-emptive approach through restrictions on head strikes, as we predict that the sports landscape will change quite rapidly in response to medical research.

“It’s not just on the medical side that we promote safety, but also through our education and licensing of officials, cutmen and inspectors, as well as the rigorous policies and process laid out in our Operations Manual for MMA Events.”

3

IMMAFPROGRESSION SCHEME
“Starting its journey as a style vs style, elite competitive sport, with athletes coming from other disciplines, MMA was born without its own roots. Over its first decade, it fast developed into a discipline of its own, combing the most effective techniques from its forefathers. With dedicated MMA gyms having blossomed worldwide, IMMAF – WMMAA’s job is to develop a progression scheme and grading system to manage and safeguard the development of MMA participants worldwide.

“We are very proud to have engaged Andrew Moshanov this year who is driving the coaches’ licensing and development. Andrew comes with Olympic and top academic credentials, plus a long background in establishing progression and coaches’ education in both judo and sambo – both recognised martial arts. Within the coming weeks we can expect to see the number of IMMAF – WMMAA licensed coaches reach the 100 mark.

“Having established the first progression levels for adults we are in process of addressing the unquantified participation of minors in MMA and to develop pathways for them also.”

4

Densign WhiteGOOD GOVERNANCE & RECOGNITION
“IMMAF’s CEO Densign White comes with a stellar CV in the administration of non-profits sports organisations and charitable contribution to sport. Sport Integrity and Good Governance are important values to the IMMAF- WMMAA Board and to this end we have become the early adopters of Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) Standards. This means that SIGA independently audits IMMAF for its practices in Good Governance, Financial and Betting Integrity and they set a high bar.

“We have worked to build a diverse Board and solid committees and have some fantastic advisors. World expert Michele Verroken from Sporting Integrity is our Anti-doping consultant, and although we are not recognised by the World Anti-doping Agency – something that we are challenging in court – she has ensured that we nevertheless are fully compliant with the WADA Code and that we carry out doping tests at all our Championships.

“We are also proud of the fact that more than 50% of our member federations are now recognised by their local sports ministry or Olympic Committee, and a growing number of teams are coming to IMMAF – WMMAA events backed by government funding.”

5

WMMAA MERGER
“Last but not least, in our application process to GAISF, they advised that we needed to eliminate the rivalry with the World Mixed Martial Arts Association, as there were two applications in process for recognition for MMA and only one could be recognised. This seemed a tall challenge but one that we managed to surmount in record time. The amalgamation agreement was put in place within months of the request last year, with the full merger set to be complete by the end of 2019, with respect to democratic process.

“We are no less proud of our membership who have in some cases been required to bury old hatchets and unite with national rivals for the greater good of the sport. Kazakhstan and Germany are the most recent success stories. In all these cases we are seeing a strengthening of federations through a doubling of their resources, skill sets and membership. This is why I would invite any stakeholders or groups interested in taking a part in the global governance of MMA to reach out to us, because united we will always be stronger. And where an IMMAF – WMMAA federation already exists in the country, the numerous mergers we have facilitated since our amalgamation with WMMAA serve as testament to our capacity for bringing different sections of MMA community together and overcoming differences.”

Last word…

“None of this would have been possible without the vision and exceptional commitment of our Board of Directors, who contribute their time and expertise on a voluntary basis. Nor would it be possible without the hard work and talent IMMAF – WMMAA Administration team, or the ongoing effort and support of our National Federations who are making great strides for the sport world over.”

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