Trailblazing Torres continues to make history as 2-division pro champion

Team Shorty photo via Facebook

By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran.

Amateur MMA’s most successful graduate continues to make history; Jose Torres is now a 2-division professional world champion, and he’s just getting started.

The international amateur pioneer, who posted a 25-1 record, made history as the first competitor to win back-to-back IMMAF world titles in Las Vegas, first securing the bantamweight tournament gold medal in 2015 and retaining the title in 2016 having qualified through the USA MMA Federation’s (UMMAF) national championships.

The 24-year-old graduated to become the first 0-0 professional fighter to join top UFC feeder promotion Titan FC, and was the first amateur veteran to win a professional world title as he secured the Titan FC flyweight championship in just his third pro bout with a second round KO victory over Abdiel Velazquez. Following a TKO victory in his first title defense against experienced Brazilian Pedro Nobre, it was announced that Torres would take the inspired move back up to bantamweight for the first time since his dominance of the world amateur scene.

Jose's proud Mother celebrates victory with her son - photo via Facebook

Jose’s proud Mother celebrates victory with her son – photo via Facebook

On May 19 ‘Shorty’ battled the defending Titan FC bantamweight champion Farkhad Sharipov and after five rounds of action was crowned as the promotion’s first 2-division world champion via a unanimous decision triumph through which he displayed endurance, stamina and grit in outlasting Sharipov’s early onslaught.

With each step he takes the former amateur trailblazer continues to build a legacy unlike that of any athlete before him and is credited as one of the top world champions currently outside of the UFC. Now 5-0 and with multiple titles to boot, what is next for Torres and could we looking at a future great?

“Jose continues to be a brilliant ambassador and is an example of everything we do,” IMMAF president Kerrith brown stated. “He did not accept the old way of turning pro after just a handful of amateur bouts and his extended success through the USA MMA Federation and IMMAF world championships makes him a pioneer of our pathway to success. With each professional triumph he showcases the depth of what it mean to be an IMMAF gold medal winner. Congratulations on behalf of everyone at IMMAF.”

You can still catch all of the action on UFC Fight Pass.

The post Trailblazing Torres continues to make history as 2-division pro champion appeared first on IMMAF.

Comments are closed.

array(6) { ["headers"]=> object(Requests_Utility_CaseInsensitiveDictionary)#255 (1) { ["data":protected]=> array(18) { ["date"]=> string(29) "Wed, 12 Aug 2020 10:07:33 GMT" ["content-type"]=> string(34) "application/rss+xml; charset=UTF-8" ["set-cookie"]=> string(140) "__cfduid=d348d3ec6af65cc6fb3f7109f21a8e37d1597226852; expires=Fri, 11-Sep-20 10:07:32 GMT; path=/; domain=.immaf.org; HttpOnly; SameSite=Lax" ["vary"]=> array(3) { [0]=> string(15) "Accept-Encoding" [1]=> string(15) "Accept-Encoding" [2]=> string(15) "Accept-Encoding" } ["last-modified"]=> string(29) "Mon, 10 Aug 2020 17:22:11 GMT" ["link"]=> string(54) "; rel="https://api.w.org/"" ["x-powered-by"]=> string(9) "WP Engine" ["x-cacheable"]=> string(17) "CacheAlways: feed" ["cache-control"]=> string(28) "max-age=600, must-revalidate" ["etag"]=> string(41) "W/"6f3cf8f898c66caffcf1fee14df9be36-gzip"" ["x-cache"]=> string(6) "HIT: 2" ["x-cache-group"]=> string(3) "bot" ["content-encoding"]=> string(4) "gzip" ["cf-cache-status"]=> string(7) "DYNAMIC" ["cf-request-id"]=> string(32) "0483bcb92a00008056a488c200000001" ["expect-ct"]=> string(87) "max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct"" ["server"]=> string(10) "cloudflare" ["cf-ray"]=> string(20) "5c1963d5182e8056-CPT" } } ["body"]=> string(8795376) " IMMAF https://immaf.org International Mixed Martial Arts Federation Mon, 10 Aug 2020 17:22:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 IMMAF veterans continue winning ways at Brave 38 https://immaf.org/2020/08/10/immaf-veterans-continue-winning-ways-at-brave-38/ Mon, 10 Aug 2020 17:22:09 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40153

The post IMMAF veterans continue winning ways at Brave 38 appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

Veterans of IMMAF’s international Amateur MMA platform continued their winning ways as professional MMA standouts at BRAVE CF 38 in Sweden. Following last week’s clean sweep of victories for IMMAF alumni at BRAVE 37, the organisation’s collaboration with Bulldog Fight Night continued in Stockholm on Saturday, August 8.

At amateur MMA’s top-flight England’s PK Zadeh reached the quarterfinals of the 2017 IMMAF World Championships and scored wins over top featherweight standout Enrique Hecher Sosa of Spain, and Kazakhstan’s Neimat Asadov. Zadeh crashed out of the World Championships under controversial circumstances due to a contested submission while fending off an arm-bar against Luxembourg’s Jose Teixeira. Now a professional up-and-comer Zadeh moves to 3-0, remaining undefeated with superior grappling seeing him through to a unanimous decision win.

Jonny Touma spent two years as an exciting fixture of the Swedish national team under the IMMAF banner as a multiple-time World Championships contender and bronze medallist of the 2018 European Open. Touma’s enthusiasm for high-octane striking was on display, landing double spinning-back-fists to rock Moheb Azizi. While Azizi remained highly game and in the fight, the dynamic action continued to play out with Touma progressing to clinch a unanimous decision triumph.

Team Sweden vet Elin Öberg had a short tenure at the IMMAF level before turning pro, yet we would have loved to see more of her. A split-decision loss to Finland’s Janika Antinmaa at the 2018 European Open was Öberg’s first and only appearance, and she has since transitioned to become a destroyer of top prospects, making her pro debut in 2018 with a 6-second KO of former IMMAF world champion Anna Astvik and later with a doctor stoppage over perennial IMMAF medallist Anette Österberg. Öberg bounced back in fine form from a first professional loss as she stormed through a war to powerfully out-strike the very noteworthy Malin Hermansson.

Former European Open finalist and world bronze medallist Issa Isakov was a long-standing top contender of the international IMMAF platform, representing Belgium with over 15 amateur victories. His success continues now as a 6-1 professional with a unanimous decision win over experienced Dutchman Djamil Chan (15-7).

The post IMMAF veterans continue winning ways at Brave 38 appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
The tale of IMMAF & WMMAA: How two global MMA federations merged to create a super organisation https://immaf.org/2020/08/05/the-tale-of-immaf-wmmaa-how-two-global-mma-federations-merged-to-create-a-super-organisation/ Wed, 05 Aug 2020 06:29:25 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40149

The post The tale of IMMAF & WMMAA: How two global MMA federations merged to create a super organisation appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The international governance of combat sports and martial arts is well renowned for its internal rifts and divisions. Take the World Boxing Association (WBA), World Boxing Council (WBC), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) as examples in pro boxing. Meanwhile, the World Anti-doping Agency recognises three Code Signatory International Federations for the sport of Taekwondo, and various bodies lay claim to overseeing Muay Thai and kickboxing.


So when in June 2017, world umbrella sports body, the Global Association of International Sport Federations (GAISF) instructed ‘rival’ applicants for the sport recognition of MMA that they must cooperate, since only one application could be considered, the odds of success were high.


The Swedish founded International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and Monaco based, World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) were both established in 2012 with an Olympic vision and equally claimed the right to be deemed the international authority for amateur MMA. Perhaps it was their newness or their evolution from a sport that within a couple of decades of existence had become the world’s fastest growing that made them so dynamic, because what happened next could not have been anticipated.


In May 2018, IMMAF and WMMAA signed a legally binding affiliation MOU, approved by both memberships. By the close of November 2018 they had completed a fully executed agreement, as well as a first unified world championships with 52 participating countries that would create a new world order in the rankings of amateur MMA. Following a time-lag to allow for the necessary, democratically approved changes to the IMMAF statutes, IMMAF’s 2019 General Assembly saw the IMMAF board expand to accept elected representatives from WMMAA, with WMMAA President Vadim Finkelchtein joining IMMAF founder August Wallen as Honorary President.


However, these rapid-fire achievements weren’t the most impressive. Not only did the merger require that of two international boards and administration teams, but it also needed to be mapped out across around 100 member nations, a number of whom had counterpart IMMAF and WMMAA national federations.

So how did the IMMAF and WMMAA executives achieve this? immaf.org spoke with former WMMAA Executive Director turned IMMAF Board Director, Tatiana Klimenko, who worked on the national level coordination of the amalgamation.

The main challenge was presented by countries in which both WMMAA and IMMAF each had an active representative organisation. Where this was the case, first consideration was necessarily given to the federation which had government or National Olympic Committee recognition. The non-recognised party was encouraged to join with the mandated organisation. Meanwhile, inactive federations were cut, as were bad players.


For example, in one case IMMAF had received complaints about national federation’s association with right wing extremism and hooliganism. The allegations were never satisfactorily refuted by the organisation in question, and this was taken into account in deciding against them in selecting the best representative in that country to lead the sport, alongside their recognition status.


Where such clarity did not exist, federations were encouraged to merge and, according to Tatiana, this worked well where both sides “put their athletes and the interests of the sport first, over and above power struggles.”


There were successful national level mergers in countries that include Romania, Kazakhstan and India.


“In these countries, national federations were strengthened by coming together, bringing different assets, skill sets and relationships to the table. They increased their membership and deepened their competition pool.”


According to Tatiana, only a surprisingly small handful of disputes emerged that were unresolvable or situations in which merged groups came apart – five or less. In these instances, where IMMAF | WMMAA was forced choose a side, the unified administration evaluated not just the national federation’s administrative compliance to GASIF criteria, but equally took into account the roots and comparative strengths of the federations, their scope of influence within the sport and their business capabilities.


“In all, there was a total of around three organisations of value, largely in terms of their professional MMA or commercial experience, that we were unable to carry with us, which is unfortunate. However, due to the in depth process through which we worked closely with national federations and the many interviews we conducted, I can attest without a doubt that each of the federations we retained are the strongest in their country, whether in terms of good governance process, having some kind of formal recognition or carrying out all the administrative duties of a federation. Some of these remain small due to the political and legal landscape there or because the sport is still young there, but they are certainly the right ones to grow the sport in the interests of the amateur participant and according to the values of International Sport.”


“However, the doors remain open those organisations we lost. We appreciate that the speed with which IMMAF and WMMAA moved with the merger created a difficult situation for some. At any time, we are committed to working to facilitate fresh dialogues between them and our national federation in their country to find a workable solution for a cooperation.”


IMMAF President Kerrith Brown, who was also closely involved in the national merger process alongside WMMAA President Vadim Finkelchtein, commented:


“I’m extremely proud of what we managed to achieve in uniting two such strong entities. I am thankful to Vadim, Tatiana and the WMMAA Board for their cooperation, and equally to IMMAF founders August Wallen, Vice-President George Sallfeldt and the IMMAF board. The WMMAA board directors and administrative staff who have joined us are by now very much part of the IMMAF international family, bringing enhanced expertise and experience to the team. I am confident too that in all our territories, IMMAF has the strongest national representative. Where National Federations successfully merged they have likewise been strengthened as a result. The process also enabled us to weed out non-performing ‘paper’ federations and those failing to meet good governance standards for amateur sport. The results of our merger with WMMAA are demonstrable through the increased engagement and participation of our federations that has really propelled us forward as a super organisation. With hindsight, I can say I am grateful to GAISF for their recommendation that we unite as it has only made us better as an organisation and reinforced our ability to meet our duties as an international governing body.”

The post The tale of IMMAF & WMMAA: How two global MMA federations merged to create a super organisation appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Champions shine in weekend of Pro action https://immaf.org/2020/08/03/immaf-champions-shine-in-weekend-of-pro-action/ Mon, 03 Aug 2020 16:46:17 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40147

The post IMMAF Champions shine in weekend of Pro action appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

Five past champions of IMMAF were in action over the weekend, the standout veterans of amateur MMA’s elite platform secured a clean sweep of victories now as professionals.

Memorable alumni of Sweden’s national amateur team took over the card of BRAVE CF 37 in Stockholm, Sweden. Two-time IMMAF heavyweight world champion Irman Smajic smothered rival Fatih Aktas to extend his undefeated pro tenure via a unanimous decision. In addition, 2017 European Open gold medallist Anton Turkalj claimed an early TKO win as he moves to 5-0 as a professional and Sweden’s potential successor to Alexander Gustafsson at 205lbs. After winning gold medals for Sweden at the 2019 IMMAF World Championships and 2020 Oceania Open, strawweight Bianca Antman scored the highlight of the night with a stunning headkick KO to seal victory in her professional debut.

The BRAVE 37 “people’s main event” saw Muhammad Mokaev, the world’s most talked about amateur prospect, complete his pro debut in dominant fashion by nullifying Irishman Glenn McVeigh across all three rounds of their heated grudge match. As a 23-0 amateur champion Mokaev collected several promotional titles of the UK MMA scene before stepping up to the IMMAF platform, representing Team UK and later Team England. Mokaev became the no.1 ranked junior athlete as a two-time IMMAF World Championships gold medallist at bantamweight with further gold medals won at the European Open and Oceania Open.

Also on the card, IMMAF World and European silver medallist Nina Back came up short in a fight-of-the-night contender. Featuring on the amateur prelims, Back faced off against professional K-1 standout Josefine Lindgren Knutsson, who made her amateur MMA debut.

On the other side of the globe, 2017 IMMAF world champion Manon Fiorot featured at UAE Warriors 12 on July 31 in Abu Dhabi. The former national karate champion and French MMA team graduate is now riding a 5-fight win streak after a TKO stoppage over Canadian rival Corinne Laframboise.

The post IMMAF Champions shine in weekend of Pro action appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Getting to know IMMAF President Kerrith Brown: An Interview – Part 1 https://immaf.org/2020/07/27/getting-to-know-immaf-president-kerrith-brown-an-interview-part-1/ Mon, 27 Jul 2020 17:24:57 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40130

The post Getting to know IMMAF President Kerrith Brown: An Interview – Part 1 appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

“My lack of education about prohibited substances led me to make a mistake that cost me heavily and is without a doubt, one of the biggest regrets of my life. In Anti-doping as with the law, ignorance is not a defence. It certainly serves as a cautionary tale.”


IMMAF President Brown has travelled a path of dramatic highs and lows, reaching the Olympian podium as an athlete to suffer a doping ban that would change the course of his life. Here the IMMAF President talks candidly about his experiences, what he has learnt in life, how this has shaped the person he is today and how it informs him as IMMAF President.

Roots
Kerrith was born in 1962 in the United Kingdom, in the Midlands city of Wolverhampton, not long after his mother arrived from Jamaica to join his grandmother who had immigrated a year or two earlier. He never met his father, and with two half-brothers not to follow for another ten and twenty years respectively, he describes “quite a good upbringing at that point being the only child” at a “normal infant school in a modest area,” though he talks of “coming from a single parent background, having to build your own circle.”


School
Aged 11, Kerrith entered Springfield Comprehensive Boys School (later Heath Park) having moved to a new area the “other side of town.”

“Secondary school was an eye opener….going into a boys’ school, which was just coming out of being probably the worst school in the area and starting to modernise itself.

“That’s when all the bullying started. It was an alpha male survival environment.”

Kerrith vividly recalls his first impression as “seeing this guy come from nowhere and drop this kid with a double foot kick.”

Aspirations at the school weren’t high: You would “leave school, get an apprenticeship, get a job. That was the path of the norm you would be led down.”

Discovering Judo & Meeting IMMAF CEO Densign White
Judo was offered by Springfield as two 45-minute sessions per week, and Kerrith signed up aged 12, “in order to look after myself, because I was not looking after myself so well. It was about protection rather than about the sport.”

“And it did work. Word goes around. As soon as the kids realised you’re doing a combat sport, they give more respect and leave you alone. Judo and karate were like the dark arts because of the Bruce Lee films at the time.”

IMMAF‘s CEO Densign White, who was in a different class at the same school, also attended the judo sessions, which is where the two first met sparking a lifelong friendship. From there, both were motivated to join their local club.

Judo brought Kerrith “stability, family and like-minded people with similar goals.” It stopped “us from getting into mischief because we were focussed on training rather than going out. I was lucky to drop into that block (of peers) in terms of development and I didn’t know anything else.”

Making the Olympic Squad
Kerrith was inspired by “a Guinness Book of Records or Martial Arts book my mum had bought me for Christmas, and in there was Brian Jacks, who was my hero. He had just got back from the Munich Games (1972), I think. I remember looking at the Olympic Games thinking it would be great if I could emulate that and it was always at the back of my mind.”

At the same time, Kerrith and Densign’s club coach identified they “had something” and he channelled their energies towards making the England squad.

By the time of the 1984 Games, aged 22, Kerrith recalls he’d “been number 1 consistently for 5 years (nationally), was Junior European Champion and was in the top world rankings.”

“Being accepted as number 1 in your country and then to represent in the Olympic Games, you’re on top of the world. It was a dream come true.”

1984 Olympics – Overcoming Injury for Bronze
Then, injury struck.

“I got a cruciate ligament injury 7-months out from the Games. Someone bounced on the back of my knee and it popped.”

Kerrith underwent one of the first key-hole surgeries in London’s Harley Street in 1983, to return to training in March, just 4 months before the Games, and unable to bend his knee until weeks before.

“I didn’t actually start dropping on my knee until I got to the Games. That’s how bad it was. But my focus had been more on rehab than the event and on getting fit. By the time got there, I was quite relaxed.”

Kerrith prevailed to the semi-finals in the men’s lightweight division to lose by a frustrating split decision but went onto fight the then world number 1 and win a bronze medal for Great Britain. Meanwhile, Densign placed fifth in his division.

1988 Olympics
The 1988 Olympics initially presented as a “similar story,” sighs Kerrith, rolling his eyes.

Having maintained his number 1 ranking nationally and ranked among the worlds best, he had just been selected again for the national squad when he suffered another knee injury requiring a second key-hole surgery, but this time to the anterior cruciate ligament of his opposite knee.

When Kerrith arrived in Seoul for the games, he was just beginning to fully bend his knee. Nonetheless, “I was among one of the favourites.”

Kerrith recounts a strong draw. Going into the Semi-Finals, he was facing an opponent he had beaten months previously and who should have presented a certain win. However, to his continued regret, he “got cocky and over-confident and blew it,” erring from his game plan “to throw his opponent with an explosive move and throwing myself instead.”

To compete for the bronze medal, he had to then face world number one, Michael Swain of USA, whom he defeated to make the podium.

“Then…” says Kerrith, referring to the infamous drug scandals that overshadowed the 1988 Games, “the whole world kicked off.”

Doping Scandal
For context, it is worth taking a broader view of anti-doping at the time: Unlike today, International Federations operated by their own prohibited lists and managed their own rules and testing. In 1985, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) added diuretics to their in-competition prohibited list, to be applied at the next Olympic Games. This change was adopted by some but not all sports. Significantly, International Federations were also responsible for the education of their athletes, relying upon their medical support staff to inform and reinforce rules.

Kerrith feels that the change in Anti-Doping Regulations before the Games had been poorly communicated to athletes. He realised too late that the A4 list of banned substances they had been given included a substance that would impact his eligibility to compete.

“Going to our team doctor was the only policy or source of information, so there was a lack knowledge compared with nowadays.”

At the Opening Ceremony, it is told, that when the symbolic doves were released, they were scorched by the Olympic flame. And so, the Seoul Games went on to be dubbed one of the most controversial in Olympic history.

Officiating controversies gave rise to an escalating scandal in boxing. Then, the fastest man in the world, Ben Johnson, famously got caught for anabolic steroids use following a superhuman victory, and quickly became the centre story. British sprinter, Linford Christie, was found positive for the performance-enhancing pseudoephedrine in the same event, and Kerrith was tested among a wider testing of finalists.

To his detriment, Kerrith had been advised to take a diuretic, furosemide, to reduce his knee swelling during the flight over. The substance was commonly used at the time for reducing swelling of joints or muscles and for water retention in weight-cutting.

Two days after being tested, Kerrith received a call to inform him that his sample had returned positive, and he was called to a tribunal scheduled just a few days later, alongside British peer Linford Christie.

Looking back, he believes the shock of the biggest scandal the sporting world had seen, in the revelation that the winner of the Men’s 100m had tested positive, followed by the additional positive finding for third placed GB sprinter Linford Christie, diverted attention away from proper investigation of his case. Amidst the media attention on Ben Johnson and further shockwave of a second finding that might impact the medals awarded in the 100m, the report that a judo athlete had also returned a finding was swiftly processed. British team officials focussed on damage limitation, Kerrith feels, to his disadvantage:

“A deal had already been done in the room that one of us was going to take the fall. Linford had come 3rd in the 100m, with potential to be awarded silver following the suspension of Johnson. Also, Great Britain had come 3rd in the 4 x 100 relay in which the US Team had dropped the baton leading to their disqualification, and so there was a gold medal opportunity for them also. British Athletics was the most powerful sport federation in the UK at the time, and as I see it, we were up against them.”

Kerrith reports that British Athletics “brought over a guy from US doping who was doing a thesis on ginseng and they presented evidence that Linford was suffering from a cold.”

“I remember quite clearly us being an hour late for the hearing as we were waiting at the hotel with Linford for the ginseng vials to be delivered – which they were, in a black bag.”

“On the other hand, I don’t feel we had any support. My sole representatives were my coach, team manager and the then British Judo Chairman. We had no legal representation.”

“I was unaware of the politics at the time,” says Brown, “but have learnt with hindsight about the international corridor (of power). We didn’t really know about appeals and there was no recourse that we knew of.”

Speaking with various old-time insiders, their own views support Brown’s verdict but nonetheless the stigma has been hard to shake.

Aftermath
“ I was devastated. I didn’t know where to go. There was no support mechanism from the organisation. From the moment I was found guilty of doping, I was shoved into a taxi to the airport on my own.”

On his “own initiative” he called friends to collect him from the airport, as press were waiting at his front door. He asked the flight attendant to provide a back exit from the airport to avoid the fray.

“They were camping outside my house, in the bins. I couldn’t go home for two weeks. I went to a mate’s house until it all died down.”

From being funded as part of the national team, Kerrith now faced a two-year ban on competing with all finance cut.

“I carried on training but couldn’t compete and that finished my career. I tried to make a comeback in 1992, after starting to compete again in 1990.”

However, although ranked again at number one hitherto, he failed the national selections for the 1992 Olympics and, also, to medal at the European Championships, which would have provided an alternative route back. At that point, Kerrith knew his athletic career was over and retired.

“My lack of education about prohibited substances led me to make a mistake that cost me heavily and is without a doubt, one of the biggest regrets of my life. In Anti-doping as with the law, ignorance is not a defence. It certainly serves as a cautionary tale.”

Getting Back Up Again & Business Years
Following his dramatic fall from grace in 1988, Brown’s sharp business acumen developed as a means to survive thereafter.

“It was a challenging transition… the time you spend training full time doesn’t give you time to develop life skills for anything else. But then I was lucky and being in the right place at the right time was an important factor in the some of the choices I made.”

Kerrith cites his support network as critical at that time, “having the right people around you. Family network and good set of friends was part and parcel” of being able to move on.

He’d previously worked as a mechanic and freelance electrician, while teaching judo in schools, and he now owned a gym with Densign. From there, he found opportunities in Wolverhampton’s burgeoning nightclub scene as rave was taking off in the UK during the 1990s.

“We were among the pioneers of the house music and drum ‘n’ bass (dance music) scenes that were evolving in the Midlands and that put us at the cutting edge.”

Hosting legendary names such as Fantasia, Quest, Helter Skelter and Amazon as a club owner, Kerrith profited from successful club nights and ventured for the first time into live logistics for two Glastonbury festivals and for a forerunner of V-festival.

“This is why I say live events are part of my DNA….and this experience of being at the cutting edge enables us to push the (IMMAF) team to be better and cutting edge.”

He continued to successfully establish himself in fashion retail through the Diffusion chain, with flagship stores formerly in London’s Carnaby Street, Oxford Street and Covent Garden, of which he remains a partner to this day.

Life Lessons
Ultimately, “the things that worked against me, actually worked for me. If I’d won a gold medal at the Games, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I was forced down another avenue and that created other opportunities.”

“The set-backs you experience in sport teach you. The knock back I had in 1988 was a major set-back most people would never have in a lifetime, and having to deal with that mentally. Learning from that at an early age makes you prepared for anything and learn how to keep moving forwards. Not having a support mechanism enables you to think outside the box more deeply than most people, at the drop of a hat. Having those experiences of training full time and then overcoming those injuries too was challenging and forced me to dig deep.”

Kerrith believes surviving such highs and lows in sport gave him the tools to take on the same highs and lows that are inherent in business. Martial Arts values provide a framework for navigating life’s twists and turns.

“If I’d won an Olympic gold medal, I might have thought to be a coach for the rest of my life. Not winning that spurs me on to want more.”

Asked how what he has learned impacts his role as an International Sports Federation President, Kerrith concludes:

“It is because of my own experience that I am so passionate about Anti-doping education for athletes and at IMMAF it is high on our agenda. Since I joined the organisation, we have hired Anti-doping expert and Commonwealth Games Medical Secretary, Michele Verroken, to implement anti-doping education for IMMAF athletes and coaches as well as our testing programme. It is through her that we recently partnered with the WADA ADeL platform and are actively encouraging national federations to do the online courses. We also recently bolstered our committees with a dedicated Anti-doping Disciplinary Commission and Ethics Commission to support the work of our Anti-Doping and Medical Committees and ensure fairness and impartiality. Our experiences as athletes have shaped mine and Densign’s outlook in all areas of governing the sport and putting athlete and participant welfare first lies at the heart of everything we do.”

Michele, who previously ran the UK’s Ethics and Anti-Doping Directorate at UK Sport was, at the time of Kerrith’s doping offence, Head of the newly formed Doping Control Unit at The Sports Council, battling with sports bodies to take a more responsible approach to anti-doping.

In partnering with IMMAF, she has asserted her confidence that its senior executives fully understand the importance of educating athletes about anti-doping, its rules, its obligations and above all the management of illness and injuries without risking a doping violation:

“Education first! No one should be without access to education. IMMAF has adopted a zero-tolerance policy to cheating by doping, and therefore, it is essential that athletes, coaches and medics know their responsibility to keep the sport safe and fair.

“Mistakes happen and what is important is how you respond. From Kerrith’s experience of how important anti-doping is, IMMAF has committed to achieve WADA (World Anti-doping Agency) Code signatory status and to ensure that lessons are learned.”
Next, in PART 2, read all about Kerrith’s sports administration and MMA years.

The post Getting to know IMMAF President Kerrith Brown: An Interview – Part 1 appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
WANTED: Volunteers for IMMAF Sustainability Taskforce https://immaf.org/2020/07/24/wanted-volunteers-for-immaf-sustainability-taskforce/ Fri, 24 Jul 2020 06:40:33 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40119

The post WANTED: Volunteers for IMMAF Sustainability Taskforce appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

IMMAF is offering the opportunity for those passionate about the environment and sustainable futures to audit and provide policy recommendations for the responsible, sustainable organisation of MMA competitions.

The legacy project will form the basis for future sustainable development projects and opportunities at IMMAF, in an area of growing significance both in and outside of sport. Participants can expect to gain valuable experience and access to consultancy from IMMAF’s world-leading expert committee and commission members.

  • Volunteers (3) to participate in the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s new Sustainability Taskforce
  • The purpose of the Taskforce is to, in collaboration with the IMMAF Events Team, conduct a Sustainability Review and develop a Sustainability Recommendations, based on the UN’s 17 Sustainability Development Goals, for implementation in the organisation of IMMAF Competitions in 2021
  • Timeframe: 6 -week project commencing 31 August. All meetings will be held online
  • Applicants should ideally have proven policy development experience in and a passion for environmental matters (for indoor sport events)

For enquiries or to apply, please email your CV to alistair.pettitt@immaf.org

The post WANTED: Volunteers for IMMAF Sustainability Taskforce appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF certified judges in UFC debut at Fight Island https://immaf.org/2020/07/16/immaf-certified-judges-in-ufc-debut-at-fight-island/ Thu, 16 Jul 2020 12:17:46 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40099

The post IMMAF certified judges in UFC debut at Fight Island appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

International Mixed Martial Arts Federation judges, Vito Paolillo (Italy) and Clemens Werner (Germany), have made their officiating debut with the premier, professional MMA league of UFC for the current series of historic events taking place at UFC Fight Island.

“Due to the coronavirus, we have had to go through two forty-eight-hour quarantines and several COVID tests. The UFC is setting the highest standards in the MMA world by providing a safe environment for MMA contests,” commented Werner.

Under the tutelage of world-renowned referee and IMMAF Director of Regulatory Affairs, Marc Goddard, the two IMMAF alumni have honed their knowledge and experience through the international governing body’s progression pathway for officials since 2015.

Having certified on IMMAF Judges and Referees Courses, Werner has gone on to judge 1500 bouts while Paolillo says he has lost count! The IMMAF World Championships famously features more than 500 matches in 5 days, attended by up to 100 IMMAF licensed officials. To be eligible to work at IMMAF Championships, officials must continue to renew their licenses through ongoing professional education.

Clemens Werner commented:

“I am grateful to be one of a few officials to work at these historical Fight Island events. At the current time with the corona restrictions inhibiting most of national and international shows, it is a privilege to be able to follow my passion to judge, and better than that, to judge four UFC shows within three weeks.

“IMMAF paved the way for my development as an official. In addition to what I learnt on the IMMAF Officials Course with Marc Goddard, the experience that I have gained through nine IMMAF championships around the world has been invaluable. The challenges of a whole week of judging at IMMAF Championships has provided great preparation for professional shows. My biggest thanks goes to Marc Goddard, the IMMAF lead official, for his leadership, friendship and the opportunities he offers me.”

Vito Paolillo said:

“Being part of this historic event has been a great honour for me and a dream come true in my career as MMA Official. The treatment we are receiving is something unprecedented. The organisational level is outstanding, and you can really see why the UFC is the only organization in the world to be able to pull this off, not only among MMA promotions, but across sport.”

“It being my first experience as a Judge in the UFC, my colleagues here, who are among the world’s best MMA Officials, have asked if I am feeling pressure at this level. But thanks to my five years of IMMAF experience, I don’t feel anxiety. IMMAF has provided the best training for anyone wanting to work in professional MMA, starting with the course through to a series of events that lets you accumulate in a year the experience that most people take a lifetime to achieve, through IMMAF’s five-day tournament format that sees up to one hundred fights in one day.

“The IMMAF platform has proved the best way to be noticed and receive calls from top professional promotions, such as Brave FC, FightNight Global and KSW, culminating in my UFC selection.

“I want to thank UFC, Marc Goddard and IMMAF for this opportunity and I feel really blessed to be a part of UFC Fight Island.”

Marc Goddard said:

“I’m so happy that both Vito’s and Clemens’ hard work, dedication and portrayal of the qualities required to be an official have been recognised on the biggest stage and this opportunity granted. They have both worked diligently, taking advantage of all the opportunities presented to them over a number of years both at IMMAF and with me across many professional events throughout Europe, the Middle East and beyond. I am proud to see their journey along IMMAF’s educational pathway for officials culminate on the world’s biggest MMA stage, and for these guys it’s just the beginning of the next stage of their officiating careers.”

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

“It’s great to see the effectiveness of the IMMAF Officials Pathway recognised by top tier professional MMA promotions, with all the added pressure on officiating that comes with their extensive fan and media reach and commercial interests. I am proud to see Vito and Clemens representing their national federations, FIGMMA and GEMMAF, not just in the elite amateur league, but also now at elite professional level.”

For enquiries about IMMAF Judges and Referees Certification Courses contact info@immaf.org

The post IMMAF certified judges in UFC debut at Fight Island appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF launches ‘Peace through MMA’ commission https://immaf.org/2020/07/15/immaf-launches-peace-through-mma-commission/ Wed, 15 Jul 2020 06:22:40 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40097

The post IMMAF launches ‘Peace through MMA’ commission appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has launched a “Peace through MMA” Commission as part of its commitment to harnessing sport to mitigate violence and engender peace, with a focus on developing programmes to socially benefit young people.

President Kerrith Brown said:

“MMA is a universal language recognised by youth worldwide, with the power to break boundaries and to unite. As I have experienced in my own journey, martial arts require personal transformation, the development of self-knowledge, self-discipline, honour and respect. The process of training to fight within a sport is an effective pathway to learning the skills of negotiation and to attaining peace. It is our responsibility as leaders in the sport to channel the great power of martial arts towards social good.”

The committee is chaired by Danny Corr of the Ulster Amateur MMA Association. Corr is acclaimed for his Fight to Unite youth project in Northern Ireland, in a region that has seen in the past many social and economic problems as a result of conflict. The government recognised project has proven the success of a focused and sustainable programme that combines the many benefits of MMA with education, personal development and youth work. The programme tackles issues affecting young people and helps to build resilience and a positive future for young people and their communities.

Corr is joined on the Commission by Denis Rowan, best known as an expert in International Conflict Resolution with extensive work in the Northern Ireland Peace and Political Process. Denis has a vast experience in organising youth projects for social and educational furtherance and for the advancement of peace.

Corr and Rowan are currently working with the Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association in the Republic to organise a cross-border youth peace project aligned with a nationally recognised educational programme.

The Peace through MMA Commission is building on this work to develop a blueprint, consultancy and training support for the implementation of similar, tailored programmes for IMMAF’s other National Federations around the world.

Corr said:

“I am honoured to be Chairing this exciting Commission. Our sport and the passion with which IMMAF has developed worldwide has seen untold success; but we have so much more to offer communities and countries worldwide. A tailored structured approach to developing projects can bring massive benefits to our young people and especially in times like these, can help the long term sustainability of organisations and clubs.”

Demonstrating just how important youth development and the cause for peace are to IMMAF, the commission also includes President Kerrith Brown and CEO Densign White, who has a long track record of working with social projects in sport, particularly through his role as Chairman of British Charity, Sporting Equals.

Administrators to the commission are IMMAF Brand & Communications Director, Izzy Carnwath, and Member Development Consultant, Jorden Curran, whose role at IMMAF includes supporting National Federations with their projects related to community intervention, social health and wellbeing.

The post IMMAF launches ‘Peace through MMA’ commission appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF has registered with the WADA ADeL platform to boost its education of MMA participants https://immaf.org/2020/07/13/immaf-has-registered-with-the-wada-adel-platform-to-boost-its-education-of-mma-participants/ Mon, 13 Jul 2020 13:41:34 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40089

The post IMMAF has registered with the WADA ADeL platform to boost its education of MMA participants appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has successfully registered with WADA ADeL, the anti-doping e-learning platform (ADeL) offering access to all topics related to clean sport and anti-doping.

Through access to the platform, IMMAF can now offer its membership enhanced courses and resources for MMA’s athletes, coaches, doctors, administrators and other participants interested in learning more about anti-doping and protecting the values of clean sport.

Over 100 IMMAF coaches were certified through WADA e-courses over the weekend.

The world governing body for MMA has implemented a comprehensive drug-testing programme at its Championships since 2015, under the leadership of expert consultant Michele Verroken of Sporting Integrity, as well as ongoing anti-doping education. IMMAF has issued 9 suspensions to date.

The organisation recently announced its bolstered Anti-doping Committee and a new dedicated, Anti-doping Disciplinary Committee to strengthen its drive for a drug-free sport in amateur MMA.
 
IMMAF Anti-Doping Chair Michele Verroken commented:
“This partnership with WADA allows IMMAF to offer educational courses across the globe to our athletes, coaches, parents and medical personnel.  This is a fantastic opportunity to drive up anti-doping knowledge which in turn should lead to more informed decision making about the risks of doping, how to avoid a doping violation and how to help promote the Clean MMA message.  Testing is one way to address the problem of doping, but it is limited in its impact.  Education is far more significant and ADeL allows us to extend our support for IMMAF members to protect the values of clean sport. We look forward to engaging all our members with ADeL as evidence of our commitment to doping-free sport.”
 
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown commented:
“Access to the WADA ADeL resource enhances IMMAF’s educational offering to members around doping in sport. I am proud of the enthusiastic take-up by our member coaches. In contact sport, fairness in competition critically impacts on the safety also of the opponent and this is well understood by IMMAF’s members who uphold the Olympic and martial arts values of respect, friendship and excellence.”

The post IMMAF has registered with the WADA ADeL platform to boost its education of MMA participants appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF CEO joins new SIGA Diversity & Inclusion task force https://immaf.org/2020/07/10/immaf-ceo-joins-new-siga-diversity-inclusion-task-force/ Fri, 10 Jul 2020 09:23:23 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40086

The post IMMAF CEO joins new SIGA Diversity & Inclusion task force appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

[Press Release via SIGA. London, 7 July 2020] 

Following the successful SIGA-Soccerex Webinar on the topic, “Football For All,” the Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) has established a new Task Force dedicated to Race, Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion in order to press meaningful reform.
 
Conceived as part of the #SIGAccelerator initiative, this Task Force is composed of the following members:

  • Brian Lewis, President of the Trinidad and Tobago National Olympic Committee (TTOC), Chair of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committee (CANOC) and Member of the SIGA Council (Chair);
  • Affy Sheikh, Head of Starlizard Integrity Services and SIGA Member;
  • Angela Melo, SIGA Council Member;
  • Densign White, CEO of International Mixed Martial Arts (IMMAF) and Member of the SIGA Council;
  • Paul Elliot, Member of The FA Inclusion Advisory Board, former professional football play;
  • Ju’Riese Colόn, Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Center for SafeSport;
  • Katie Simmonds, General Counsel & Senior Director, Global Partnerships, SIGA;
  • Karin Korb, Wheelchair Tennis, 2-time Paralympic and 10-time member of USA World Team & SIGA Champion;
  • Stacey Copeland, First British Woman to win the Commonwealth Title for Boxing and SIGA Champion; and
  • Pavel Klymenko, Head of Policy at FARE Network (Football Against Racism in Europe).

The Task Force’s mandate is to develop and propose a series of recommendations aimed at promoting the highest standards on race, gender, diversity, and inclusion in sport. These recommendations shall be submitted to the SIGA Council for approval by the end of August 2020 with a public announcement to be made during the SIGA Sport Integrity Week (Monday 7th September 2020), during a virtual Media Conference.
 
On the creation of the Task Force, Emanuel Macedo de Medeiros, CEO of SIGA and Chairman & CEO of SIGA AMERICA, commented:
 
“Zero-Tolerance is SIGA’s stance against racism and any form of discrimination and social exclusion. They have no room in any society that considers itself decent and just. And the same applies to Sport.
 
The public demonstrations that are happening everywhere are serious and constitute a powerful and timely reminder that a lot more needs to be done to bring about the much-needed cultural changes. The SIGA Task Force “Sport for All” that we are now announcing is a decisive step towards that goal. On behalf of SIGA, I thank all leaders who have responded to our call for action and volunteered to serve on this task force, and will now be working on a set of recommendations on race, gender, diversity and inclusion in sport, to made public within two months, during the Sport Integrity Week.”

 
On his role as Chair of the Task Force, Brian Lewis, President of the Trinidad and Tobago National Olympic Committee (TTOC), Chair of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committee (CANOC) and Member of the SIGA Council, said:
 
“There is a Yoruba proverb that says don’t be afraid to look at your faults. When we acknowledge our errors and face up to our shortcomings, no one can use them against us. On the issue of racism and racial discrimination and inequalities in sport. It is our duty, responsibility, and obligation to create positive change. 
 
Nelson Mandela said sport has the power to change the world while Mahatma Gandhi said be the change we want to see. We have to root out and eliminate all forms of discrimination in sport. More specifically systemic racism and racial discrimination and inequalities is a reality for too many involved in sport where the colour of your skin matters more than your character. This is unacceptable and now is the time to do something about it. We cannot continue to ignore and deny the problem.”

 
Densign White, CEO of International Mixed Martial Arts (IMMAF) and Member of the SIGA Council, said:
 
“When it comes to gender and racial equality, international sport is lagging behind. The recent Black Lives Matter protests have shone a spotlight on institutional discrimination and provided a catalyst for organisations across many sectors to look inwards and start implementing change. I am proud that SIGA, once again, is leading the charge in sport and I am honoured to have been invited onto this Task Force.” 
 
About inclusivity, Stacey Copeland, First British Woman to win the Commonwealth Title for Boxing and SIGA Champion, said:
 
“Sport is one of the most powerful things on the planet for bringing about positive change, this is why it is so important for sport to be inclusive. As a SIGA champion I am excited to be part of the task force to use our platforms and passion for sport to really make a difference.”
 
Karin Korb, Wheelchair Tennis, 2-time Paralympic and 10-time member of USA World Team & SIGA Champion, said:
 
“Working with leaders whose foundational common denominator is equity will move our work in an exponentially significant way.  While disabled people are often thought of as a monolith, I am looking forward to collaboratively furthering the work of SIGA as a member of the Race, Gender, Diversity, and Inclusion task force. I am excited to bring forward the continued and intentional inclusion of the diverse and intersectional framework of disability in our sport equity narrative.” 
 
Affy Sheikh, Head of Starlizard Integrity Services and SIGA Member, said:
 
“Inclusion is an absolutely vital tenet of sport – without it, its integrity will always be called into question. I am therefore delighted to see a strong commitment from SIGA towards eliminating any kind of discrimination in this area. We should all want to see fairness in sport and that means we have to set ourselves high standards in this regard.”

ABOUT SIGA
 
SIGA is the world´s largest coalition in the field of sports governance and integrity. Supported by more than 100 international multi-industry supporters, SIGA is an independent and neutral organisation whose mission is to bring about meaningful reforms and enhance the integrity of all sports through a set of universal standards operated by an independent and neutral body. SIGA is the only organisation to bring together sport, governments, academia, international organisations, sponsors, business, rights holders, NGOs and professional services companies, from every region in the world, around a common cause of fostering greater integrity throughout sport. Click on the hyperlinks for the list of SIGA Members and Committed Supporters and SIGA Partners.
 
For more information on SIGA, including its vision, mission and reform agenda, please refer to the website: www.siga-sport.com
 
To contact SIGA, please email: comms@siga-sport.com.
 
Find SIGA on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SIGAlliance, Instagram at sigalliance and LinkedIN at https://www.linkedin.com/company/sigalliance/.

The post IMMAF CEO joins new SIGA Diversity & Inclusion task force appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Independent Financial Audit Commission given greater role in IMMAF https://immaf.org/2020/07/10/independent-financial-audit-commission-given-greater-role-in-immaf/ Fri, 10 Jul 2020 09:10:22 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40084

The post Independent Financial Audit Commission given greater role in IMMAF appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The International Association of Mixed Martial Arts is underlining its commitment to the principles of good governance by giving the Financial Audit Committee a greater oversight role in its operations.

IMMAF CEO Densign White said: “There have been plenty of horror stories in recent years about serious financial mismanagement by International Federations and we are determined that IMMAF will adopt the highest possible standards of fiscal propriety. The Audit Committee is fully independent and will audit the financial activities of IMMAF and provide oversight of financial matters including upcoming commercial activities.”

The seriousness of the mission can be seen in the appointment of Denis Rowan as Committee Chair. Although a certified accountant by training, Denis is now best known as an expert in International Conflict Resolution with extensive work in the Northern Ireland Peace and Political Process. Denis’ wide-ranging experience across sectors and international experience in the USA and Japan, made him an ideal leader for IMMAF.

“I was delighted to be invited to be Chair of IMMAF’s Financial Audit Committee,” said Denis. “Having discussed the position with Densign White, I was pleased to see that IMMAF understands the value of accountability but also the gains for them in having solid governance arrangements which increases efficiency to the organisation and contributes to growth.”

IMMAF’s Financial Audit Committee members are Svetlana Odintsova (NED) and Dr. Luigi Perillo (ITA). Both have extensive career experience in high level corporate finance but also have key roles in MMA promotions and governance across both the amateur and professional scenes. Mr Perillo has a 25 year background in MMA and is now the President of the Swiss MMA Federation, while Ms Odintsova has extensive experience with both WMMA (now merged with IMMAF) and promotion, M1.

“Svetlana and Luigi blend expertise in finance and the entire sport of MMA, which is ideal”, said Denis. “The priorities going forward are to develop, implement and monitor robust and effective governance arrangements of the highest international standards. We will support IMMAF, the Board, management, and staff to achieve their organisational strategic goals.”

The post Independent Financial Audit Commission given greater role in IMMAF appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF welcomes nationally recognised Zambian Federation with its focus on social change https://immaf.org/2020/07/08/immaf-welcomes-nationally-recognised-zambian-federation-with-its-focus-on-social-change/ Wed, 08 Jul 2020 14:07:58 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40082

The post IMMAF welcomes nationally recognised Zambian Federation with its focus on social change appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The Zambia Mixed Martial Arts Association (ZMMAA) makes a new addition to the IMMAF family from Africa.


The organisation represents the majority of practitioners in Zambia’s MMA community and aims to expand their opportunities through the establishment of a national amateur league and coaches’ education and certification.


ZMMAA President Benjamin Bush brings significant experience in sport development through his extended work in sport management, athlete development and social projects which use martial arts to help the underprivileged. This includes an ongoing programme in Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka, using MMA as a vehicle for engaging youth in self-development to engender social change.


Despite being a young federation, ZMMAA has set exceptional standards for the development of MMA and has achieved approval for the sport under the Zambia Martial Art Federation (ZAMAF) which sits under the National Sports Council of Zambia.


Membership to the ZMMAA concurs a wide range of benefits including access to seminars and clinics for technical training, refereeing and judging, cornering, event management, strength and conditioning, sports rehabilitation and sports psychology. The governing body provides judges, referees and sanctioning officials for competitions.


IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

“I am proud that despite the challenges to sport posed by the epidemic in 2020, IMMAF continues to grow and to increase its global diversity. I have great personal confidence in President Bush as leader of the Zambia Mixed Martial Arts Federation, particularly in light of his social work through MMA, which expresses the core values of our sport and is a testimony to its capacity to engender peace and positive change.”

The post IMMAF welcomes nationally recognised Zambian Federation with its focus on social change appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF CEO Densign White nominated for Fighters Only World MMA Award https://immaf.org/2020/07/03/immaf-ceo-densign-white-nominated-for-fighters-only-world-mma-award/ Fri, 03 Jul 2020 07:34:47 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40078

The post IMMAF CEO Densign White nominated for Fighters Only World MMA Award appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

  • PLUS, REGULATORY AFFAIRS DIRECTOR MARC GODDARD NOMINATED AGAIN FOR REFEREE OF THE YEAR
  • CAST YOUR VOTE


International Mixed Martial Arts Federation CEO Densign White has been nominated for the Leading Man Award in the annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards. This is the first time that amateur MMA has been represented in the prestigious, industry showcase.


Densign commented: “I am grateful for this nomination on behalf of IMMAF, which is a credit to the hard work and significant achievements of IMMAF’s Members, our President, Board, Committees, staff and volunteers in the development of the sport of MMA. It is fantastic to see this work recognised in the flagship industry awards and I would like to thank the Fighters Only nominations panel for this acknowledgement.”


White is accompanied by IMMAF Director of Regulatory Affairs, Marc Goddard, who has been nominated again for Referee of the Year. Marc is best known by MMA fans for his on-screen work with UFC and other major professional MMA promoters across the globe, but has also been an integral part of the development of amateur MMA and the education and licensing of officials with IMMAF since 2012. Indeed, referees that Marc has trained on the amateur circuit are now refereeing on top tier professional shows, including premier promotion UFC.


ABOUT DENSIGN WHITE
Densign White is a three-times Olympian with a Commonwealth Games gold medal in judo, and a twenty-year career in sports governance.


Following 11 years as Chairman of the British Judo Association and stints as Head Sports Director for the European Judo Union and executive member of the British Olympic Association, White became IMMAF CEO in 2014.


Under Densign’s leadership the world MMA governing body has expanded to 110 member nations; grown its global competition calendar to 7 events per year; introduced a World Anti-doping Agency compliant drug testing programme and developed talent development pathways for MMA coaches and participants.


Under Densign’s charge, the IMMAF has fought a protracted battle for official sport recognition of MMA in order to obtain the same rights and benefits for participants as those of other sports. See petition here.


Major achievements have included IMMAF’s active contribution to aiding the legalisation of MMA in France this year and the launching of the first World Youth MMA Championships for 12 – 18 year olds in 2019.


Further to this, White stands on the Council of the Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) and is Chairman for Sporting Equals, which works to promote ethnic diversity in UK sport, representing MMA in both these forums.


IMMAF President Kerrith Brown commented: “On behalf of the IMMAF Board, I would like congratulate Mark Goddard and especially the CEO on his award nomination: Having worked closely with Densign for many years I can testify first hand to his passion and commitment to good governance and integrity in sport, always focussed on the rights and best interests of the athlete and those who participate. These are the drivers of IMMAF’s goal to see MMA formally recognised as a sport. I could not think of a better person to lead our organisation in this charge.”


ABOUT THE WORLD MMA AWARDS
The annual Fighters Only World MMA Awards sees a panel of experts select nominees across twenty categories, before MMA fans globally inherit the power to determine the winner through voting at www.worldmmaawards.com.  Awards are presented to winners each year at a prestigious live gala event attended by a who’s who of athletes, fighters, celebrities and other famous personalities in sports and entertainment. In response to the global pandemic, this year’s black-tie ceremony has been postponed until October.

The post IMMAF CEO Densign White nominated for Fighters Only World MMA Award appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Regulatory commission at the heart of global growth of IMMAF https://immaf.org/2020/07/02/regulatory-commission-at-the-heart-of-global-growth-of-immaf/ Thu, 02 Jul 2020 06:47:35 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40075

The post Regulatory commission at the heart of global growth of IMMAF appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

Marc Goddard, one of the best referees in the world of professional MMA, is now leading the charge to make IMMAF an outstanding reference in the field of regulatory governance.


Marc has become an icon of the sport after working exclusively in MMA for 20 years – 16 of which as an official. He has been the referee at world title fights for UFC in front of 60,000 people and many other high-profile bouts across the world (but was also a promoter, coach and athlete before that).


In 2011, Marc was part of the founding team for UK based charity, Safe MMA, which set the first medical standard for MMA in the region and became a trustee in 2018. He has become integral to the development of amateur MMA through his work with IMMAF as Director of Regulatory Affairs since 2012. He also stands as President of the newly created English Mixed Martial Arts Association.


“The future of our sport and the portrayal and perception of it remains so important to me,” said Marc. “The effect that officials and the entire subject of regulatory affairs has is a crucial element in seeing and realising that goal fulfilled.”

The primary role of the Regulatory Affairs Commission, which is composed of an international group of outstanding officials from every part of the world, is to develop universal protocol for safe, amateur MMA competition.


But the importance of the regulatory aspect of the sport means that the Regulatory Commission is involved in virtually every aspect of the sport, from developing new rules and regulations, providing technical and safety guidelines for the sport as well as progression pathways and education for officials.

The commission also provides guidance for member federations involved in professional event sanctioning under the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts but is also closely involved in other policy discussions, such as the development of an IMMAF policy for transgender competition and technical matters such as the development of the “perfect competition cage”.

“It is my duty that everyone involved in this area employs the highest of standards and integrity,” said Marc. “You are what you do and leading from the front with that always in mind shall stand us in the strongest of steads.”

IMMAF Regulatory Commission 2019-23
Chairman: Marc Goddard
Guillaume Bravo
Asse Hokkanen
Peter Hickmott
Maria Makhmutova
Clemens Werner

The post Regulatory commission at the heart of global growth of IMMAF appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF’s new communications and marketing commission blends media know-how with promotional expertise https://immaf.org/2020/07/01/immafs-new-communications-and-marketing-commission-blends-media-know-how-with-promotional-expertise/ Wed, 01 Jul 2020 07:11:13 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40073

The post IMMAF’s new communications and marketing commission blends media know-how with promotional expertise appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

POSITION AVAILABLE FOR FEMALE BRAND & MARKETING EXPERT

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has created a new Communications and Marketing Commission which brings together legends of Olympic sport journalism with promotional experts from the sport of MMA.

Adrian Warner, the Commission’s chair, was Olympic Correspondent for the BBC during the 2012 Games and previously worked for the London Evening Standard and Thomson Reuters Agency as a sport correspondent for more than 16 years, many of those based in Germany. He now works as a media consultant and as a senior University Lecturer in multi-media journalism at Northampton University.

“Our team of international journalists and experts has been put together to help with guidance on dealing successfully with the global media and helping IMMAF to attract a mass audience. They have experience of a wide range of Olympic sports in different capacities,” said Adrian.

Another Commission member with impressive sport journalism credentials is Steve Wilson, who has been Executive  Director of Communications and International Relations for the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and previously worked as the European Sports editor and Olympic correspondent for Associated Press news agency, covering all major international sporting events over a 25 year period. He currently works as a communications consultant and has recently helped to deliver key projects for the IOC.

The Commission is enhanced by the entrepreneurial energy and marketing skills of two MMA experts, Martin Lewandoski and Rashid Salleh.

From his native Poland, renowned promoter Martin has built KSW into one of the biggest MMA promotions in the world over a 16-year career, as well as launching multiple broadcast and multi-media initiatives. He stands as the president of the Polish MMA Federation under IMMAF, MMA Polska.

Rashid is known in Malaysia as an actor, comedian, sportscaster and journalist, working previously with amateur MMA promotion, Malaysian Invasion, and is now president of the Malaysia Mixed Martial Arts Association (MASMMAA). His well-publicised goal is to educate the masses about the differences between amateur and professional mixed martial arts (MMA).

“The Commission is an eclectic group providing advice and guidance to the federation as it communicates the benefits and appeal of amateur MMA. One of our first major goals is to set up a scheme for young journalists from around the world who are keen to report on MMA. We want to help IMMAF provide crucial reporting experiences for young journalists at major events to develop diverse journalistic talent covering the sport in the future.”

To complete the team, IMMAF’s Communications & Marketing Commission is looking to recruit a female expert in Brand and Marketing, preferably with experience in Digital. We are currently a majority white commission and therefore keen to encourage applications from talented, qualified individuals of black and other ethnicities to strengthen our expertise in international, public relations through a more diverse team.

For enquiries, please contact IMMAF’s Brand & Communications Director at isobel.carnwath@immaf.org

The post IMMAF’s new communications and marketing commission blends media know-how with promotional expertise appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Slovenian Mixed Martial Arts association boosts IMMAF’s membership in Europe https://immaf.org/2020/06/30/slovenian-mixed-martial-arts-association-boosts-immafs-membership-in-europe/ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 12:01:50 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40071

The post Slovenian Mixed Martial Arts association boosts IMMAF’s membership in Europe appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) proudly welcomes the Slovenian Mixed Martial Arts Association (SMMAA) as it confirms its latest member from Europe.

Headed by its president Zlatko Mahic, the democratic SMMAA body is underpinned by a vast base of member clubs and diverse leadership made up of individuals with key experience in event promotion, the medical sector, law and banking, sports training and as certified MMA officials.

Registered in the capital city of Ljubljana, the SMMAA aims to increase standards for the sport of MMA in line with the universal standards and technical programs of the IMMAF.

SMMAA aims include to:

  • Promote MMA and grappling sports;
  • Train and educate in the spirit of mixed martial arts (MMA);
  • Train and promote sports and martial arts in the spirit of fair play;
  • Inform and raise awareness of self defense systems for the general public;
  • Encourage cooperation and membership within the association;
  • Encourage youth to join the sport;
  • Raise awareness of the positive effects of sport and recreation;
  • Establish national competition circuits;
  • Assist in event sanctioning and organizing;
  • Establish a capable national team for international IMMAF championships;
  • Take care of the quality preparation and safety of athletes;
  • Promote education and licencing of technical staff, medicals, coaches, athletes, officials, cutmen and cutwomen.

SMMAA president, Zlatko Mahic commented:

“I’m delighted to take this step for Slovenian MMA in joining IMMAF. This is an important step for the fast-growing hotbed of talent here in Slovenia. We are excited to prove ourselves on the international stage across IMMAF’s impressive array of tournaments and cannot wait to continue to expand our nation’s impact on the sport of mixed martial arts.”

The post Slovenian Mixed Martial Arts association boosts IMMAF’s membership in Europe appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF continues its expansion in South America as Bolivia joins https://immaf.org/2020/06/26/immaf-continues-its-expansion-in-south-america-as-bolivia-joins/ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 12:27:30 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40068

The post IMMAF continues its expansion in South America as Bolivia joins appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

40+ MMA Federations have national level sport recognition.

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) welcomes the Bolivian Mixed Martial Arts Federation (BMMAF) as the latest member nation to join MMA’s world governing body, under the presidency of Florenco Artega Laura

Official sport recognition of MMA is flourishing under IMMAF national federations in South America. The BMMAF joins already with recognition from its national Sports Ministry, attained in December 2019, requiring compliance to its rules and regulation under Bolivian law.

Based in the capital city of La Paz, the Bolivian MMA Federation has a membership spanning 40 MMA clubs united under BMMAF secretary, Trinidad Andrea Arispe Aranibar.

Now working in compliance with global objectives for the development of MMA under the IMMAF, the Bolivian federation has outlined its priority goals as follows:

· Establish a national amateur championship and introduce a talent pathway for young athletes.

· Introduce national members to educational opportunities and certification pathways for coaches, referees and judges.

· Develop the grass roots participation of MMA in the country.

· Collaborate with neighbouring countries in the development of the sport.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown commented:

“The IMMAF family continues to grow, despite the challenges faced by global sport at present. With representation of 110 nations, over 40 of whom are formally recognised by their national authorities, and with further applications in process, we look forward to welcoming new national teams and delegates to our expanded family at IMMAF’s next international Championships.”

The post IMMAF continues its expansion in South America as Bolivia joins appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Medical commission at heart of IMMAF’s Covid-19 policy https://immaf.org/2020/06/25/medical-commission-at-heart-of-immafs-covid-19-policy/ Thu, 25 Jun 2020 12:04:44 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40066

The post Medical commission at heart of IMMAF’s Covid-19 policy appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) Medical Commission, one of its longest established commissions, has been finalising medical advisory protocols for a return to training and competition for amateur MMA in a new Covid-19 landscape.

The Medical Commission is chaired by Dr Randa Basharon (USA) and composed of leading international experts in sport medicine.

“The IMMAF Medical Committee members are leaders committed to the advancement of medical care and safety of MMA fighters,” said Dr Basharon. “We continue to pioneer medical safety policies for all competition groups including Junior and Youth, but we are also advising IMMAF on timely issues related to Covid-19 protocols and the issue of transgender participation in amateur MMA.”

The IMMAF Medical Committee has an unwavering focus on best practices in brain injury prevention and brain injury detection.

In terms of our priorities for 2020, this Medical Committee has also developed a ringside physician medical manual, said Dr Basharon. “The ringside medical manual and brain injury prevention are both ongoing works in progress to establish reproducible medical policies and procedures for quality and safety assurance during our competitions.”

The IMMAF Medical Committee continues to develop policies and procedures to advance the safety of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). MMA has a growing global presence and the growth of the sport has demonstrated the need for ongoing safety regulations and policies. IMMAF’s ongoing alliance with SafeMMA has proved to be a successful component in athlete pre and post-fight screening and evaluations.

The IMMAF Medical Commission continues to address medical safety as it relates to the rapid expansion of MMA and the scalability issues represented by increased international growth of the sport. Each year, IMMAF’s medical committee participates in education and research agendas for the purpose of advancing the safety and medical care in MMA.

IMMAF Medical Commission 2019-2023
Randa Basharon (USA) – Chairwoman
Dr Aljulanda Almaskari (OMN)
Prof Dan Healy (IRL)
Dr David Wang (USA)

The post Medical commission at heart of IMMAF’s Covid-19 policy appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Disciplinary Committee is an expert blend of law enforcement and sport specialists https://immaf.org/2020/06/23/immaf-disciplinary-committee-is-an-expert-blend-of-law-enforcement-and-sport-specialists/ Tue, 23 Jun 2020 13:32:55 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40063

The post IMMAF Disciplinary Committee is an expert blend of law enforcement and sport specialists appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) Disciplinary Committee is finalising a number of important policy documents under the leadership of its new Chairman Will Lexton-Jones.

The IMMAF Disciplinary Committee is responsible for the management and resolution of any asserted violations of the IMMAF Code of Ethics and other IMMAF Rules and Procedures. The Committee will also be responsible for setting up an advisory group/tribunal pool to help with individual cases.

The Disciplinary Committee is made up of a diverse team with law enforcement, sport and business expertise, led by Will Lexton-Jones. Will is a Detective Chief Inspector with the Metropolitan Police based in London. He also competed in martial arts and wrestling and remains active in sport.

“I am extremely proud to lead the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation Disciplinary Committee,” said Will. “The role offers a unique opportunity to combine my life-long interest in martial arts with my background as a police investigator and senior detective. I am privileged to work with a diverse, highly experienced cross-profession team to support IMMAF become a world leader in sporting governance. This year, my colleagues and I have set an ambitious objective to develop discipline policy and case management process that cater to the unique challenges of Mixed Martial Arts, to ensure fairness, proportionality, inclusivity and safety for all our members.”

Stanislav Nedkov is a former UFC Fighter and is now President of the Bulgarian Mixed Martial Arts Federation. He is also Chair of IMMAF’s Youth Development Commission

Chris Dunn is a Barrister. Chris has a long-standing relationship with the martial arts and sporting world. He is a criminal barrister but has experience in sporting tribunals and has represented club players at RFU disciplinary tribunals.

Tara Johnson is a UK Police Sergeant. Tara is one of the lead planners for the largest, most complex public order and security planning events in UK police history. Tara also has a credible martial arts background, having competed in different disciplines, including BJJ and wrestling.
Andy Herbert is a Martial arts and IT professional. Andy has a deep knowledge and understanding of the martial arts world, including MMA. He is a professional Ju-jitsu instructor and senior black belt at Ju-jitsu, and has built a thriving IT business from scratch.

IMMAF Disciplinary Committee 2019-2023
Will Lexton-Jones
Stanislav Nedkov
Chris Dunn
Tara Johnson
Andy Herbert

The post IMMAF Disciplinary Committee is an expert blend of law enforcement and sport specialists appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Coaching athletes after prolonged training restrictions in Mixed Martial Arts https://immaf.org/2020/06/22/coaching-athletes-after-prolonged-training-restrictions-in-mixed-martial-arts/ Mon, 22 Jun 2020 12:02:49 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40061

The post Coaching athletes after prolonged training restrictions in Mixed Martial Arts appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

INFORMATION LETTER FROM IMMAF COACHING COMMITTEE

Disclaimer: As more and more countries are returning to normality within sports practice, we feel there is a need to assist our coaches in understanding areas of critical concern, while working with athletes returning after the prolonged break. This is not intended as a guide, but solely informative under current circumstances in providing some approaches, teaching methods and coaching strategies proven effective in the past similar circumstances. It is essential that all coaches follow the official guidelines enforced by the national health and sports authorities in their countries when returning to practice.

LONG BREAKS FROM REGULAR SPORTS ACTIVITY AND EFFECT ON THE BODY.
It is quite common in sport that athletes might stop regular practice as a consequence of injury or illness, for example. A short-term break of 1 week is not that critical for the overall condition of an athlete, but 2, 3 and more weeks always have more serious implications.

A volume of research shows that beginners and elite athletes are the two groups most affected by the long “no practice” period. Athletes who have had the opportunity to maintain their condition by doing some physical activity during the lockdown are in the better position and will be able to rebuild their previous condition more easily.

There are two major areas in which an athlete may have lost capacity and be experiencing some deterioration after the long break, each with a domino effect on the other. These are – technical skills and physical qualities.

The Cardio-vascular system is the one most affected after a long break. Its capacity to transport oxygen through the body will be reduced, causing a loss of endurance by up to 20% just after 3 weeks of no practice. The Muscular system will see a decrease in function and an athlete may feel in himself that he is
“less fit, less strong, less agile and fast”. Tendons and ligaments become less flexible and less elastic without regular exercise. Hormonal systems, which were normal before the break, will experience a negative impact too and will be less able to cope with the stress of the physical activity. Moreover, athletes will gain extra weight as a result of temporary inactivity.

REBUILDING PHYSICAL QUALITIES AFTER THE LONG BREAK.
A coach needs to plan return to practice in a careful and mindful way, the main reason being that “an athlete’s body is not the same as a few months before”. Safety and injury avoidance should remain top priority for the whole period of rebuilding the athletes’ condition, as well as beyond.

General rules that should be applied during such a critical and sensitive period of time are:

  • In conducting the first training sessions to make the warm-up longer and less intensive;
  • Include more general exercises and fundamental moves in the warm-up and main part of the session, and gradually include sport-specific drills as you feel your athletes are ready;
  • Spend the first 2-3 weeks on rebuilding general cardio-endurance to previous levels. For this avoid exercises with high intensity and interval training and always allow your athlete full recovery between blocks of exercises;
  • Make sure that exercises and drills you are planning for the training session are predominantly aerobic
  • and of a mild intensity at the beginning.
  • Make sure your athletes have sufficient time for full recovery between drills or blocks of exercises. Keep in mind that recovery rate is very individual.
  • When returning to weight training remember that tendons and ligaments may have lost a significant portion of their flexibility and elasticity. Therefore, an athlete should begin with exercises that allow for smaller amplitude in the joints and using moderate weights. Frequency of weight training per week should be significantly reduced from prior to the break in training.

REBUILDING TECHNICAL SKILLS
A coach should consider the following:

  • Due to partial loss of intermuscular and intramuscular coordination a well-known technique may be performed with some errors. Therefore, it is not beneficial to start with a quick execution of a technique. It is safer to start rebuilding techniques with slow playback and to increase the speed only when the coach is satisfied that the biomechanical structure of the move, throw, punch etc. is correct.
  • Remember the golden sequence of the skill development: 1. precision (perfect biomechanics) strength and finally, 3. speed
  • An athlete should start rebuilding their technical skills with pre-arranged drills, to include
  • attack-defense, pre-agreed action – reaction. This kind of interaction with the partner will help to rebuild their timing, spatial awareness, and eye-to-hand coordination.
  • Sparring should be deferred to a later stage and the decision to start this form of practice needs to be managed very mindfully and carefully.

MONITORING PROGRESS.
A steady rate of growth of aerobic capacity of your athletes should be the key indicator of the success of the training plan. The simplest way to monitor progress is to look at recovery rate after mild aerobic exercise.

EXAMPLE: Take any aerobic activity common to your club (and well known to your students), for example, running around the gym for 2 minutes. Check the heart rate straight after the run (HR1), and after the 45 seconds of rest (HR2). Ask your athlete to memorise the difference (HR1-HR2). Repeat the testing every session and compare. The number (difference) should increase, which shows your athlete is recovering more quickly and his body becoming more adapted to the aerobic workload.

A CHECKLIST BEFORE THE START
It is wise to gather some information about your athlete prior to admitting him back to practice:

1. His/ her weight, as many people gain weight during time out of practice
2. His/ her general condition
3. If he/she was able to maintain some activity during the lockdown

IMMAF Coaching Commission wishes everybody a speedy recovery and good luck!

The post Coaching athletes after prolonged training restrictions in Mixed Martial Arts appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
MMA’s application for sport recognition rejected by GAISF again https://immaf.org/2020/06/19/mmas-application-for-sport-recognition-rejected-by-gaisf-again/ Fri, 19 Jun 2020 16:57:13 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40054

The post MMA’s application for sport recognition rejected by GAISF again appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

“We have advised GAISF that we wish our application to continue to remain active and we will continue to campaign and fight for justice”.

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s latest application to the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) for observer status membership was refused yesterday. This was despite the MMA governing body meeting all known criteria for sport recognition and having engaged with GAISF throughout three application processes over four years.

No reason was given by GAISF in its letter to IMMAF, which stated merely:

“We regret to inform you that following a thorough discussion, the GAISF Council has resolved not to grant the GAISF’S Observer Status to IMMAF. Please be assured that we will continue to evaluate your application and reassess it in the future should you wish to request it.”

[See full letter below.]

Neither was any prior notice given to IMMAF of the decision-making meeting taking place on 19 June. GAISF further declined to advise as to which representatives of GAISF were present at the meeting.

Nevertheless, IMMAF has been instructed by GAISF that its application remains active and the IMMAF CEO has expressed IMMAF’s wish to continue with it.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown commented:

“Despite IMMAF meeting all known criteria, GAISF has continually refused to give any consistent or clear answers to IMMAF through our four years of willing engagement with them: They will not give any explanation for their decision. They will not tell us who was in the meeting. They will not tell us who had powers of decision over our application, nor will they tell us which combat sports have objected. They still have not explained why some martial arts have said MMA is incompatible with them. The CEO and I have been chastised for being aggressive for asking these questions.”

IMMAF CEO, Densign White, commented:

“This treatment of IMMAF is as shocking as it is antiquated. International Sport would seem to be run effectively by a “Gentlemen’s Club” with no requirement for accountability, transparency, representation or any other markers of good governance, despite the impact their decision making has on sports participants and communities worldwide. We urge GAISF to emerge from the era in which the modern Olympic Movement was born and become accountable as is demanded of every other modern governance body in every other sector.

“For avoidance of doubt, we have advised GAISF that we wish our application to remain active and we will continue to campaign and fight for justice”.

The post MMA’s application for sport recognition rejected by GAISF again appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Anti-doping disciplinary committee enhances IMMAF’s anti-doping structures https://immaf.org/2020/06/18/anti-doping-disciplinary-committee-enhances-immafs-anti-doping-structures/ Thu, 18 Jun 2020 13:04:41 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40022

The post Anti-doping disciplinary committee enhances IMMAF’s anti-doping structures appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) Anti-doping Disciplinary Committee is now up and running as part of a bolstered anti-doping structure.


The new Disciplinary Committee, chaired by UK based barrister Max Shephard, will manage and resolve any asserted Anti-Doping Rule Violation or other dispute arising from the implementation of those rules, policies and procedures arising from the Results Management Process as described in the IMMAF Anti-Doping Rules, with right of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.


Setting up a separate committee was approved by the General Assembly of IMMAF following a recommendation of the Chair of the Anti-doping Committee, Michele Verroken (pictured).


Ms Verroken is recognised as one of the world’s foremost experts in anti-doping and sport law. She has been responsible for creating and managing appropriate anti-doping processes for IMMAF.


“Chairing IMMAF’s Anti-Doping Committee is a privilege as well as a challenge,” said Michele. “I want our programme to reach beyond the current anti-doping requirements to further the well-being of IMMAF members, athletes and their support personnel. We would welcome interest from like-minded people to assist our work.”


Like all international federations, IMMAF is firmly committed to the welfare of its athletes and to the promotion of integrity through the sport; the Anti-Doping Committee plays a critical role in monitoring establishing and delivering WADA Code standards and progress towards our objective of CLEAN MMA.


“It is essential to our mission that IMMAF becomes a signatory to the WADA Code, to demonstrate the preparedness of the sport to achieve fair and clean MMA,” said Michele. “Being able to work in a coordinated way with the support of other anti-doping colleagues will serve our athletes better, ensure we attract the right support personnel to our sport and safeguard the well-being of MMA. For those who aspire to professional MMA, we set the foundation for doing it right and for those who aim to participate as amateurs, they can compete and train with confidence that the sport is protecting their interests too.”


The Anti-doping Committee oversees IMMAF’s anti-doping policies and implementation across IMMAF competitions ensuring that IMMAF’s Anti-doping Policy is WADA compliant. The committee includes a panel of expert medical professionals who are highly experienced in the field of Anti-doping. As volunteers with different backgrounds and origins, each member has a wealth of unique experience and are all committed to making IMMAF an outstanding example of good governance and athlete-oriented sport development.


IMMAF Anti-doping Committee 2019-2023:

Michele Verroken (GBR)
Dr. Jack Kreindler (GBR)
Prem Kumar (MAL)
Veronika Nalbatska (BUL)
Dr. David Wang (USA).

The post Anti-doping disciplinary committee enhances IMMAF’s anti-doping structures appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Top MMA prospect Muhammad Mokaev turns pro https://immaf.org/2020/06/12/top-mma-prospect-muhammad-mokaev-turns-pro/ Fri, 12 Jun 2020 17:41:02 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40018

The post Top MMA prospect Muhammad Mokaev turns pro appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

As an amateur MMA fighter Muhammad Mokaev set new standards that will be aspired to for years to come. He smashed the conventional mould, blazed his own trail and snatched our attention along the way. At age 19 his sponsors and global fanbase of thousands eclipses that of many established professionals and the world’s leading promoters were lining up their bids as his attention turned towards taking the next step.

At 23-0 Mokaev may not be the first amateur to break the 20 wins barrier, he follows in the footsteps of IMMAF world champions and predecessors whose records have ranged from 25-1 to 28-0, yet, above all others, only Mokaev has been able to command such a level of global notoriety.

Mokaev has shown wisdom beyond his years in preparation for a highly anticipated pro career. Striking a sublime balance between that of a humble role model and a fiery, charismatic fight seller, the young athlete was already bringing a spotlight to his domestic level bouts prior to his 18th birthday. Born in Dagestan, Mokaev would hone his craft upon discovering wrestling and MMA at a young age after his family moved to north of England.

While also representing the British wrestling team at an international level, Mokaev took over the UK MMA scene and following his 18th birthday excited fans as he was now able to step up to the IMMAF platform, amateur MMA’s premier proving ground. Dedicating two years to IMMAF competition with Team UK (later restructured as Team England), the men’s bantamweight prodigy earned back-to-back gold medals at the Junior IMMAF World Championships in 2018 and 2019, in addition to winning the 2019 Jr European Open title followed by a successful senior division debut, cruising to gold at the 2020 Oceania Open. Mokaev proved that his talent could shine beyond UK borders, now besting top representatives of Sweden, Russia, Ireland Bulgaria and Japan, including an inspiring trilogy of bouts with Japan’s own top up and comer, Reo Yamaguchi.

Revealing closely contested discussions that saw the likes of Bellator MMA and ONE Championship join the race for his signature, Mokaev announced that his professional career was set to begin upon putting pen to paper with Bahrain based organisation, Brave CF. Mokaev cited the promotion’s support and recognition for his career potential in addition to retaining the opportunity for a move to the UFC in the coming years.

The bar has been raised considerably for the level of prominence that a complete package can accumulate in amateur MMA. Mokaev has set a leading example with a legacy that stands as a motivational case study for future generations of talent.

The post Top MMA prospect Muhammad Mokaev turns pro appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Brian Ebersole named as the head coach of the Australian National Team https://immaf.org/2020/06/12/brian-ebersole-named-as-the-head-coach-of-the-australian-national-team/ Fri, 12 Jun 2020 17:35:23 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40016

The post Brian Ebersole named as the head coach of the Australian National Team appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

By Caoilte de Barra

The President of International Mixed Martial Arts Federation of Australia (IMMAFA), Richie Cranny, announces a major shake-up in the Australian national team, which sees UFC veteran Brian Ebersole take the reigns as head coach.

Ebersole; who moved to Australia from Indiana, USA more than a decade ago, takes charge of the Australian team; currently ranked 7th in the IMMAF Senior team rankings.

Joining Ebersole in coaching the Australian National team will be Renato Subotic, Joseph Luciano and Ben Nguyen.

The new coaching team were present with team Australia at the 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships, which took place in Gold Coast from March 6-9. Over the course of his 16-year career as a pro, Ebersole has fought across the globe in a variety of weight divisions ranging from Lightweight to Heavyweight. He competed in the likes of Strikeforce and IFL prior to making his UFC debut back in 2011, where he made the walk to the Octagon on 8 occasions clocking a record of 5-3 in the UFC.

The 39-year-old decided to call it a day in 2016 in Melbourne, Australia, hanging up his gloves after what was his 71st pro bout.

Along with his long-standing fight career, Ebersole was a Division I collegiate wrestler prior to his career. Along with that he brings a wealth of coaching experience from being the former head coach of two highly renowned gyms, Tiger Muay Thai and MMA and Evolve MMA. 

The rest of Ebersole’s coaching staff also boasts a plethora of MMA experience. Renato Subotic is no stranger to the IMMAF circuit as he was a coach for the Italian National Team back in 2017 & 2018. As a pro his MMA record stands at 2-0, with both wins coming by way of submission. His extensive combat sports experience includes being a member of the Italian Karate team paired with Boxing and Muay Thai bouts.

Likewise, Aussie, Joseph Luciano is another notable addition to the team. Having competed in 6 IMMAF competitions, Luciano has represented his country at IMMAF competition more than any other Australian athlete. Back in 2018 he secured gold in both the IMMAF Africa Open and IMMAF Oceania Open while competing as a Middleweight. He has featured for Australia in the World Championships on 3 occasions, taking home a bronze medal twice. Luciano is now 1-1 since turning pro, competing in the ONE Warrior Series promotion.Last of the newly announced coaching team, Ben Nguyen is known across the world following his time in the UFC where he broke into the top 10. In the UFC he competed against some of the best flyweights in the world, many of which are former title challengers. Nguyen is currently signed to the Asian based promotion RIZIN.

After helping IMMAFA secure 14 medals at the 2020 Oceania Open, 5 of which were gold, the eyes and expectation will be on the new ‘A’ team to help drive the nation into a top 5 position in the IMMAF world rankings.

The post Brian Ebersole named as the head coach of the Australian National Team appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Kosovar Mixed Martial Arts Federation joins IMMAF https://immaf.org/2020/06/12/kosovan-mixed-martial-arts-federation-joins-immaf/ Fri, 12 Jun 2020 12:46:40 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40013

The post Kosovar Mixed Martial Arts Federation joins IMMAF appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) proudly adds to its significant presence in the Balkan Peninsula with its welcoming of the Kosovo Mixed Martial Arts Federation (Federata Arteve Mikse Marciale Kosoves – FAMMK).


Founded in 2019 and based in the capital city of Prishtina, FAMMK is headed by IMMAF championships veteran Besart Berisha, who represented Austria at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships and 2018 European Open. The Kosovo-born athlete drew upon the experience of the Austrian MMA Federation, who were instrumental in assisting the establishment of FAMMK. With a diverse and skilled board accompanied by a large volunteer workforce, the FAMMK have worked efficiently to unite local MMA clubs and establish a relationship with Kosovo’s Olympic Committee.


As a result, Kosovo hosted its first international competition for amateurs last February, welcoming talent from Albania, Macedonia and Austria.


While the newly established body continues to receive support from fellow IMMAF nations including Austria and Germany, FAMMK aims to firmly establish MMA among the top 3 most active sports in Kosovo.


The objectives of the FAMMK include the:

– Introduction of the MMA community to IMMAF educational pathways for coaches and officials.
– Establishment of regular competitions for domestic talent.
– Development of a national team for the IMMAF Championships platform.
– Continuation of work with schools to establish youth opportunities through MMA
– Continued progress to achieve official recognition from the Kosovar government and/or the National Olympic Committee.

The post Kosovar Mixed Martial Arts Federation joins IMMAF appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF registers in Switzerland ‘The epicentre of the Olympic Movement’ https://immaf.org/2020/06/02/immaf-registers-in-switzerland-the-epicentre-of-the-olympic-movement/ Tue, 02 Jun 2020 09:00:41 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40010

The post IMMAF registers in Switzerland ‘The epicentre of the Olympic Movement’ appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has has completed the registration process to become a non-profit organisation in Switzerland.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown commented: “The move means that IMMAF’s official office is registered in a location closer to the majority of International Federations, with Switzerland known as the epicentre of the Olympic Movement.”

IMMAF is the only legitimate international governing body for the sport of MMA (mixed martial arts) focused on furthering its development, recognition and regulation and enabling amateur competition though the organisation of national MMA federations around the world. With a seven-year track record of organising international amateur Championships and developing the sport globally, IMMAF’s membership today includes over 100 National Federations worldwide with National Olympic Committee recognition in around 40 countries.

The IMMAF was founded in Sweden in 2012 where it has been based until now.

Brown said: “The move reflects IMMAF’s ambitions for MMA to be recognised as a sport by the Olympic Movement.”

The post IMMAF registers in Switzerland ‘The epicentre of the Olympic Movement’ appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Petition for the sport recognition of MMA reaches its first 10,000 signatures https://immaf.org/2020/06/01/petition-for-the-sport-recognition-of-mma-reaches-its-first-10000-signatures/ Mon, 01 Jun 2020 13:19:11 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40008

The post Petition for the sport recognition of MMA reaches its first 10,000 signatures appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

Sign petition here: https://www.change.org/mmaisasport

The “MMA Is A Sport” petition for the recognition of MMA as a sport by the Olympic Movement and governments has reached its first 10,000 signatures in just over a week.

This marks a significant milestone since in the United Kingdom, 10,000 signatures on a petition warrants a response from Parliament.

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and MMA stakeholders assert that formal recognition would enable the implementation of governance and regulations to ensure health and safety for recreational participants, as well as amateur and professional athletes. It would help foster youth development in MMA, and afford same rights and protections for MMA athletes as students of other sports, such as access to medical services, insurance, anti-doping, safeguarding, etc. In addition, formal recognition of MMA as a sport by the Olympic Movement would pave the way for MMA to become an Olympic sport and allow MMA athletes to represent their country on the world’s most prestigious sporting platform.

IMMAF has applied multiple times to gain recognition for MMA from the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) since 2016, but despite satisfying all known criteria has been denied acceptance so far for political reasons. Influential leaders from other Olympic sports have been outspoken against MMA and have actively lobbied against it. This has included advising the World Anti-doping Agency not to accept IMMAF as a signatory, despite its meeting all criteria. IMMAF has a legal case against WADA in underway in the ordinary Swiss Courts.

Meanwhile, IMMAF is currently waiting for a response to its third application to GAISF for Observer Status. In January 2020, IMMAF was informed by GAISF that:

“several Representatives of GAISF Members had affirmed their opposition to the granting of the Observer Status to IMMAF. Their determinations…is justified on several reasons including but not limited to the inherent definition of mixed martial arts and that its competition rules are in clear compatibility issue with GAISF Members. We would also like to specify that GAISF had received individual submissions confirming compatibility issue due to the similarity between MMA and several combat sports.”

As requested, IMMAF responded with detailed analysis and evidence in February for reassessment. However, GAISF’s decision-making has been postponed further with the cancellation of the SportAccord Convention, where the GAISF Council was due to next meet.

IMMAF CEO Densign White said:

“This has been going on since 2016, despite us meeting all criteria for recognition. We want to focus attention on the process which we think is unfair. By going public we now call upon participants and sports fan to rally behind our petition. We are not the only sport to have suffered due to the lack of a fair and transparent process. A small group of International Federations with GAISF are operating as a trade union and not in the interest of sports participants. Considering the impact this has on government decision making, sport governance and access to public funding, they need to come out into the open and become accountable.”

A timeline of key events

Jun 2016IMMAF applies to become World Anti-doping Agency signatory
Aug 2016IMMAF applies to the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) for sport recognition of MMA
Nov 2016WADA rejects IMMAF on GAISF’s recommendation (*WADA signatory status is required to meet GAISF Membership criteria)
Feb 2017GAISF informs IMMAF its application is incomplete and cannot be processed 
Apr 2017GAISF cites application from rival organisation WMMAA as reason for rejection and advises IMMAF to cooperate with them 
Jun 2017(GAISF workshop) GAISF facilitates meeting between ‘rival applicants’ WMMAA & IMMAF, advising a unified application is the only way to achieve recognition for MMA
Feb 2018IMMAF issues WADA with a formal Notice of Legal Action
Apr 2018(SportAccord)GAISF representatives advise IMMAF and WMMAA to apply to GAISF for the new Observer Status
 IMMAF is verbally told GAISF has lost its original application and to reapply
 IMMAF discovers from WMMAA that they had been personally invited to apply to GAISF and attend the 2017 workshop by a GAISF Council Member. *It later emerges they had never submitted their application (due to the “rivalry” situation).
May 2018IMMAF signs a legally binding Affiliation MOU with WMMAA 
 IMMAF reapplies to GAISF 
Nov 2018IMMAF and WMMAA complete fully executed Affiliation Agreement, and hold first unified World Championships
Mar 2019IMMAF’s 2nd application is rejected by GAISF without explanation
Mar 2019With no advice still from GAISF, IMMAF reapplies for Observer Status
Aug 2019Mediation with WADA fails; IMMAF agrees to postpone its legal case for 4 months so WADA can review its statutes (requiring GAISF to approve membership decisions) 
Oct 2019Inside The Games leaks news of GAISF’s rejection of IMMAF’s application; this is refuted in private communications with GAISF
Nov 2019GAISF writes to its members asking them to formally raise objections to or rivalry issues with MMA before 31.12.2019.
Jan 2020IMMAF meets WADA in court for first technical hearing; WADA’s request for further postponement is refused by judge
 GAISF writes to inform IMMAF that (unnamed) combat sports have cited their issue with MMA as being “non-compatibility”.

For more information visit:

Website – https://www.mmaisasport.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/mmaisasport
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/MMAIsASport
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/mmaisasport/
Hashtag – #MMAisaSport
Contact – mmaisasport@immaf.org

The post Petition for the sport recognition of MMA reaches its first 10,000 signatures appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Guatemalan Association of Mixed Martial Arts (GUAMMA) joins IMMAF https://immaf.org/2020/05/28/guatemalan-association-of-mixed-martial-arts-guamma-joins-immaf/ Thu, 28 May 2020 12:26:05 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40006

The post Guatemalan Association of Mixed Martial Arts (GUAMMA) joins IMMAF appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) is proud to announce the Guatemalan Association of Mixed Martial Arts (GUAMMA) as its newest Pan-American member, close on the back of its recent announcement of representation in Uruguay.

The worldwide growth of MMA has sparked significant interest in Guatemala, which boasts a prominent tradition of combat sports. The Central American nation holds a successful track record in producing international level talent in kickboxing and karate. The national regulatory bodies for both sports maintain a good working relationship with GUAMMA and the sport of MMA.

From initiation on 2011, GUAMMA has served as the national governing body for MMA representing affiliated academies from across the country.

The federation was founded to address the need for development programs, standardised rules and certification of coaches and officials in the sport. GUAMMA has provided regular opportunities for free education and works closely with fellow IMMAF association, FAMMEJL, in neighboring Mexico. As a result, GUAMMA has produced multiple qualified officials with experience on top tier events, including UFC, when in Mexico.

GUAMMA’s current objective is to sustain grass roots talent development, with safety and best practice as the foundation for all its activities.

GUAMMA president, Erick Schumann, has said that the organisation’s efforts to develop the sport have received strong support nationally. He commented further:
 
“IMMAF affiliation is a big step forward in the development of Guatemalan sports. The Guatemalan Association of Mixed Martial Arts has been recognized by the world federation and for the first time Guatemala is given the opportunity to participate in IMMAF tournaments within this discipline of martial arts.  This is a big step forward for government recognition of MMA, the fastest growing sport worldwide, and it will expand the opportunities for its development in all areas of the country.”

The post Guatemalan Association of Mixed Martial Arts (GUAMMA) joins IMMAF appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF welcomes the Uzbekistan MMA association https://immaf.org/2020/05/27/immaf-welcomes-the-uzbekistan-mma-association/ Wed, 27 May 2020 13:03:51 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40002

The post IMMAF welcomes the Uzbekistan MMA association appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) is proud to officially welcome its national representative in Uzbekistan, the Uzbekistan MMA Association (UMMAA).

Headed by President Umarov Otabek Mukhammadalievich, the UMMAA is registered as non-profit organisation with Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Justice and recognised and funded by the Ministry of Physical Culture and Sport, as the country’s first and only governing body for MMA.

The registration of the Uzbekistan MMA Association on 23 October 2019 opened a new chapter for the sport in Uzbekistan, as it obtained legal recognition for the first time. The UMMAA has already signed up 7,000 members indicating the popularity of the sport locally and the timeliness of this development.

The key stated aims of the Federation are:

•       to develop amateur and professional MMA competitors in Uzbekistan
•       to creation and phased implementation of a specialized direction in MMA in a children’s and youth sports school
•       to hold annual national championships and local open tournaments for amateurs
•       to develop sponsorship partnerships to support the building of infrastructure and training facilities across all the regions of Uzbekistan
•       to organise regular international amateur and professional events in Uzbekistan

The Federation hosted its inaugural National MMA Championships in March with 235 participants from all 14 regions of the country.

UMMAA President Umarov Otabek Mukhammadalievich commented:
“MMA is becoming a very popular sport in Uzbekistan. Therefore, there was need for a national governing body to oversee its development. We plan to work closely with IMMAF to develop rules and regulations for the sport both nationally and internationally. We also look forward to fully representing Uzbekistan at an international level in IMMAF Amateur Championships. Hopefully one day our beloved sport will become Olympic sport and our athletes will have chance to show their skills to the world.”

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:
“I am pleased to welcome the Uzbekistan MMA Association, as our newest representative in Asia, which is a growing market for us. We are looking forward to hosting our World Championships in Kazakhstan this year, as global events permit, and our next Asian Open Championships in 2020 also in Kazakhstan and seeing the Uzbekistan National Team debut on these platforms. We also embrace the opportunity of holding a potential future Championships in Uzbekistan.”

The post IMMAF welcomes the Uzbekistan MMA association appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Update on IMMAF gradings for competition policy https://immaf.org/2020/05/26/update-on-immaf-gradings-for-competition-policy/ Tue, 26 May 2020 15:58:07 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=40000

The post Update on IMMAF gradings for competition policy appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

On Wednesday 20 May, the IMMAF Board reviewed the recently announced policy for gradings to be mandatory for athletes competing in IMMAF competitions.

The decisions taken were as follows:

  • to postpone the implementation of mandatory requirements for IMMAF competitions
  • to conduct a 360° review of the proposed IMMAF Progression Pathway and its relationship to the Competition Pathway – spanning the Coaching, Youth and Regulatory Committees and our Membership. IMMAF Founder & Honorary President August Wallen was invited by the Board to be involved in the consultation process.

There will be further communications and updates from IMMAF to Members as the review progresses.

The post Update on IMMAF gradings for competition policy appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
‘MMA is a Sport’ campaign petitions IOC and Sports Ministers recognise MMA https://immaf.org/2020/05/21/mma-is-a-sport-campaign-petitions-ioc-and-sports-ministers-recognise-mma/ Thu, 21 May 2020 12:18:34 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39997

The post ‘MMA is a Sport’ campaign petitions IOC and Sports Ministers recognise MMA appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

#MMAisaSPORT

Sign petition here: https://www.change.org/mmaisasport

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation [IMMAF] has joined with stakeholders across MMA to launch a public petition that demands formal recognition of the sport by the Olympic Movement and governments around the world.

Formal recognition of MMA as a sport would enable the implementation of governance and regulations to ensure health and safety for recreational participants, as well as amateur and professional athletes. It would help foster youth development in MMA, and afford same rights and protections for MMA athletes as students of other sports, such as access to medical services, insurance, anti-doping, safeguarding, etc. In addition, formal recognition of MMA as a sport by the Olympic Movement would pave the way for MMA to become an Olympic sport and allow MMA athletes to represent their country on the world’s most prestigious sporting platform.

IMMAF has applied multiple times to gain recognition for MMA from the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) since 2016, but despite satisfying all known criteria has been denied acceptance so far for political reasons. Influential leaders from other Olympic sports have been outspoken against MMA and have actively lobbied against it.

The ‘MMA Is A Sport’ campaign calls upon all stakeholders, participants and fans of MMA to join as one in urging the International Olympic Committee and Sports Ministers worldwide to address the MMA’s application for sport recognition.

RECOGNITION MEANS…

  1. Recognition as a sport gives MMA athletes and students the same rights and protection as athletes and students of other sports (e.g. access to medical services, accident and injuries insurance, safeguarding of U18s and vulnerable adults, Anti-doping services, youth development, etc.)
  2. Recognition means good governance and regulations to ensure athletes health and safety, standardisation of competition rules and regulations, officiating and coaching standards.
  3. Recognition enables safe and effective youth development.
  4. Recognition would give MMA a pathway to eventually becoming an Olympic sport and the best amateur MMA athletes the opportunity to represent their country at the Olympic Games
  5. International recognition would enable recognition on a national level in many countries which will have a positive impact many communities
  6. Recognition means funding of the sport and its elite amateur athletes at a national level

FACTS ABOUT MMA

  1. MMA competitors are highly skilled athletes
  2. MMA has 600 million fans around the world
  3. Different unified rules exist for amateur and professional competitions
  4. IMMAF is the International governing body for amateur MMA
  5. There are 100+ IMMAF affiliated National Federations across the world developing the sport of MMA, with only 40 being recognized by their Sports Ministries or National Olympic Committees
  6. IMMAF has held annual World Championships since [2014]
  7. In 2019 IMMAF held world and continental championships for youth, juniors and seniors with over 2130 participants from 60 countries
  8. Youth MMA is already thriving – IMMAF’s first Youth World Championships for 12 to 17-year-olds attracted more than 600 participants in 2019
  9. It is misconception that MMA is less safe than other contact sports: Well regulated MMA has more stringent safety policies than most comparable sports.
  10. Amateur athletes and many professionals are subject to WADA compliant anti-doping policies

SIGN PETITION: https://www.change.org/mmaisasport

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

“The lack of transparency around how sports are recognised at an international level not only affects MMA but has far-reaching impact across various sports communities worldwide, outcasting participants and exposing them to unnecessary risk. This includes children and impacts our ability to foster the development of the next generation in a safe and well governed environment. The power of the International Sport Federations movement cannot be underestimated, as their judgements are frequently deferred to by governments worldwide in their decision making about sport and significant tax-payer funding of sport. We call on the International Olympic Committee and sports ministers to review and ensure fair process in the international recognition and governance of sport, to protect the rights of citizens globally to safe and equitable access to the sport of their choice.”

UFC COO Lawrence Epstein said:

“The incredibly skilled men and women who compete in professional and amateur mixed martial arts around the world deserve recognition for their sport. Like the world-class Olympians whose sports already have formal IOC recognition, MMA athletes have dedicated many years to developing their abilities, and they deserve to have the opportunity to showcase their talents on the historic, global stage that the Olympics provides. Among the core values of MMA are sportsmanship and respect for your competitors—values that are well aligned with the Olympic Movement. For this reason and many others, we stand with IMMAF in calling on the IOC to formally recognize MMA as a sport, once and for all.”

M1 – Global President and IMMAF Hon. President, Vadim Finkelchtein said:

“After just twenty years of its existence there is no country in the world without MMA. With the fan base, popularity and opportunities the sport of MMA has to offer, the IOC should be wanting us to join. It took MMA just two decades to show the world its values, the respect between its athletes and its unique skillset. It obvious to me how traditional martial arts are using their position and pulling strings to stop MMA from being recognised. But sport should not be about politics. The International Sports organisations should be backing the interests of the majority instead of following the lead of the few. MMA is a sport and our recognition cannot be stopped. It is just a matter of time. Acceptance of MMA will mark a new era in the history of the IOC.”

Cage Warriors CEO, Cas Knight said:

“Sport recognition would have a positive impact on the organisation of professional MMA across Europe. It would facilitate easier access for athletes to professional services, such as medical services, and enable all round governance of the sport to the benefit of its participants.”

Mohammed Shahid, CEO of KHK Sports, CEO of KHK MMA and the President of BRAVE Combat Federation, said:

“It is imperative for MMA that a strong body like the IMMAF can bring the mixed martial arts community together with one united vision. We need to have stronger regulations and need to collaborate as a sport. It is our duty as representatives for the sport of MMA to move forward in a way that is in the best interest of the athletes and the image of MMA; currently MMA is being misrepresented as a sport. A new system is needed for mixed martial arts. We need to move beyond the event business and move into the sports business. Organising the sport under a structured, monitored health and sports system is the first steps towards regulating the sport.
IMMAF is leading amateur MMA as the international governing body and to have IMMAF recognised is key for the sport.”

For more information visit:

Website – https://www.mmaisasport.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/mmaisasport
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/MMAIsASport
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/mmaisasport/
Hashtag – #MMAisaSport
Contact – mmaisasport@immaf.org

The post ‘MMA is a Sport’ campaign petitions IOC and Sports Ministers recognise MMA appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF expands its footprint in Pan America as it welcomes Uruguay https://immaf.org/2020/05/20/immaf-expands-its-footprint-in-pan-america-as-it-welcomes-uruguay/ Wed, 20 May 2020 06:29:26 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39995

The post IMMAF expands its footprint in Pan America as it welcomes Uruguay appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The Uruguayan Association of Mixed Martial Arts (UAMMA) has been formally confirmed by the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) as its newest member.

IMMAF is proud to introduce the UAMMA, founded in 2017, as its sole representative for the sport MMA in Uruguay. UAMMA received government recognition in January of 2019, announced by the National Sports Secretary and Ministry of Education and Culture.

Building on its foundational relationships with members and affiliates, the vision of UAMMA is to promote and develop MMA in Uruguay. UAMMA will provide support and education for Uruguay’s MMA community and aims to introduce regulatory standards for professional and amateur events. It will also work to source funding and create opportunities for grass roots talent, that includes the creation of a database for registered athletes.
 
UAMMAA president, Fernando Degregorio Llugdar, commented:

“We invite everyone to join us at this new stage that will enable the growth of MMA in our country.

“The objectives of IMMAF and UAMMA are very clear and transparent: to regulate, legitimatise and standardise the work of Amateur MMA; to facilitate optimal growth, compliance, performance; and boost the health of the sport and the athletes who practice this beautiful discipline. In this way, with the support of the National Secretary of Sports, the Uruguayan Confederation of Sports and affiliated academies, we will continue working to grow MMA in our country.

“It only remains for us to thank IMMAF for its trust in us and to give our assurance that we will work tirelessly for the development of our sport.”

The post IMMAF expands its footprint in Pan America as it welcomes Uruguay appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Heavyweight Champion Ryan Spillane turns pro with Bellator MMA https://immaf.org/2020/05/12/immaf-heavyweight-champion-ryan-spillane-turns-pro-with-bellator-mma/ Tue, 12 May 2020 14:30:19 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39992

The post IMMAF Heavyweight Champion Ryan Spillane turns pro with Bellator MMA appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

Former IMMAF world champion Ryan Spillane has announced the signing a four-fight contract with Bellator MMA, the organisation with whom he will make his professional debut.

As a standout heavyweight prospect on the international amateur MMA scene, Spillane represented the Republic of Ireland national team under the Irish MMA Association (IMMAA). Trained by Liam-Óg Griffin and John Kavanagh, Spillane’s accolades include several gold medals earned at the IMMAF World Championships, European Open and Oceania Open.

“Delighted to finally announce I’ve signed a 4 fight developmental contract with one of the biggest organisations in the world Bellator MMA. A huge thankyou to John Kavanagh for everything and to Liam Og let’s take over,” Spillane announced via social media.

At age 18 Spillane made his international amateur debut at the inaugural IMMAF European Open in 2015, entering deep waters with clashes against the era’s biggest hitters such as Sweden’s Irman Smajic and Bulgaria’s Daniel Galabarov.

Inspiringly, Spillane’s determination saw the babyface newcomer grow to become the leader of the heavyweight division. His coming of age performance was at the 2018 European Open Championships in Bucharest where he won his first gold medal.

Emerging as a submission specialist, Spillane advanced to the 2018 World Championships and stormed his way to earning the world title. The Irishman’s 2018 streak under the IMMAF banner featured five back-to-back stoppage wins, four within the opening round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iy_nkdq70Ag

Spillane capped off his amateur MMA tenure in March of this year upon heading to Gold Coast, Australia, where he snatched the 2019 Oceania Open title with a 30-second demolition job that handed a first loss to Aussie standout Dane Alchin.

Spillane’s progression has seen him clinch a highly prominent pro debut under Bellator having cashed in on the full benefits of the IMMAF amateur platform as a talent development machine and the top international proving ground for amateur mixed martial artists representing their nation.

The post IMMAF Heavyweight Champion Ryan Spillane turns pro with Bellator MMA appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF board to participate in good governance training https://immaf.org/2020/05/12/immaf-board-to-participate-in-good-governance-training/ Tue, 12 May 2020 14:08:27 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39990

The post IMMAF board to participate in good governance training appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The IMMAF Board will be taking part in a training session this week on Good Governance in line with the organisation’s commitment to integrity in sport.

The IMMAF already stands as an Early Adopter of the Sport Integrity Global Alliance ‘Universal Standards’ that sees it open to independent auditing and a rating of its compliance to good governance, integrity and financial integrity via the SIGA Independent Rating and Verification System (SIRVS).

The Good Governance training session will take a practical approach to the following topics:

  • What is governance?
  • Why it’s important
  • The risks of poor governance
  • Areas to consider for good governance

The session will be conducted by independent consultant and Chairman of Netball Northern Ireland, Geoff Wilson, who has long experience in working with sports and governmental organisations including FIBA, UEFA, AFC & FIFA and a range of international football associations.

Ahead of the training, Wilson elaborated:

“I currently work with several global sporting organisations on strategic planning and governance activity. It is the sporting organisations with strong strategic and governance plans that are successful. IMMAF is to be commended for its focus on this important subject. The Federation has been very active in the last number of years and I look forward to working with the Board to ensure that MMA is a leading sport in the area of governance.”

Highlighting the high value he places on governance standards, IMMAF’s CEO Densign White commented:

“Good governance is essential. The COVID 19 global lockdown gives us time to stand back and take a hard look at ourselves and to evaluate our performance in critical governance areas. Board training has been on my radar for some time but has been difficult to fit it in with all the demands on individual board members in ordinary times. I am grateful for this opportunity that arose a few weeks ago, when Geoff Wilson for offered his time and expertise to concentrate our focus on this important area.”

The post IMMAF board to participate in good governance training appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Board to review new policy requiring gradings for competitors https://immaf.org/2020/05/07/immaf-board-to-review-new-policy-requiring-gradings-for-competitors/ Thu, 07 May 2020 10:09:40 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39987

The post IMMAF Board to review new policy requiring gradings for competitors appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) recently announced a new policy requiring MMA gradings as a condition of entry to IMMAF Championships after 31st June 2021.

Based on feedback from some members of IMMAF and the MMA community, the IMMAF Board will be reviewing this policy at the next IMMAF Board Meeting on 20th May 2020.

The post IMMAF Board to review new policy requiring gradings for competitors appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Gradings mandatory for Championships in 2021 https://immaf.org/2020/04/29/immaf-gradings-mandatory-for-championships-in-2021/ Wed, 29 Apr 2020 13:46:27 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39973

The post IMMAF Gradings mandatory for Championships in 2021 appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) will be requiring IMMAF gradings of MMA athletes as a condition of entry into IMMAF Championships in 2021. The requirement will be introduced for IMMAF competitions taking place after the 31st June next year.

IMMAF promotes the IMMAF Talent Development Pathway – a technical progression scheme – as the tool to establish standards across the sport of MMA. Read more here: https://immaf.org/participant-pathways/#technical.

IMMAF Grades assessments are marked and recorded by IMMAF certified coaches using the IMMAF App, available for free from the App store and Google Play.

From July 2021, grading levels required of athletes across IMMAF Championships will be as follows:

In 2022 and beyond, the grading requirements across IMMAF Championships will be:

The entry requirements will be added to IMMAF Championships Handbooks, and screening processes will be implemented.

IMMAF Director of Development Andrew Moshanov said:

“Amateur sport has an ultimate mission – the social and physical development of its participants. Therefore, it is the responsibility of international and national governing bodies of a sport to create an efficient and safe competitive environment. IMMAF is fully committed to this task and has been implementing age banding and weight categories. Following the successful uptake of IMMAF’s coach certification program, it is now possible to require a minimum technical standard of all competitors of IMMAF Championships.”

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

“Requiring an entry-level standard for IMMAF competitors is an important benchmark in the development of the sport of MMA, bringing us into alignment with other international sports. Guaranteeing a quality standard is also important for the legitimacy of Amateur MMA, as well as ensuring a safety measure against mismatches. It will raise the competition level in the early rounds of IMMAF tournaments, which are already increasing in competitiveness year-on-year.

“During this difficult period of COVID-19 lockdown in many countries, we hope that through the roll-out of online grading assessments, we can help keep our athletes engaged, focused and achieving, and continue to enhance the professional development of IMMAF Coaches.”

IMMAF will be issuing more detailed information to National Federations. Please contact your National Federation for further information.

The post IMMAF Gradings mandatory for Championships in 2021 appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF launches new Ethics Commission https://immaf.org/2020/04/28/immaf-launches-new-ethics-commission/ Tue, 28 Apr 2020 07:00:00 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39968

The post IMMAF launches new Ethics Commission appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

A new Ethics Commission has been launched by the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) as part of its constant quest for best in class governance.
 
The Ethics Commission will advise the IMMAF Board, and IMMAF’s CEO on organisational procedures and policy guidelines relating to ethical issues. The Commission will ensure that IMMAF acts in accordance with its Statutes and Policies including on Conflicts of Interest and Whistle-blowing. The Commission will also be responsible for the investigation of relevant complaints and work closely with IMMAF’s Disciplinary Committee.
 
The Commission Chair, Rebecca Khoury of Canada, has had a successful career in the world of finance and management but has also worked with non-profit organisations and in sport. She served as the President of Karate Quebec and Karate Canada and received the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Medal from the Governor General of Canada, in recognition of her contribution to Canada’s development.
 
“I am honoured to have this responsibility,” said Rebecca. “Like IMMAF, I believe that the right ethical framework is fundamental to creating a culture that is open, transparent and inspirational to all IMMAF’s stakeholders. For the IMMAF, it’s not just about checking boxes, it’s about walking their talk and that is inspirational, for any passionate sportsperson.”  
 
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said: “We are delighted to have Rebecca lead an international team which includes high-flying legal and arbitration experts with wide ranging sport and corporate experience. We are determined to make IMMAF a beacon of ethical standards in sport governance.”
 
2019-2021 Members
 
Chairperson: Rebecca Khoury (CAN)
 
Members:
Anish Wadia (IND)
Ryan Adams (GBR)
Josep Vandellos (ESP)
Staff Liaison: Densign White (GBR)

The post IMMAF launches new Ethics Commission appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Take part! IMMAF Amateur MMA Survey https://immaf.org/2020/04/23/take-part-immaf-amateur-mma-survey/ Thu, 23 Apr 2020 12:13:28 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39964

The post Take part! IMMAF Amateur MMA Survey appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

IMMAF invites MMA and sports fans to take part in our survey as an opportunity to give us your opinions on;

  • Amateur MMA
  • IMMAF Championships & IMMAF TV
  • our vision of getting MMA in the Olympic Games

How can we improve our Championships content to make it more attractive, in your opinion? What can we do better for MMA and sports audiences? What would make you tune in more often?

We thank you in advance for your time and look forward to your feedback.

Please share! #IMMAFsurvey #AMMAsurvey

The post Take part! IMMAF Amateur MMA Survey appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF sets up new Athletes’ Commission https://immaf.org/2020/04/21/immaf-sets-up-new-athletes-commission/ Tue, 21 Apr 2020 07:21:56 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39928

The post IMMAF sets up new Athletes’ Commission appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

IMMAF is delighted to announce the creation of an Athletes’ Commission that will keep the athletes’ viewpoint at the heart of all policy decisions.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said: “As one of seven brand new Commissions, the Athletes’ Commission will encourage and empower the Athletes’ voice in all matters related to Amateur MMA globally.”

The Commission has called on the expertise of former stars of the amateur MMA scene, as well as one of MMA’s most highly respected sport officials in the form of India’s Vikash Sharma.

The Chairman of the Commission, Irman Smajic of Sweden, was an outstanding heavyweight and one of his nation’s most storied amateur MMA fighters. As well as multiple IMMAF World titles, Irman was also a gold medallist at the European Championships and Asian Open events.

Irman, now competing in the professional ranks, with a record of 2-0-0, the proud father of 2 also works as a dentist.

“It is a great honour to lead such a talented team on the new Athletes’ Commission,” said Irman, “and I am excited about doing everything possible to support IMMAF as it continues to develop programmes and platforms to support amateur athletes all around the world.”

Jose “Shorty” Torres of the USA is one of the most decorated amateur athletes in MMA history, with a 25-1 win-loss ratio. A graduate of McKendree University, Shorty was a two-time IMMAF world champion and is currently preparing for a lightweight world title bid as a pro.

Julia Dorny of Germany was a European and double IMMAF World Champion in the amateur ranks before turning pro, where she has an unbeaten record. A former judoka, Julia is an athlete, media scientist and journalist. She is the only female athlete in the world competing as a judoka, mixed martial arts fighter and sumo wrestler.

Aisling Daly of Ireland fought in the UFC but was also pivotal in the development of sports safety for grassroots MMA in the Republic of Ireland. She was part of a group that has helped pioneer the medical safety movement, Safe MMA – Ireland. Daly has been active as a spokesperson for the sport and lobbied to protect MMA from a potential government ban in the country.

2019-2021 Members

Chairperson: Irman Smajic (SWE)

Members:

Jose Torres (USA)

Julia Dorny (GER)

Aisling Daly (IRL)

Vikash Sharma (IND)

Staff Liaison: Mikhail Mazur (RUS)

The post IMMAF sets up new Athletes’ Commission appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Close to 300 participants take part in first FMMAF Webinar https://immaf.org/2020/04/20/close-to-300-participants-take-part-in-first-fmmaf-webinar/ Mon, 20 Apr 2020 13:59:15 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39925

The post Close to 300 participants take part in first FMMAF Webinar appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The French Mixed Martial Arts Federation (FMMAF) held a virtual “Town Hall” conference on Friday, April 17 via Webinar.

Close to 300 members of France’s MMA Community connected to see the presentation by the French Boxing Federation (FF Boxe) which has been designated by France’s Ministry of Sport to build an official MMA structure and manage its development. The participants were also able to ask questions and interact with the presenters.

The FFBoxe team included Lionel Brezephin, the Cadre Technique responsible for MMA, Jean-Baptiste Marsaud, the FF Boxe’s Administrative Director and Johnny Frachey, a French pro MMA athlete.

“We were delighted with the engagement and the constructive exchanges during the webinar,” said Lionel Brezephin. “We had so many questions that we ran out of time to answer them all but remain at the disposition of the community and are looking forward to taking the next steps together.”
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said: “We were very impressed with the level of professionalism of this presentation and the frequent references to the close co-operation between IMMAF and the FFBoxe. We share the ambition to create outstanding structures and governance for MMA in France.”

If you would like to review the webinar, the full presentation is available at:
https://www.ffboxe.com/mma/connectez-vous-au-mma-francais/

The Webinar showed the progress of the FFBoxe’s work over the last two months, and what will be put in place on the operational level in the coming weeks,” said Lionel Brézéphin. “We have already finalised the MMA Sports Code and the training system. We have pressed the start button on the federal machine.”

The main topics covered by the Webinar were: the timeline, the technical and safety rules, grading, coaching and the organisation of competitions.
At the end of the webinar, interested persons who hold coaching or other qualifications (coaches, officials, organisers, doctors, etc.) were invited to join regional working groups, which will work in several workshops.

These workshops will focus on pedagogy, regulatory issues, etc and once validated by technical experts, will be fed into the frameworks already in place.
The main aim is to validate a methodology of teaching MMA. In addition, these groups will help to identify the most active MMA actors in France and allow them to collaborate in a constructive way.

To participate in the next phase of structuring MMA in France applicants are invited to part in the working groups and workshops, via a form which can be found at the following link: https://bit.ly/fmmaf-candidature

News of MMA in France can be found at: http://www.fmmaf.fr

The email contact for the MMA team at FFBoxe is: mma@ff-boxe.com

The post Close to 300 participants take part in first FMMAF Webinar appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Launches New Website in 2020 Digital Makeover https://immaf.org/2020/04/17/immaf-launches-new-website-in-2020-digital-makeover/ Fri, 17 Apr 2020 12:41:41 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39912

The post IMMAF Launches New Website in 2020 Digital Makeover appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

“Our aim is to make IMMAF’s unique and exciting Olympic-styled tournaments as accessible as possible for fight fans to follow, and to ensure that all IMMAF assets are just a-click-away for customers entering IMMAF’s World through immaf.org

IMMAF launches a new website today at immaf.org to establish a refreshed and stronger digital identity that will be mapped out across all its online platforms in 2020.

This forms part of wider project that will see the integration of IMMAF’s digital portals into one holistic ecosystem, providing a seamless customer experience for members and fans globally.

IMMAF’s platforms include:
·       immaf.org – website and gateway into IMMAF’s world
·       immaf.tv – home to IMMAF live and VOD content
·       The IMMAF App – MMA gradings platform freely available from App store and Google Play

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

“MMA was born in the digital age and this has contributed to its phenomenal and unprecedented growth as a sport within an incredibly short space of time. Since its founding in 2012, there has been demand for IMMAF to be consistently ground-breaking and innovative in order to build completely new sporting structures for MMA from the grassroots up, around the world.

“Moving into the 2020s, we want IMMAF’s digital interfaces to reflect our brand nature and to create a rewarding and cutting-edge experience for consumers, as we commit to live broadcasting all IMMAF’s Championships at immaf.tv. Our aim is to make IMMAF’s unique and exciting Olympic-styled tournaments as accessible as possible to fight fans to follow, and to ensure that all IMMAF assets are just a-click-away for members and customers entering IMMAF’s World through immaf.org.

“The official launch of the new website today is the first step in this process as we build towards our next Championships when the world emerges again from COVID lockdown.”

The post IMMAF Launches New Website in 2020 Digital Makeover appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Partners With Peace & Sport https://immaf.org/2020/04/08/immaf-partners-with-peace-sport/ Wed, 08 Apr 2020 13:29:00 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39906

The post IMMAF Partners With Peace & Sport appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

“Training in MMA provides an effective pathway to learning the skills of negotiation and the attainment of peace.”

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation is proud to announce a partnership with Peace and Sport, to help build peaceful communities through the power of sport and create a safer, more equitable and inclusive world.

The objectives of the partnership are:

Collaboration through initiatives to promote peace, social cohesion and coexistence among communities;
Cooperation to improve living conditions for populations through MMA;
Mutual facilitation of dialogues and communication between communities, using MMA and its values;
Encouragement of education, training and responsibility amongst vulnerable youth, through the practice of MMA;
Cooperation and synergy to promote, advocate and raise awareness of the power of sport for peacebuilding and diplomacy.
Peace and Sport President and Founder, Joël Bouzou, said:

“Sport, especially fighting sports demand discipline, respect of rules and of opponents. It requires determination and adaptability. For the last 12 years now, we have been committed to fight for peace. We are glad to partner with the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation as mixed martial arts combined with educational programmes and youth work can help to build self-confident resilient individuals and communities and a culture of peace”

IMMAF President, Kerrith Brown said:

“We, at IMMAF, are believers in the power of sport to bring people together and to transform lives. Fighting is in our DNA, and combat sports are unique in providing a structured pathway to channel these human instincts, providing a point of connection with some of the hardest-to-reach groups, including marginalised, war-torn and gang-ridden communities. MMA is a universal language recognised by youth worldwide and has proven its capacity to break boundaries and create fundamental common ground between different factions and individuals. Mastery of MMA requires personal transformation that includes the development of self-knowledge, self-discipline, honour and respect. The process of training to fight within a sporting context is an effective pathway to learning the skills of negotiation and to attaining peace.

“I welcome this partnership with Peace and Sport through which IMMAF can harness the tools of training in MMA to contribute to the mission of building peaceful communities and a safer, more equitable and inclusive world.”

ABOUT PEACE AND SPORT

‘Peace and Sport, L’Organisation pour la Paix par le Sport’ is an international, neutral and independent organization based in Monaco, which promotes peace using the power of sport. Founded in 2007 by Modern Pentathlon Olympic Medallist and World Champion Joël Bouzou, Peace and Sport enjoys the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Peace and Sport brings together and develops partnerships between the peace stakeholders (NGOs, UN Agencies, Academics), the sport environment (Olympic Family, International Federations, National Olympic Committees, Athletes) and the political decision-makers (national, regional and local) with the aim of implementing and ensuring the sustainability of field programs, maximizing the use of sport for development and peace and leading social transformation in every area of the world affected by poverty or social instability. peace-sport.org

ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL MIXED MARTIAL ARTS FEDERATION

Founded in 2012, the purpose of IMMAF is to further the development, recognition and regulation of the sport of MMA (mixed martial arts), enabling amateur competition though the organization of national MMA federations around the world. With a seven-year track record of organizing international amateur Championships and developing the sport globally, IMMAF’s membership today includes over 100 National Federations worldwide with National Olympic Committee recognition in around 40 countries. IMMAF has advanced programmes for education and certification of MMA coaches, referees and other technical officials, as well as Youth Development. Supported by the UFC®, IMMAF is the only legitimate international governing body for MMA, working to gain sport recognition and see MMA into the Olympic Games. immaf.org

The post IMMAF Partners With Peace & Sport appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Densign White Interview: MMA & Sport Recognition Update https://immaf.org/2020/04/02/densign-white-interview-mma-sport-recognition-update/ Thu, 02 Apr 2020 13:36:00 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39909

The post Densign White Interview: MMA & Sport Recognition Update appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

What is the current status of IMMAF’s application for sport recognition for MMA?

IMMAF first applied to the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) for recognition of MMA as a sport by the Olympic movement, back in 2016. Progress since then has been fraught with obstructions, about-turns, new demands, delays and lack of transparency. IMMAF meets all known criteria, excepting WADA (World Anti-doping Agency) signatory status – despite being compliant to the WADA Code. We have jumped through every new hoop they have asked us to. Then in 2018, we were told by a GAISF administrator that our application had been lost and we would have to reapply. After much administrative back-and-forth, our second application was formally rejected in March 2019 without adequate explanation, and we reapplied for Observer Status.

At the end of last year, GAISF wrote to its members asking them to formally communicate any objections to MMA being recognised. Although we have had many conversations with GAISF and recognised martial arts’ representatives, and know other martial arts to be obstructing our application, no issues had ever been officially raised by them.

GAISF wrote in January, this year, to inform us that they had received responses from combat sports, who they declined to name, and cited their issue with us as being “non-compatibility” – a term that had not been raised to us before.

Despite the vagueness of this accusation and GAISF’s failure to provide any further definition, we responded in February, as requested, providing an analysis of the differences and similarities between MMA and the other combat sports/ martial arts governed by GAISF Members.

We expressed our surprise at the “compatibility” issue, considering the many similarities in the rules between various recognised sports. For example: Basketball, Netball and Korfball; Tennis and Soft Tennis; Bandy and Ice Hockey among others

Furthermore, Savate, Muay Thai And Kickboxing all consist of striking the opponent with the hands and the legs, all using a boxing style ring as their field of play. Judo, Sambo and Ju-Jitsu (Ne Waza/Groundwork Discipline) are combat sports played with a gi (or kimono) where the objective is to throw, control or submit an opponent (with some differences in the pointing system).

To support our case, we also provided a (presentation defining Amateur MMA in the context of martial arts and combat sports recognised by GAISF).

We have since received a response from GAISF with an attempt to define ‘compatibility’. Apparently, GAISF changed its statutes at some point to replace ‘rivalry’ with non-compatibility’ as grounds for rejecting new member applications. We were not informed of this, though we had already addressed GAISF’s allegation of rivalry by merging with ‘rival’ international governing body for MMA, WMMAA, in 2018. Shockingly, we discovered afterwards that WMMAA had never even applied for membership to GAISF. Now this new criterion clearly gives wider scope for abuse and discrimination without good grounds.

IMMAF was hoping for a decision to made about its Observer Status application at the GAISF Council Meeting during the SportAccord Convention. You were also hoping for the opportunity for meetings with GAISF representatives. Now the Convention has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 epidemic, what do you expect to happen next?

We don’t know when the GAISF Council meeting will happen now, but we can expect further delay in the light of the pandemic. GAISF, no doubt, has a number of other matters on its plate, such as the postponement of the Olympic Games.

What is the current status of IMMAF’s legal case against WADA (World Anti-doping Agency) ?

IMMAF has been seeking WADA Code signatory status for the past 4 years. This would not only protect our athletes from doping but also promote MMA as Code compliant, a requirement of sport recognition. However, WADA has refused our application as it requires the support of GAISF. IMMAF’s only course of action was to challenge this. We went to court earlier this year in Lausanne. The case was postponed in order to give us time to put together our witnesses. WADA asked for the case to be thrown out since the Code is due to be changing in January 2021 to allow WADA to make its own independent decisions about signatory applications, without outside influence from the Olympic or sport movement. This of course will be nice when it happens sometime next year, but there is no guarantee that this will help us. We are still waiting for them to do what they should have already done 4-years ago.

IMMAF is extremely frustrated by the inconsistency of WADA’s decision-making process on who is accepted as a Code signatory. It has also come to my attention that WADA has accepted 3 different international federations for Taekwondo, a decision which must be influenced by GAISF since according to WADA they cannot currently make such a decision independently. This surely undermines GAISF’s arguments against MMA. While we worked hard to solve the so-called WMMAA rivalry through a merger, we have also seen two federations accepted for Rugby. Why is MMA being treated differently? The whole thing is so full of contradictions.

Meanwhile, MMA has been legalized in France under French Boxing. What is IMMAF’s relationship like with French boxing?

The development of governance of MMA in France is going well, and we are supporting them with formulating a framework for MMA. French Boxing has agreed to align its rules, regulations and standards for MMA with the international standard.

Another surprise from France, has been French Judo’s venture into offering MMA classes in its gyms. This is a dramatic turnaround from its President’s statement that MMA ‘is a haven for jihadists’ and lacks sporting values. What is your take?

Considering Judo’s actions to block acceptance of MMA at every level, this is completely hypocritical. It is also undermining of the decision of the Ministry of Sport to regulate MMA in France under boxing, a role that Judo didn’t even apply for. They have no right to teach MMA, no qualification and should leave MMA to the experts. They should be following the rules and regulations of MMA through French boxing.

So, what are IMMAF’s next steps in its battle for recognition of MMA as a sport?

We will be continuing with our legal action against WADA and will fight to the end for the result we want. Meanwhile, GAISF keep delaying on making a decision, but based on their decision we will decide our next steps.

The post Densign White Interview: MMA & Sport Recognition Update appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Announces Further Cancellation & Postponement Of 2020 Championships https://immaf.org/2020/04/02/immaf-announces-further-cancellation-postponement-of-2020-championships/ Thu, 02 Apr 2020 13:25:00 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39903

The post IMMAF Announces Further Cancellation & Postponement Of 2020 Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The Board of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation has announced the cancellation in 2020 of its European Open Championships and Youth World Championships, which were scheduled to take place in Italy in July and August; and also the postponement of its Asian Open Championships planned for June in Kazakhstan.

This comes on the back of the earlier board decision to postpone the 2020 IMMAF Africa Open Championships and the 2020 IMMAF Pan American Championships.

IMMAF President Brown commented:

“In the shadow of the current global pandemic and government responses worldwide, as well as out of duty-of-care to our members, the IMMAF board has been left with no alternative but to cancel the European and Youth Championships this year.

“Meanwhile, all sports events have been banned in Kazakhstan for the present time, forcing us to stop the Asian Open in June. We will be monitoring with global situation in the hope that we can hold this event later in the year, in the run up to the World and Team Championships.

“Unfortunately, it is unlikely that our calendar will permit space for the other tournaments to be rescheduled this year and we are grateful to our host federations and event partners for their cooperation in reviewing options for applying existing agreements to 2021.

“I encourage athletes to keep training, keep drilling and studying techniques from home. This period will be a test of character and determination: We look forward to relaunching stronger and better, and meeting again in competition very soon”

The Host Federation President for Italy (FIGMMA), Saverio Longo, said:

“I fully agree with the decision taken by the President of IMMAF to postpone the MMA Championships that should have been held this summer in Rome. The health of athletes, teams and organizers is a priority and must therefore prevail over all other interests.

“But I’m sure that when this forced break is over, MMA athletes from all over the world will return to compete with even more enthusiasm and vigour because no virus or adversity can ever extinguish the fire of passion for fighting that burns inside the heart of every MMA fighter.”

Meanwhile, to support members during this time, IMMAF has launched free, online accredited coach education courses which will count towards the full IMMAF Coach Certification. This is a first initiative, to which IMMAF will be adding further online services to facilitate continued sport development through this period of self-distancing and self-isolation in many countries.

The post IMMAF Announces Further Cancellation & Postponement Of 2020 Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Governance Gets Boost With New Youth Development Commission https://immaf.org/2020/03/27/immaf-governance-gets-boost-with-new-youth-development-commission/ Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:20:00 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39901

The post IMMAF Governance Gets Boost With New Youth Development Commission appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

IMMAF is delighted to introduce the new Youth Development Commission, which will be working closely with other Commissions and Committees to manage the huge demand for amateur MMA youth programmes all over the world.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said: “Our experience with our first Youth World Championships last year proved the point that MMA has massive appeal for young combat sport athletes. As the legitimate world governing body for amateur MMA, we have a responsibility and mission to make the sport accessible and safe for youngsters, with rules and procedures that are fit for purpose.”

To acknowledge its strategic importance, the Youth Development Commission will have both a chairman, Stanislav Nedkov (BUL) and a vice-chair Danny Corr (Northern Ireland). Stanislav is a former UFC professional fighter and now a sport administrator while Danny Corr is responsible for creating award-winning youth sport and culture initiatives.

The Youth Development Commission will help create programmes to guide young athletes on pathways for lifelong participation, competition preparation and personal development in MMA.

Because young Athlete development frameworks must be holistic and embrace the complex nature of athlete development, this Committee will cover Coaching, Regulatory affairs, Medical, Anti-doping and Ethics.

Members 2019-2021

Chairperson: Stanislav Nedkov (BUL)

Members:

Sharif Bapu (IND)
Danny Corr (GBR)
Zanna Kim (KAZ)
Bertrand Amoussou (FRA)
Vito Paolinio (ITA)
Raul Salas Navarro (MEX)

Staff Liaison: Andrew Moshanov (RUS)

NEW MEMBERS ANNOUNCED TO COACHING COMMISSION

Another key IMMAF Commission is the Coaching Commission, and IMMAF is pleased to announce a new membership team led by Richie Cranny of Australia. Richie is a former professional MMA athlete, coach and founder of the highly successful “Wimp 2 Warrior” training scheme to train inexperienced individuals in MMA techniques.

The Coaching Commission provides strategic direction and leadership to ensure that IMMAF coaches have the most up-to-date level of competency and can deliver effective teaching of the skills of mixed martial arts to their membership. The Commission will provide a coach’s perspective and voice to the decision-making processes within IMMAF and advocates for the rights and interests of coaches within the sport of Amateur Mixed Martial Arts globally.

Both Commissions share an IMMAF Staff Liaison in the highly experienced Andrew Moshanov, IMMAF’s Director of Sport Development.

Coaching Commission 2019-2021

Chairperson: Richie Cranny (AUS)

Members:

Gennady Kapshai (RUS)
Luis Barneto (POR)
Lutz Heyden (GER)
Bertrand Amoussou (FRA)
Paolo Oliveira (NZL)
Anton Blank (UKR)

Staff Liaison: Andrew Moshanov (GBR)

The post IMMAF Governance Gets Boost With New Youth Development Commission appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
China’s Martial Arts Machine Will Continue Producing Elite Women in MMA, Federation Official Explains https://immaf.org/2020/03/19/china-martial-arts-machine-will-continue-producing-elite-women-in-mma/ Thu, 19 Mar 2020 17:40:39 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32536

The post China’s Martial Arts Machine Will Continue Producing Elite Women in MMA, Federation Official Explains appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The presence of Chinese talent within the ranks of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has witnessed significant evolution in the past decade. Nine years have passed since Tiequan Zhang emerged as a pioneer to global MMA audiences, joining the UFC roster as the organisation’s first Chinese-born contender.

In 2020 the UFC is home to around a dozen Chinese athletes with the vanguard including the likes of 22-year-old bantamweight star Song Yadong, currently 5-0 in the world’s leading professional MMA organisation (15-4 overall). Meanwhile, with nine UFC wins and an incredible five bonus awards, 31-year-old Li Jingliang solidified perennial prominence competing in the welterweight division.

While Jingliang had once been earmarked as the face of China’s emergence at the elite pro level of MMA, it has been the nation’s female talent who have secured some of the most stunning triumphs, such as Yan Xiaonan continuing her unblemished UFC tenure in February with a three round dissection of former strawweight title contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

Most impressively, 30-year-old sensation Weili Zhang reigns as the current UFC strawweight world champion and most recently defended the crown in a likely ‘fight-of-the-year’ against iconic former champion Joanna Jędrzejczyk. Zhang blazed a trail and shattered the glass ceiling for Chinese athletes in the UFC and will forever be the one to have shone a spotlight on the pathway for a gargantuan collective of unique national potential.

As just two athletes, the impact of Zhang and Xiaonan is small scale in terms of a Chinese takeover at the elite level, yet their sudden dominance upon arrival is certainly rousing. Will China’s female talent continue to overrun the women’s divisions? To bring such opportunity to fruition, the UFC unveiled its Shanghai based Performance Institute in 2019, tasked with developing high level professionals from across the country. Meanwhile, on the amateur scene Chinese athletes have made an impact at the premier level, most notably through women’s bantamweight prospect Guangmei Han (pictured). A series of unanimous decision wins against rivals from Ukraine, Sweden and Ireland saw Han win gold for the Chinese national team at the 2019 IMMAF World Championships and she has since been taken on board at Shanghai’s UFC P.I.

Before reaching the sport’s upper tier, how is China’s female talent currently cultivated and on what scale is it happening? With China’s legendary and storied martial arts heritage commonly associated with men, what part does national culture play in producing generations of MMA athletes and could similarities be to drawn with the success of Russian males fighting out of the Dagestan region, renown for its wrestling and MMA exports?

To discuss the possible factors, IMMAF.org spoke with Joe Qiaobo, General Consultant and National Team Leader for the MMA Department of the Chinese Boxing Federation, the nation’s government affiliated member to IMMAF. Joe had recently shared the below video that gave a brief insight into the scale and intensity of Chinese girls and women practicing martial arts from a young age.


“These girls are around 15-18 years old,” Joe explained. “They are doing Sanda, which is a Chinese style combat sport allowing punching, kicking and throws. This kind of large group is common in China, what you see in the video doesn’t really show the whole training hall, the whole place is at least 8 times larger than what you see in the video and full of young athletes. Chinese style Sanda has formed the fighting style for most of the Chinese [MMA] fighters which is with strong standup skills with solid takedown defense.”

China hosts a significant professional kickboxing scene with major shows such as Kunlun providing a platform for top domestic talent in both kickboxing and MMA. It is clear that disciplines such as Sanda play an integrated role in streamlining young athletes towards the competitive level while recreational levels of participation among women are potentially off the charts in comparison to other nations. As seen in the Sanda training halls, this machine is engaging practitioners at a young age and carves a pathway similar to the one followed by the current UFC strawweight queen. While the wrestling and sambo youth of Dagestan has produced a wealth of MMA’s most formidable names, is China’s own combat sport culture in the process of constructing a similar highway to the top?

“This is a very good point,” Joe responded, considering the possible similarities between Dagestan’s production of male talent alongside that of Chinese women who may be set to follow in Zhang’s footsteps. “There’s a massive pool of young athletes in China like you saw in the video, male and female, and yes, there will be tons more young MMA talents coming to dominate. It is the reason girls like Xiaonan and Weili are doing so well in the UFC and MMA in general, they were originally good Sanda athletes when they were younger and after retiring from Sanda they started to add more elements on top of their base and applied them so well in MMA.”

And it does not stop there, the official status of China’s MMA Department under the IMMAF umbrella has opened up the national body to the Chinese Olympic Program, presenting all new opportunities and extended pathways to truly world class athletes.

Joe added, “In addition to Sanda, China is very diverse regarding MMA Development. China’s biggest potential is our Olympic combat sports talent pool with real top level athletes of Boxing, Judo, Wrestling, etc. These young athletes were chosen for the Olympic Games and we are also transitioning them as future MMA athletes. The world will see Chinese Olympic level MMA athletes from Judo and Wrestling to Boxing and MMA as well as other pathways. However, we foremost focus on the direct evolution of grass roots MMA and well rounded style development, targeting teenagers in China to take on MMA as their introduction to combat sport.”

The direction of MMA in China is operating on two fronts. The current crop of premier battle ready athletes making their way to MMA’s pro level has been funneled through the various disciplines that boast talent pools of formidable experience. Meanwhile, China’s MMA Federation aims to build the sport from the ground up, planting seeds that one day bring MMA participation to an equal footing with that of leading disciplines in the country, but to what extent could Chinese MMA and the national team, with its aspirations for success, strike a balance between engaging unique grass roots foundations while also integrating with the existing waves of experienced young athletes?

The post China’s Martial Arts Machine Will Continue Producing Elite Women in MMA, Federation Official Explains appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Anti-Doping and COVID-19 https://immaf.org/2020/03/19/information-anti-doping-and-covid-19/ Thu, 19 Mar 2020 09:25:36 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32655

The post Anti-Doping and COVID-19 appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

19 March 2019

The World Anti-doping Agency has advised that four accredited laboratories are temporarily suspending their activities and it is likely that more will follow.

Currently Rome (Italy) Montreal (Canada), Madrid and Barcelona (Spain) have temporarily suspended operations and it is likely that more laboratories will follow this action. 

Breaking – London laboratory will close on Friday

The outcome is that some samples may be redirected to another accredited laboratory, while some will be stored frozen for analysis at a later date.

The impact is that athletes may not receive their results in a timely fashion. However they should not be complacent in assuming that ‘no news is good news’.  This delay in analysis could mean results are not available for months. It is important that athletes are aware of this situation and monitor closely reporting of results.

Be aware which testing authority is responsible for sample collection and who will report the results.  Monitor and track their receipt.

Although testing agencies have downscaled their sample collection activities, some national programmes are continuing. 

There is no doubt that this could put athletes at risk, not only from the virus itself but also from assumptions that any unwillingness to participate in an anti-doping test is suspicious or even constitutes a refusal.

Download advice for athletes here

The post Anti-Doping and COVID-19 appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Dominican Republic Federation ready for IMMAF Board approval after President's visit https://immaf.org/2020/03/18/dominican-republic-fed-ready-for-immaf-submission/ Wed, 18 Mar 2020 13:31:33 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32587

The post Dominican Republic Federation ready for IMMAF Board approval after President's visit appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

President Kerrith Brown made an official visit to the Dominican Republic, last week, to meet with Dominican Republic MMA Federation President, Manuel Pagan, and Vice Minister of Sport, Marco Diaz.

NF President Pagan & IMMAF President Brown sign IMMAF Membership Certification pending board approval

The Minister confirmed government support for the young federation, whose application for membership is now to be formally submitted to the IMMAF board for approval. He highlighted the importance of sport development and pledged his support for MMA Judges, Referees and Coaches seminars in the interests of athlete welfare.  He commended IMMAF’s guidelines.

The Dominican Republic MMA Federation has also achieved the support of its National Olympic Committee.

During his visit, IMMAF President Brown led a seminar with the federation’s MMA Coaches, for the purpose of explaining IMMAF’s role, MMA progression pathways (including youth development) and the rules and policies of amateur MMA competition.

Speaking of the visit, President Brown said:

“The Dominican Republic federation submitted an impressive application for recognition, and they have gone through all the correct processes in setting themselves up. They’ve done a huge amount of work to advance the development of MMA in the Dominican Republic and for the recognition of the sport. While out there, we attended an amateur event, which I was also extremely impressed by. We welcome the Dominican MMA Republic federation to IMMAF and as a our latest Pan American member.”

The post Dominican Republic Federation ready for IMMAF Board approval after President's visit appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Oceania Title Win Confirms Potential of World Silver Medalist Olivia Ukmar https://immaf.org/2020/03/17/oceania-title-win-confirms-potential-of-world-silver-medalist-olivia-ukmar/ Tue, 17 Mar 2020 17:08:10 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32590

The post Oceania Title Win Confirms Potential of World Silver Medalist Olivia Ukmar appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

While the coronavirus (Covid-19) has forced the postponement of the 2020 IMMAF Africa Open and Pan American Open Championships, IMMAF’s 2020 events calendar kicked off with the Oceania Open successfully hosted earlier this month in Australia.

Taking place in Gold Coast from 6 – 8 March, Australia’s own Olivia Ukmar triumphed in the women’s strawweight division, and in doing so made the greatest statement of the event’s gold medalists. The biggest Oceania Open to date was mainly defined by its influx of top ranked athletes from around the world, the vast majority featuring in the women’s divisions.

28-year-old Ukmar featured in the most highly contested of the 2020 Oceania Open women’s tournaments. While number-2 ranked Nina Back was drawn as the competition’s top seed, a clear favorite to win this year’s title was hard to distinguish given the accolades of each contender:

Olivia Ukmar (Australia):
no.6 ranked strawweight
2019 World silver medalist.

Daria Samkick (Ukraine):
no. 5 ranked strawweight
2018 World gold medalist
2019 World bronze medalist

Nina Back (Sweden):
no. 2 ranked strawweight
2018 European silver medalist
2018 World silver medalist
2019 European silver medalist

Jenna Horto (Finland):
no.5 ranked atomweight
2018 European gold medalist
2018 World bronze medalist

2019 World Championships: Ukmar earned a unanimous decision win over former World gold medalist Daria Samchik

Ukmar was highly impressive in victory, first earning a second win over Ukraine’s Samchik, this time even more emphatically by securing a rear-naked-choke submission in the second round against the 2018 world champion. In the Oceania final, Ukmar scored a unanimous decision nod from the judges to best Sweden’s Nina Back and claim the continental title on home soil.

“I just look forward and get excited to be able to showcase my skills and hard work that my team and I put in, and with that I know the results will follow,” Ukmar commented.

Given the quality of opposition, earning the gold medal would have proved to be a major statement for any of the four strawweight standouts. Ukmar’s victory will no doubt further her confidence and leaves a significant mark on the division, showing her potential to go one step further to claim gold at the 2020 World Championships among top ranked opposition. Her international debut at last year’s World Championships was certainly not a one-off, the status of the world silver medalist is intact as a firm favourite for future titles, second only for now to Ukraine’s Anastasiya Svetkivska, the reigning World and European champion.

Main picture: Olivia Ukmar alongside, Australian MMA Federation president Richie Cranny.

The post Oceania Title Win Confirms Potential of World Silver Medalist Olivia Ukmar appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Statement On Coronavirus & Postponement Of Events https://immaf.org/2020/03/13/immaf-statement-on-coronavirus-postponement-of-events/ Fri, 13 Mar 2020 13:14:00 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39897

The post IMMAF Statement On Coronavirus & Postponement Of Events appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

At IMMAF the health and wellbeing our members matters to us, and we are mindful of current global measures and concerns regarding the coronavirus (Covid-19).

Therefore, we are sadly postponing our two upcoming tournaments in April and May until further notice: The 2020 IMMAF Africa Open Championships and the 2020 IMMAF Pan American Championships. Participants should contact their National Federation regarding refund of participation fees and for further advice.

With respect to our other events in 2020, including Championships and Courses, please be assured that IMMAF is monitoring the global situation extremely closely and following official advice and restrictions issued by Government bodies. We will be looking at online alternatives for educational courses, where needed.

We are aware of the lock-down in Italy and have therefore also postponed official announcement of the planned 2020 Youth World Championships (6 – 9 August) and 2020 European Senior & Junior Championships (11 – 16 August) in Rome. IMMAF is researching alternative locations for these and all other events, in case of any travel restrictions in force during the planned dates of competition. Every effort will be made to ensure that relocated events, later in the year, take place as close as possible in time to the original dates. We therefore encourage athletes to keep training and preparing for these competitions.

So far, IMMAF has not been informed of any cases of the coronavirus (Covid-19) among our members, but have requested that they keep us informed.

We have advised our members that some travel restrictions may apply to teams from infected regions in line with government decrees. Further to this, if any IMMAF participants are suffering from symptoms of the virus they should not attend IMMAF or National level events or training, and self-isolate. This is of particular importance with MMA being a close contact sport and must be taken extremely seriously. Our Medical Committee is meeting today to review the IMMAF screening process for competition and the latest medical advice for members in light of the coronavirus.

We will keep our members and followers updated and informed as the situation progresses, and have asked in the meantime that members follow the following guidelines:

  1. First and foremost, follow the advice of your government and government organisations, as the situation will differ from region to region


In regions where there are no government restrictions:

  1. make sure to follow World Health Organization guidelines to ensure best cleaning practices are carried out at your clubs and gyms;
  2. advise participants/ members not to attend clubs or gyms if experiencing symptoms or if they have knowingly been in contact with an infected person, and to self-isolate as per government advice;
  3. advise participants/ members to not only keep their hands clean (washing regularly and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water) but also their bodies and hair after and before sports practice, due to the close-contact nature of MMA;
  4. advise participants to properly wash their gym wear with using sanitising agents after each use;
  5. advise participants/ members always to sneeze/ cough into tissues;
  6. gym matts, machines and equipment should be wiped down with appropriate cleaning fluids after each use (see World Health Organisation advice);
  7. Members are requested to inform IMMAF should a member of their team or gym contract the virus or have been in contact with it.

We thank everyone for their cooperation,

Densign White
IMMAF CEO

The post IMMAF Statement On Coronavirus & Postponement Of Events appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Australian MMA Federation Responds to Oceania Open Success https://immaf.org/2020/03/09/australian-mma-federation-responds-to-oceania-open-success/ Mon, 09 Mar 2020 16:35:25 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32529

The post Australian MMA Federation Responds to Oceania Open Success appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The IMMAF 2020 Oceania Open concluded on Sunday, March 8, at Palm Beach in the city of Gold Coast, Australia. As the host nation, Australia fielded the largest squad of athletes and as a result were able to top the medal table.

Richie Cranny, president of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation of Australia (IMMAFA), share his thought followign the championship’s conclusion:

Richie Cranny (left) alongside former IMMAFA president Joe Minehan

The 2020 Oceania Open is now in the books as the biggest amateur mixed martial arts event in Australian history and Team Australia’s most successful IMMAF Tournament to date.

The most exciting thing to come from this year’s Oceania for me and our IMMAFA federation is the new talent that’s been discovered here over the past year, both junior and senior, which will only help inspire and demonstrate to other athletes out there what amazing pathways we can now offer those that are serious about competing at the world class amateur level and willing to put in the work to do so.

Also, it’s been a year where we’ve added some exceptional coaches to our national team such as Brian Ebersole, Alan Philpott and Renato Subotic as well as IMMAF veteran Joseph Luciano, all of which bring unique skill sets and experience which head coach Ed Bavelock has utilised brilliantly. So with 14 medals, new coaches and some exciting new talent which will be around for some time, Australia is only going get stronger over the coming years and we look forward to supporting other host federations in 2020 by sending our athletes to compete around the world as we prepare for our best showing at the worlds to date this October.

Richie Cranny
President
IMMAFA

Main picture: 2020 Oceania Open men’s strawweight champion, Troy Fumo

]]>

The post Australian MMA Federation Responds to Oceania Open Success appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
2020 IMMAF Oceania: Finals Results & Medallists https://immaf.org/2020/03/08/2020-immaf-oceania-finals-results-medallists/ Sun, 08 Mar 2020 12:16:48 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32485

The post 2020 IMMAF Oceania: Finals Results & Medallists appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships concluded on Australia’s Gold Coast today with the Tournament Finals and Medals Ceremony.

See below for the list of 2020 Oceania Medallists and Official Finals Results.

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s nation vs nation, MMA tournament took place from 6–8 March at the Gold Coast Recreation Centre.

Go to MyNextMatch.com to view the full brackets and tournament information

2020 OCEANIA MEDALLISTS

Female Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
Gold: Olivia Ukmar (Australia)
Silver: Nina Back (Sweden)

Female Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)
Gold: Bezhan Mahmudi (Sweden)
Silver: Magdalena Czaban (Poland)

Female Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
Gold: Bianca Antman (Sweden)
Silver: Jess Bradley (New Zealand)

Female Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
Gold: Jesse Wenzlick (Australia)
Silver: Rosemarie McAuslin (New Zealand)

Female Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
Gold: Michelle Montague (New Zealand)
Silver: Jenni Kivioja (Finland)

Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
Gold: Troy Fumo (Australia)

Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
Gold: Mohammed Almuamari (Bahrain)

Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
Gold: Muhammad Mokaev (United Kingdom)
Silver: Abdulla Mubarak (Bahrain)
Bronze: Keoni TEROROTUA (French Polynesia)
Abdulla Alyaqoob (Bahrain)

Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
Gold: Colby Thicknesse (Australia)
Silver: Dylan Thompson (United Kingdom)
Bronze: Abdul Mahdawi (Australia), Denzil Brokken (New Zealand)

Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs):
Gold: Jordan Thomas (Australia)
Silver: Zubair Gadzhiev (Bahrain)
Bronze: Oliver Schmid (New Zealand), Andy Le (Australia)

Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
Gold: Ramazan Gitinov (Bahrain)
Silver: Corey Reeves (Australia)
Bronze: Yousif Sayyar (Bahrain), Lachlan Stitt (Australia)

Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
Gold: Hakaraia Wilson (New Zealand)
Silver: Loni Doyle Filimoehala (Australia)
Bronze: Vaibhav Vaman Shetty (India), Omer Suliman (Australia)

Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
Gold: Murtaza Talha Ali (Bahrain)
Silver: Patrick Best (Australia) – TKO R1 2:29
Bronze: Auryn Parmley (Australia), Ezekiel Wetere (New Zealand)

Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)
Gold: Ryan Spillane (Ireland)
Silver: Dane Alchin (Australia)

Super Heavyweight 300 kg (661 lbs)
Gold: Hiro Lemaire (French Polynesia)

Finals Results: 8.03.2020

1 Female Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs) Olivia Ukmar (Australia) def. Nina Back (Sweden) – Unanimous Decision R3 3:00

2 Female Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs) Bezhan Mahmudi (Sweden) def. Magdalena Czaban (Poland) – Unanimous Decision R3 3:00

3 Female Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs) Bianca Antman (Sweden) def. Jess Bradley (New Zealand) – Submission (Armbar) R1 2:20

4 Female Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs) Jesse Wenzlick (Australia) def. Rosemarie McAuslin (New Zealand) – TKO R3 1:18

5 Female Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Michelle Montague (New Zealand) def. Jenni Kivioja (Finland) – Submission (Armbar) R2 1:38

6 Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs) Troy Fumo (Australia) def. Cherfi Adil (France) – Unanimous Decision R3 3:00

7 Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs) Mohammed Almuamari (Bahrain) def. Ebrahim Darwish (Bahrain) – Unanimous Decision R3 3:00

8 Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs) Muhammad Mokaev (United Kingdom) def. Abdulla Mubarak (Bahrain) – Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) R1 1:29

9 Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Colby Thicknesse (Australia) def. Dylan Thompson (United Kingdom) – Unanimous Decision R3 3:00

10 Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs): Gold: Jordan Thomas (Australia); Silver: Zubair Gadzhiev (Bahrain)

Lightweight bronze: Oliver Schmid (New Zealand), Andy Le (Australia)

11 Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs) Ramazan Gitinov (Bahrain) def. Corey Reeves (Australia) – Unanimous Decision R3 3:00

12 Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) Hakaraia Wilson (New Zealand) def. Loni Doyle Filimoehala (Australia) – Unanimous Decision R3 3:00

13 Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs) Murtaza Talha Ali (Bahrain) def. Patrick Best (Australia) – TKO R1 2:29

14 Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs) Ryan Spillane (Ireland) def. Dane Alchin (Australia) – TKO R1 0:32

15 Super Heavyweight 300 kg (661 lbs) Hiro Lemaire (French Polynesia) def. Corey Barrett (New Zealand) – TKO R1 1:01

The post 2020 IMMAF Oceania: Finals Results & Medallists appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Women’s Commission launches on International Women’s Day https://immaf.org/2020/03/07/immaf-womens-commission-launches-on-international-womens-day/ Sat, 07 Mar 2020 20:54:59 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32496

The post IMMAF Women’s Commission launches on International Women’s Day appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

We celebrate International Women’s day today but it is also a historical day for IMMAF, which has launched its own Women’s Commission.

Hayzia Bellem, chair of the new Commission, will host the first session of the commission today. The goals of the IMMAF’s Women’s Commission are:

– Encouraging women to practice MMA
– Fighting against gender prejudice in MMA
– Promoting gender equality in MMA and sport generally
– Fighting against harassment in combat sports
– Supporting women to develop their skills within MMA organisations  (coaches, referees and other officials, administrators, etc.)
– Supporting women to gain leadership positions at IMMAF and its federations
– Empowering women and girls through MMA
– Showing the financial benefits of promoting women in MMA
– Recognizing the achievements of individuals and organizations promoting women in MMA (amateur and professional)

The Commission members are:

Hayzia Bellem (FRA) : chairperson
Sharif Bapu (IND): member
Veronika Nabaltska (BUL): member
Gosha Malik is the IMMAF staff liaison

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown commented:

“I’m proud of the representation and achievements of women in the IMMAF family, as we continue to work to encourage greater female participation at all levels of the sport. The IMMAF Women’s Commission has been founded to further women’s development within MMA. On behalf of IMMAF, I’d like to wish the women of MMA around the world a happy International Women’s Day.”

For more information on the Women’s Commission please contact: malik@immaf.org

Main picture: World Junior Gold Medallists Anna Gaul (GER) and Nora Ochoa (MEX) at end of their 2019 World Championship Final bout

The post IMMAF Women’s Commission launches on International Women’s Day appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
2020 IMMAF Oceania: Day 2 Results & Finals Fight Card https://immaf.org/2020/03/07/2020-immaf-oceania-day-2-results-finals-fight-card/ Sat, 07 Mar 2020 06:37:36 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32481

The post 2020 IMMAF Oceania: Day 2 Results & Finals Fight Card appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships is underway on Australia’s Gold Coast with its second day of matches having taken place today.

See below the Official Results for Day 2 – the Semi Finals, and for tomorrow’s fight card for Finals.

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s nation vs nation, MMA tournament plays out from  6– 8 March at the Gold Coast Recreation Centre from 10:30 hrs daily (AEST / GMT + 10). Sunday’s finals will be available to watch for free at IMMAF.TV. Tickets are available on the door.

Sign up to MyNextMatch.com to view brackets and live tournament updates

Results – Day 2 07/03/2020

1 Female Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs) Nina Back (Sweden) def. Jenna Horto (Finland) – Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) R3 1:16

2 Female Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs) Olivia Ukmar (Australia) def. Daria Samchik (Ukraine) – Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) R2 2:30

3 Female Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs) Magdalena Czaban (Poland) def. Courtney Gray (Australia) – TKO R1 1:15

4 Female Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs) Bianca Antman (Sweden) def. Amanda Cairney (New Zealand) – Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) R2 1:33

5 Female Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs) Rosemarie McAuslin (New Zealand) def. Kiera-Lee Botfield (Australia) – Submission (Armbar) R2 1:52

6 Female Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Michelle Montague (New Zealand) def. Kelsey Schroder (New Zealand) – Submission (Armbar) R1 1:48

7 Female Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Jenni Kivioja (Finland) def. Mel Webster (New Zealand) – Unanimous Decision R3 3:00

8 Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs) Abdulla Mubarak (Bahrain) def. Keoni TEROROTUA (French Polynesia) – Unanimous Decision R3 3:00

9 Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs) Muhammad Mokaev (United Kingdom) def. Abdulla Alyaqoob (Bahrain) – Unanimous Decision R3 3:00

10 Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Colby Thicknesse (Australia) def. Abdul Mahdawi (Australia) – Unanimous Decision R3 3:00

11 Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Dylan Thompson (United Kingdom) def. Denzil Brokken (New Zealand) – Unanimous Decision R3 3:00

12 Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Jordan Thomas (Australia) def. Oliver Schmid (New Zealand) – Split Decision R3 3:00

13 Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Zubair Gadzhiev (Bahrain) def. Andy Le (Australia) – Unanimous Decision R3 3:00

14 Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs) Ramazan Gitinov (Bahrain) def. Lachlan Stitt (Australia) – Unanimous Decision R3 3:00

15 Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) Hakaraia Wilson (New Zealand) def. Vaibhav Vaman Shetty (India) – Submission (Armbar) R1 1:19

16 Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs) Patrick Best (Australia) def. Ezekiel Wetere (New Zealand) – Unanimous Decision R3 3:00

17 Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs) Dane Alchin (Australia) vs. Alexander Lutu (New Zealand) – TKO R3 0:55

FIGHT CARD – DAY 3: 08/03/2020

Day 3 Finals, March 8 2020

1 Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs) Nina Back (Sweden) vs. Olivia Ukmar (Australia)

2 Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs) Bezhan Mahmudi (Sweden) vs. Magdalena Czaban (Poland)

3 Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs) Bianca Antman (Sweden) vs. Jess Bradley (New Zealand)

4 Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs) Rosemarie McAuslin (New Zealand) vs. Jesse Wenzlick (Australia)

5 Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Michelle Montague (New Zealand) vs. Jenni Kivioja (Finland)

6 Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs) Troy Fumo (Australia) vs. Cherfi Adil (France)

7 Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs) Mohammed Almuamari (Bahrain) vs. Ebrahim Darwish (Bahrain)

8 Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs) Abdulla Mubarak (Bahrain) vs. Muhammad Mokaev (United Kingdom)

9 Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Colby Thicknesse (Australia) vs. Dylan Thompson (United Kingdom)

10 Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Jordan Thomas (Australia) vs. Zubair Gadzhiev (Bahrain)

11 Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs) Ramazan Gitinov (Bahrain) vs. Corey Reeves (Australia)

12 Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) Hakaraia Wilson (New Zealand) vs. Loni Doyle Filimoehala (Australia)

13 Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs) Murtaza Talha Ali (Bahrain) vs. Patrick Best (Australia)

14 Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs) Ryan Spillane (Ireland) vs. Dane Alchin (Australia)

15 Super Heavyweight 300 kg (661 lbs) Hiro Lemaire (French Polynesia) vs. Corey Barrett (New Zealand)

The post 2020 IMMAF Oceania: Day 2 Results & Finals Fight Card appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
French Polynesia Earns Historic First Amateur MMA Win On Day 1 of IMMAF Oceania Open https://immaf.org/2020/03/06/french-polynesia-earns-historic-first-amateur-mma-win-on-day-1-of-immaf-oceania-open/ Fri, 06 Mar 2020 16:12:16 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32471

The post French Polynesia Earns Historic First Amateur MMA Win On Day 1 of IMMAF Oceania Open appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The French Polynesia national team secured its first ever victory on the international amateur MMA platform, on day 1 (March 6) of the 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships in Australia.

The debut of French Polynesia under the IMMAF banner comes following recognition of The Polynesian Federation of Wrestling and Associated Disciplines (FPLAJDA) as a member of the IMMAF, announced last year on November 11.

The symbolic first triumph for the national team was secured in the very first bout of the day by men’s bantamweight (61.2 kg/135 lbs) athlete, Keoni Terorotua (main picture). The 22-year-old bested Levi Hawkes of New Zealand, a veteran of the 2018 Junior World Championships and 2019 Oceania Open. The bout was decided by a split-decision on the judge’s scorecards.

Terorotua’s team mates, Aremiti Tinirau (men’s welterweight) and Michael Lisan (middleweight) were also in action, but were defeated after going the distance against experienced Australians Corey Reeves and Loni Doyle Filimoehala who both earned unanimous decision wins for the home nation.

Recap full Day 1 results and Day 2 schedule below.

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s nation vs nation, MMA tournament plays out from 6– 8 March at the Gold Coast Recreation Centre from 10:30 hrs daily (AEST / GMT + 10). Sunday’s finals will be available to watch for free at IMMAF.TV.

Tickets are still available from Eventbrite and on the door.

Sign up to MyNextMatch.com to view brackets and live tournament updates

Results – Day 1: 06/03/2020

Bout 1: Male Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs) Keoni TEROROTUA (French Polynesia) d e f Levi Hawkes (New Zealand) via Split Decision Round 3, 3 (28-29, 29-28, 29-27)

Bout 2: Male Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Colby Thicknesse (Australia) d e f Ali Yaqoob (Bahrain) via TKO Round 3, 1:54

Bout 3: Male Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Denzil Brokken (New Zealand) d e f Justin Grey (Canada) via Submission (Guillotine Choke)  Round 1, 0:50

Bout 4: Male Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Dylan Thompson (United Kingdom) d e f Taj Fewquandie (Australia) via Submission (Armbar)  Round 2, 1:02

Bout 5: Male Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Oliver Schmid (New Zealand) d e f Mohamed Alghool (Bahrain) via Split Decision Round 3, 3:00 (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

Bout 6: Male Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs) Lachlan Stitt (Australia) d e f Gary Mcdonald (New Zealand) via TKO Round 1, 1:55

Bout 7: Male Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs) Corey Reeves (Australia) d e f Aremiti TINIRAU (French Polynesia) via Unanimous Decision Round 3, 3:00 (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Bout 8: Male Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs) Yousif Sayyar (Bahrain) d e f Tiep Cai Xuan (Czech Republic) via Split Decision Round 3 (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Bout 9: Male Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) Hakaraia Wilson (New Zealand) d e f Samuel Marles (Australia) due to Medical Examination Failed

Bout 10: Male Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) Omer Suliman (Australia) d e f Lukas Piffko (Czech Republic) via Unanimous Decision Round 3, 3:00 (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Bout 11: Male Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) Loni Doyle Filimoehala (Australia) d e f Michael LISAN (French Polynesia) via Unanimous Decision Round 3, 03:00 (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)

Bout 12: Male Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs) Auryn Parmley (Australia) d e f Tony Hemopo (New Zealand) via TKO Round 2, 0:56

Fight Card – Day 2: 07/03/2020

Bout 1: Female Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs) Nina Back (Sweden) VS Jenna Horto (Finland)

Bout 2: Female Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs) Daria Samchik (Ukraine) VS Olivia Ukmar (Australia)

Bout 3: Female Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs) Magdalena Czaban (Poland) VS Courtney Gray (Australia)

Bout 4: Female Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs) Bianca Antman (Sweden) VS Amanda Cairney (New Zealand)

Bout 5: Female Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs) Kiera-Lee Botfield (Australia) VS Rosemarie McAuslin (New Zealand)

Bout 6: Female Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Michelle Montague (New Zealand) VS Kelsey Schroder (New Zealand)

Bout 7: Female Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Mel Webster (New Zealand) VS Jenni Kivioja (Finland)

Bout 8: Male Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs) Abdulla Mubarak (Bahrain) VS Keoni TEROROTUA (French Polynesia)

Bout 9: Male Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs) Abdulla Alyaqoob (Bahrain) VS Muhammad Mokaev (United Kingdom)

Bout 10: Male Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Abdul Mahdawi (Australia) VS Colby Thicknesse (Australia)

Bout 11: Male Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Denzil Brokken (New Zealand) VS Dylan Thompson (United Kingdom)

Bout 12: Male Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Jordan Thomas (Australia) VS Oliver Schmid (New Zealand)

Bout 13: Male Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Zubair Gadzhiev (Bahrain) VS Andy Le (Australia)

Bout 14: Male Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs) Ramazan Gitinov (Bahrain) VS Lachlan Stitt (Australia)

Bout 15: Male Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) Vaibhav Vaman Shetty (India) VS Hakaraia Wilson (New Zealand)

Bout 16: Male Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) Omer Suliman (Australia) VS Loni Doyle Filimoehala (Australia)

Bout 17: Male Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs) Murtaza Talha Ali (Bahrain) VS Auryn Parmley (Australia)

Bout 18: Male Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs) Patrick Best (Australia) VS Ezekiel Wetere (New Zealand)

Bout 19: Male Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs) Dane Alchin (Australia) VS Alexander Lutu (New Zealand)

The post French Polynesia Earns Historic First Amateur MMA Win On Day 1 of IMMAF Oceania Open appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
2020 IMMAF Oceania: Day 1 Results & Day 2 Fight Card https://immaf.org/2020/03/06/2020-immaf-oceania-day-1-results-day-2-fight-card/ Fri, 06 Mar 2020 08:46:10 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32459

The post 2020 IMMAF Oceania: Day 1 Results & Day 2 Fight Card appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships kicked off today (6 March) on Australia’s Gold Coast with its first day of matches.

See below the Official Results for Day 1 – the Quarter Finals, and tomorrow’s fight card for Day 2 – the Semi-Finals.

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s nation vs nation, MMA tournament plays out from 6– 8 March at the Gold Coast Recreation Centre from 10:30 hrs daily (AEST / GMT + 10). Sunday’s finals will be available to watch for free at IMMAF.TV.

Tickets are still available from Eventbrite and on the door.

Sign up to MyNextMatch.com to view brackets and live tournament updates

Results – Day1: 6/03/2020

Bout 1: Male Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs) Keoni TEROROTUA (French Polynesia) d e f Levi Hawkes (New Zealand) via Split Decision Round 3, 3 (28-29, 29-28, 29-27)

Bout 2: Male Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Colby Thicknesse (Australia) d e f Ali Yaqoob (Bahrain) via TKO Round 3, 1:54

Bout 3: Male Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Denzil Brokken (New Zealand) d e f Justin Grey (Canada) via Submission (Guillotine Choke)  Round 1, 0:50

Bout 4: Male Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Dylan Thompson (United Kingdom) d e f Taj Fewquandie (Australia) via Submission (Armbar)  Round 2, 1:02

Bout 5: Male Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Oliver Schmid (New Zealand) d e f Mohamed Alghool (Bahrain) via Split Decision Round 3, 3:00 (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)

Bout 6: Male Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs) Lachlan Stitt (Australia) d e f Gary Mcdonald (New Zealand) via TKO Round 1, 1:55

Bout 7: Male Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs) Corey Reeves (Australia) d e f Aremiti TINIRAU (French Polynesia) via Unanimous Decision Round 3, 3:00 (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Bout 8: Male Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs) Yousif Sayyar (Bahrain) d e f Tiep Cai Xuan (Czech Republic) via Split Decision Round 3 (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Bout 9: Male Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) Hakaraia Wilson (New Zealand) d e f Samuel Marles (Australia) due to Medical Examination Failed

Bout 10: Male Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) Omer Suliman (Australia) d e f Lukas Piffko (Czech Republic) via Unanimous Decision Round 3, 3:00 (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Bout 11: Male Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) Loni Doyle Filimoehala (Australia) d e f Michael LISAN (French Polynesia) via Unanimous Decision Round 3, 03:00 (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)

Bout 12: Male Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs) Auryn Parmley (Australia) d e f Tony Hemopo (New Zealand) via TKO Round 2, 0:56

Fight Card – Day 2: 7/03/2020

Bout 1: Female Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs) Nina Back (Sweden) VS Jenna Horto (Finland)

Bout 2: Female Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs) Daria Samchik (Ukraine) VS Olivia Ukmar (Australia)

Bout 3: Female Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs) Magdalena Czaban (Poland) VS Courtney Gray (Australia)

Bout 4: Female Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs) Bianca Antman (Sweden) VS Amanda Cairney (New Zealand)

Bout 5: Female Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs) Kiera-Lee Botfield (Australia) VS Rosemarie McAuslin (New Zealand)

Bout 6: Female Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Michelle Montague (New Zealand) VS Kelsey Schroder (New Zealand)

Bout 7: Female Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Mel Webster (New Zealand) VS Jenni Kivioja (Finland)

Bout 8: Male Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs) Abdulla Mubarak (Bahrain) VS Keoni TEROROTUA (French Polynesia)

Bout 9: Male Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs) Abdulla Alyaqoob (Bahrain) VS Muhammad Mokaev (United Kingdom)

Bout 10: Male Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Abdul Mahdawi (Australia) VS Colby Thicknesse (Australia)

Bout 11: Male Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Denzil Brokken (New Zealand) VS Dylan Thompson (United Kingdom)

Bout 12: Male Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Jordan Thomas (Australia) VS Oliver Schmid (New Zealand)

Bout 13: Male Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Zubair Gadzhiev (Bahrain) VS Andy Le (Australia)

Bout 14: Male Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs) Ramazan Gitinov (Bahrain) VS Lachlan Stitt (Australia)

Bout 15: Male Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) Vaibhav Vaman Shetty (India) VS Hakaraia Wilson (New Zealand)

Bout 16: Male Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) Omer Suliman (Australia) VS Loni Doyle Filimoehala (Australia)

Bout 17: Male Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs) Murtaza Talha Ali (Bahrain) VS Auryn Parmley (Australia)

Bout 18: Male Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs) Patrick Best (Australia) VS Ezekiel Wetere (New Zealand)

Bout 19: Male Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs) Dane Alchin (Australia) VS Alexander Lutu (New Zealand)

The post 2020 IMMAF Oceania: Day 1 Results & Day 2 Fight Card appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Oceania Championships Commence on the Gold Coast https://immaf.org/2020/03/05/%ef%bb%bfimmaf-oceania-championships-commence-on-the-gold-coast/ Thu, 05 Mar 2020 09:52:16 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32423

The post IMMAF Oceania Championships Commence on the Gold Coast appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

Athletes for the 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships arrived earlier today in Australia’s Gold Coast, and the Tournament Draw has now been completed ahead of tomorrow’s first day of matches.


ABOUT THE 2020 IMMAF OCEANIA OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s nation vs nation, MMA tournament plays out from  6– 8 March at the Gold Coast Recreation Centre from 10:30 hrs daily (AEST / GMT + 10). Sunday’s finals will be available to watch for free at IMMAF.TV.

Star names representing Australia include women’s strawweight contender, Olivia Ukmar, who won Australia’s first World Silver medal in MMA at the 2019 IMMAF World Championships, and Abdul Mahdawi, who returns to the Oceania Championships as a former silver medallist.

Top ranking IMMAF international male talent includes: World and European Gold medallist, Ireland’s Ryan Spillane (heavyweight); Bahrain’s Ramazan Gitinov (welterweight) and Murtaza Talha Ali (light-heavyweight); plus world champion, the UK prodigy Muhammad Mokaev (bantamweight).

International female names include Ukraine’s 2018 World Gold medallist Daria Samchik; Sweden’s two-time World Silver medallist Nina Back (strawweight), World Gold medallist Bianca Antman (flyweight) and
World Gold medallist Bezhan Mahmudi (atomweight); Finland’s 2018 IMMAF Performance of the Year winner Jenni Kivioja (lightweight); 2018 European Gold medallist Jenna Horto (strawweight); Poland’s World Gold medallist Magdalena Czaban (atomweight) and New Zealand’s reigning World Gold medallist, Michelle Montague (lightweight).


DAY 1 MATCHES SCHEDULE: QUARTER FINALS

Bout 1: Male Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs) Keoni Terorotua (French Polynesia) VS Levi Hawkes (New Zealand)

Bout 2: Male Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Colby Thicknesse (Australia) VS Ali Yaqoob (Bahrain)

Bout 3: Male Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Justin Grey (Canada) VS Denzil Brokken (New Zealand)

Bout 4: Male Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs) Taj Fewquandie (Australia) VS Dylan Thompson (United Kingdom)

Bout 5: Male Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs) Mohamed Alghool (Bahrain) VS Oliver Schmid (New Zealand)

Bout 6: Male Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs) Lachlan Stitt (Australia) VS Gary Mcdonald (New Zealand)

Bout 7: Male Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs) Corey Reeves (Australia) VS Aremiti Tinirau (French Polynesia)

Bout 8: Male Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs) Tiep Cai Xuan (Czech Republic) VS Yousif Sayyar (Bahrain)

Bout 9: Male Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) Samuel Marles (Australia) VS Hakaraia Wilson (New Zealand)

Bout 10: Male Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) Omer Suliman (Australia) VS Lukas Piffko (Czech Republic)

Bout 11: Male Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) Loni Doyle Filimoehala (Australia) VS Michael LISAN (French Polynesia)

Bout 12: Male Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs) Tony Hemopo (New Zealand) VS Auryn Parmley (Australia)

Main picture: Swedish star team arrives at the Gold Coast Recreation Centre

The post IMMAF Oceania Championships Commence on the Gold Coast appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Brendan Allen TKO's Top Rival; 2015 IMMAF Champion Moves to 2-0 in UFC https://immaf.org/2020/03/02/brendan-allen-tkos-top-rival-2015-immaf-champion-moves-to-2-0-in-ufc/ Mon, 02 Mar 2020 12:57:50 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32394

The post Brendan Allen TKO's Top Rival; 2015 IMMAF Champion Moves to 2-0 in UFC appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

On February 29 former IMMAF world champion Brendan Allen secured his second UFC triumph at UFC on ESPN in Virginia, USA.

Upon booking his place in the UFC via Dana White’s Contender Series, the Roufusport fighter is now 2-0 in the world’s leading MMA promotion with an overall 14-3 pro record. He produced a demolition job against highly rated UK prospect Tom Breese in a middleweight bout last weekend, handing the 28-year-old Brit his first ever stoppage loss by securing a takedown against the fence and forcing the referee stoppage with strikes in the final seconds of the opening round.

The Team USA veteran and former national champion won gold in the middleweight division at the 2015 IMMAF World Championships of Amateur MMA in Las Vegas (main picture). It was a golden era for the U.S. national team with Allen’s title winning team mates including the likes of Jose Torres and Will Starks. Allen became the world’s inaugural number-one ranked contender upon the inception of the IMMAF world amateur rankings.

The 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships take place from 6 – 8 March at the Tallebudegra Leisure Center on Australia’s Gold Coast. For more information and tickets, click HERE.

By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

]]>

The post Brendan Allen TKO's Top Rival; 2015 IMMAF Champion Moves to 2-0 in UFC appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Announces New World Team Championships in Bahrain https://immaf.org/2020/02/29/immaf-announces-new-world-team-championships-in-bahrain/ Sat, 29 Feb 2020 16:29:41 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32370

The post IMMAF Announces New World Team Championships in Bahrain appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

1 – 5 DECEMBER, MANAMA

The International MMA Federation (IMMAF) announced a brand new event to its 2020 calendar at a press conference held on 29 February in Manama: The 2020 World Team Championships is to be hosted by the Bahrain Mixed Martial Arts Federation (BMMAF) from the 1 – 5 December at Khalifa Sports City Arena as part of BRAVE International Combat Week.

The World Teams Championship follows an Olympic format that differs from IMMAF’s World Championships as medals are awarded to National Teams rather than individual athletes. The winning team is the one that secures the most wins. Competition participation is limited to a total of 16 male teams and 8 female teams.

The MMA tournament is exclusively open to the world’s best male and female teams as according to the World Amateur MMA Rankings, following the 2020 IMMAF World Championships in Kazakhstan in October. Ranking points can be accrued by National Teams across the year from their participation in IMMAF Continental and World Championships.

Priority entry will be given to the Top 14 male National Teams and Top 6 female National Teams: If one of the world’s top teams decline, their place in the competition will be offered to the next team down and so on. There will also be an additional 2 male and 2 female Wild Card Teams, which will be selected at the sole discretion of IMMAF. Each male team will comprise 7 athletes with a maximum of 3 substitutes, and each female team will include 5 athletes and a maximum of 2 subs.

Following the 2020 World Championships, IMMAF will invite the top ranking teams to register. The Bahrain Mixed Martial Arts Federation will be generously covering the accommodation for World Teams and there will be no Participation Fee for entry.

IMMAF President, Kerrith Brown said:

“I would like to thank Bahrain Olympic Committee President, His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad, BRAVE CEO Mohammed Shahid and Bahrain Mixed Martial Arts Federation President Mohammed Qambar for their ongoing support of amateur MMA and its international development as a sport. The depth of talent in IMMAF competitions is deepening year-on-year, and I expect the level of competition to sky rocket at this prestigious World Teams event.”

Bahrain has to date hosted three consecutive IMMAF World Championships (2017 – 2019) under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad, and as part of BRAVE International Combat Week. Team Bahrain currently tops the National Team Rankings (for male athletes).

]]>

The post IMMAF Announces New World Team Championships in Bahrain appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Bianca Antman Targets Oceania Open & No.1 Rank After Reclaiming IMMAF World Flyweight Title For Sweden https://immaf.org/2020/02/28/bianca-antman-targets-oceania-open-no-1-rank-after-reclaiming-immaf-world-flyweight-title-for-sweden/ Fri, 28 Feb 2020 13:12:15 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32351

The post Bianca Antman Targets Oceania Open & No.1 Rank After Reclaiming IMMAF World Flyweight Title For Sweden appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The 2019 IMMAF World Championships saw Swedish talent re-emerge as leaders of the women’s divisions.

Sweden’s five senior level medalists took their national team to third place in the 2019 world championships medal table. While Bezhan Mahmudi captured gold in the atomweight bracket, Bianca Antman’s gold medal triumph in the flyweight division meant that Sweden recaptured the 125lb title for the first time since 2016, following in the footsteps of IMMAF great Gabriella Ringblom.

Taking three victories in four days at the world championships last November, Antman’s broad and aggressive display of ability included an Americana submission over South Africa’s Ceileigh Niedermayr in the quarter-finals before going the distance to claim a unanimous decision semi-final win over Russian national champion Zemfira Alieva. At the finals, Antman submitted former world silver medalist Hannah Dawson, the New Zealand standout who had last been defeated in the 2017 finals as a strawweight against Sweden’s Anna Astvik.

Antman celebrates upon submitting Dawson to win the 2019 flyweight world title.

In the Oceania Open flyweight bracket Antman will be rivaled by the New Zealand duo of Amanda Cairney and 2018 Oceania gold medalist Anne Wilson. Victory for Antman in the Oceania tournament would see her become the new number-one ranked athlete in the women’s 125lb division. Antman currently occupies second place in the rankings behind Australia’s 2018 Oceania Open and Asia Open champion, Alish Smith.

The 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships take place from 6 – 8 March at the Tallebudegra Leisure Center on Australia’s Gold Coast.
For more information and tickets, click HERE.

By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

]]>

The post Bianca Antman Targets Oceania Open & No.1 Rank After Reclaiming IMMAF World Flyweight Title For Sweden appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF World Championships & Asian Open Announced for Kazakhstan https://immaf.org/2020/02/27/immaf-world-championships-asian-open-announced-for-kazakhstan/ Thu, 27 Feb 2020 14:46:47 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32348

The post IMMAF World Championships & Asian Open Announced for Kazakhstan appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has announced that the 2020 IMMAF World and Junior World Championships and the 2020 IMMAF Asian and Junior Asian Open Championships will both take place in Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown, IMMAF CEO Densign White and General Director of Kazakhstan MMA federation, Valikhan Ten

The announcement was made earlier today at a press conference organised by Host Federation, the Kazakhstan National Public Union of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Federation, attended by IMMAF President Kerrith Brown, IMMAF CEO Densign White and General Director of Kazakhstan MMA federation Valikhan Ten.

The 2020 IMMAF Asian & Junior Asian Open Championships is scheduled for 23 – 27 June 2020 (with the Tournament Draw on 22 June), and the 2020 IMMAF World and Junior World Championships will take place during the week commencing 25 October. The Asian Open plays out at the Palace of Combat and Martial Arts – Zhekpe Zhek, with the venue for the Worlds to be confirmed.

The Kazakhstan National Public Union of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Federation is recognised by the National Sport Committee of Kazakhstan. The National Team ranks 3rd place in the Senior World Amateur MMA Rankings and 2nd place in the Juniors. The team picked up 18 medals including 4 golds* at the 2019 IMMAF World Championships in Bahrain, and 22 medals including 7 golds* at the 2019 Asian Open in Thailand. Stand out athletes included strawweight, Bagdat Zhubanysh, who places 3rd and female atomweight Ayan Tursyn, who places 16th in the World Amateur Pound 4 Pound rankings.

Speaking at the Nur Sultan press conference, General Director of Kazakhstan MMA federation Valikhan Ten said:

“We are very proud to host these prestigious events in Kazakhstan. We will do our best to deliver the events to the highest level.”

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

“There was tense bid process between Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Kazakhstan to host the Championships: We are certain that Kazakhstan will perform to a high level and will be able to deliver the event to a gold standard. From our side, we will give every support.”

President Brown thanked IMMAF Honorary President, Vadim Finkelchtein; the new President of the Kazakhstan National Public Union of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Federation and Chairman of the Management Board of JSC NC “KazMunayGas”, Aidarbayev Alik Serikovich; and the National Sport Committee of Kazakhstan for their support in facilitating the hosting of the IMMAF World and Asian Championships by Kazakhstan,

*Kazakhstani 2019 World Gold medallists are Bagdat Zhubanysh, Talshyn Zhumatayeva, Fariz Abdalov, Gani Adilserik

***Kazakhstani 2019 Asian Gold medallists are Ayan Tursyn, Talshyn Zhumatayeva, Bagdat Zhubanysh, Olzhas Moldagaliyev, Anatoliy Zolotykh, Aidyn Tolepbayev, Madi Dosmukhametov – Men’s Middleweight

]]>

The post IMMAF World Championships & Asian Open Announced for Kazakhstan appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
2019 IMMAF Worlds Matches Free-to-view At IMMAF TV https://immaf.org/2020/02/26/2019-immaf-worlds-matches-free-to-view-at-immaf-tv/ Wed, 26 Feb 2020 13:07:00 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39895

The post 2019 IMMAF Worlds Matches Free-to-view At IMMAF TV appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

All matches from the 2019 IMMAF MMA World Championships are now available to watch for FREE exclusively at immaf.tv

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s flagship, nation vs nation event saw elite MMA amateurs from around the world battle it out over 5 days and 4 cages between 11 and 16 November, at the Khalifa Sports City Arena in Manama, Bahrain.

The Championships included Senior and Junior tournaments, in which 452 athletes took part from 51 nations across 16 weight divisions (male and female).

While Russia dominated especially in the Senior event, other notable talents to look out for include Gold medallists Bagdat Zhubanysh (Kazakhstan), Olympic wrestling hopeful Michelle Montague (New Zealand) and prodigy Muhammad Mokaev (United Kingdom).

Tune into immaf.tv to relive a host of world class finishes and elite mixed martial arts action!

2020 IMMAF TV PROGRAMMING SCHEDULE

In 2020, IMMAF TV will be live streaming from all its Championships as listed below: Look out for scheduling information to follow.

Free-To-View

March: 2020 Oceania Open Championships
April: 2020 Africa Open Championships
May: 2020 Pan America Championships

Pay-Per-View

June: 2020 Asian & Junior Asian Open Championships
August: 2020 European Open and Junior European Open Championships
August: 2020 Youth World Championships
October/ November – TBC: 2020 World and Junior World Championships

The post 2019 IMMAF Worlds Matches Free-to-view At IMMAF TV appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Unveils Athletes & Teams for the Oceania MMA Championships – WATCH ON IMMAF TV https://immaf.org/2020/02/25/immaf-unveils-athletes-teams-for-the-oceania-mma-championships-watch-on-immaf-tv/ Tue, 25 Feb 2020 09:12:40 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32314

The post IMMAF Unveils Athletes & Teams for the Oceania MMA Championships – WATCH ON IMMAF TV appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

WATCH FINALS ON IMMAF.TV
BUY TICKETS & DONATE TO THE AUSTRLIAN BUSHFIRE APPEAL  

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation has unveiled the National Teams and Athletes registered to compete in its 2020 Oceania MMA Championships on Australia’s Gold Coast, from 6 – 8 March.

The tournament finals of the ‘2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships’ will be available to watch for free worldwide at IMMAF.TV on 8 March from 10AM (UTC+10), with an estimated 6 hours run time.

Star names representing Australia include women’s strawweight contender, Olivia Ukmar (pictured), who won Australia’s first World Silver medal in MMA at the 2019 IMMAF World Championships, and Abdul Mahdawi, who returns to the Oceania Championships as a former silver medallist.

Latest international male talent to sign up includes past World and European Gold medallist, Ireland’s Ryan Spillane (heavyweight) and Sweden’s World Gold medallist Bezhan Mahmudi (atomweight). Female additions include Ukraine’s 2018 World Gold medallist Daria Samchik, Sweden’s two-time World Silver medallist Nina Back (strawweight) and World Gold medallist Bianca Antman (flyweight), Finland’s 2018 IMMAF Performance of the Year winner Jenni Kivioja (lightweight) and 2018 European Gold medallist Jenna Horto (strawweight) and Poland’s World Gold medallist Magdalena Czaban (atomweight).

They join IMMAF gold medallists that include New Zealand’s women’s lightweight world champion Michelle Montague, Bahrain’s Ramazan Gitinov (welterweight) and Murtaza Talha Ali (light-heavyweight), plus the UK prodigy Muhammad Mokaev (men’s bantamweight).

IMMAF’s Continental Championships bring world class talent to the doorstep of regional National Teams on each continent, to boost the opportunity for elite level competition and local talent development. Ranking points accrued in each Championships contribute to an athlete and National Team’s standing in the World Amateur MMA Rankings and can gain them priority entry and seeding opportunities in the flagship, end-of-year IMMAF World Championships

See the full list of athletes listed by National Team below

2020 IMMAF OCEANIA OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS: ATHLETES LISTED BY NATIONAL TEAM

AUSTRALIA
Courtney Gray Women’s Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)
Olivia Ukmar Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
Troy Fumo Men’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
Angelica Silva Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
Jesse Wenzlick Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
Kiera-Lee Botfield Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
Adam Assuncao Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
taj fewquandie Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
Colby Thicknesse Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
Abdul Mahdawi Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
Tye Wall Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
Andy Le Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
Jordan Thomas Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
Kim Luk Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
Lachlan Stitt Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
Aidan Nowfel Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
Corey Reeves Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
Cash Douglas Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
Samuel Marles Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
Omer Suliman Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
Loni Doyle Filimoehala Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
Patrick Best Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
Auryn Parmley Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
Dane Alchin Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

BAHRAIN
Mohammed Almuamari Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
Ebrahim Darwish Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
Abdulla Alyaqoob Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
Abdulla Mubarak Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
Ali Yaqoob Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
Mohamed Alghool Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
Zubair Gadzhiev Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
Ramazan Gitinov Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
Yousif Sayyar Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
Murtaza Talha Ali Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)

CANADA
Justin Grey Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)

CZECH REPUBLIC
Tiep Cai Xuan Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
Lukáš Piffko Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)

FINLAND
Jenna Horto Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
Jenni Kivioja Women’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)

FRANCE
Cherfi Adil Men’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)

FRENCH POLYNESIA
Keoni TEROROTUA Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
Aremiti TINIRAU Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
Michael LISAN Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
Hiro Lemaire Men’s Super Heavyweight 300 kg (661 lbs)

INDIA
Vaibhav Vaman Shetty Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)

IRELAND
Ryan Spillane Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

POLAND
Magdalena Czaban Women’s Jr. Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)

NEW ZEALAND
Anne Wilson Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
Amanda Cairney Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
Jess Bradley Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
Rosemarie McAuslin Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
Levi Hawkes Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
Clarke Jarrett Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
Michelle Montague Women’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
Denzil Brokken Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
Oliver Schmid Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
Mel Webster Women’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
Kelsey Schroder Women’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
Hakaraia Wilson Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
Ezekiel Wetere Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
Tony Hemopo Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
Alexander Lutu Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)
Corey Barrett Men’s Super Heavyweight 300 kg (661 lbs)

SWEDEN
Bezhan Mahmudi Women’s Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)
Nina Back Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
Bianca Antman Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)

UKRAINE
Daria Samchik Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)

UNITED KINGDOM
Muhammad Mokaev Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
Dylan Thompson Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)

]]>

The post IMMAF Unveils Athletes & Teams for the Oceania MMA Championships – WATCH ON IMMAF TV appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Russian MMA Champion Darya Nyrkova Named Person of the Year in Home City https://immaf.org/2020/02/24/russian-mma-champion-darya-nyrkova-named-person-of-the-year-in-home-city/ Mon, 24 Feb 2020 18:35:00 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32304

The post Russian MMA Champion Darya Nyrkova Named Person of the Year in Home City appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

IMMAF World Championships veteran Darya Nyrkova has been named “Person of the Year” in her home city of Kiselevsk, Russia, for physical culture achievements.

Nyrkova represented the Russian national team at the 2019 IMMAF World Championships. She was eliminated at the quarter-final stage after going the distance in a grueling bout against no.1 ranked atomweight, Ayan Tursyn of Kazakhstan.

In 2019 the 28-year-old champion of multiple martial arts was among the first women to ever compete at the Russian MMA Union’s National Amateur Championships where she captured the atomweight title with a trio of wins over national rivals.

The post Russian MMA Champion Darya Nyrkova Named Person of the Year in Home City appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Athlete Registration Opens for the 2020 IMMAF Pan Am Open Championships https://immaf.org/2020/02/24/%ef%bb%bfathlete-registration-opens-for-the-immaf-pan-american-open-championships/ Mon, 24 Feb 2020 15:12:03 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32290

The post Athlete Registration Opens for the 2020 IMMAF Pan Am Open Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

– PLAYA DEL CARMEN – CANCUN, MEXICO
– 21 – 23 MAY

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) is pleased to announce its 2020 IMMAF Pan American Open Championships, as registration opens for Athletes and National Teams today. The three-day MMA tournament will take place in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico from 21 – 23 May (with athlete check-in and the Tournament Draw on 20 May). Those wishing to compete should contact their National Federation for information.

The Playa Del Carmen is a coastal resort town along Mexico’s Caribbean shoreline, neighbouring the more well-known holiday destination of Cancun. It is renowned for its palm-lined beaches and coral reefs.

Hosted by FAMMEJL (the Mexican Federation of Mixed Martial Arts) at the BlueBay Grand Esmeralda hotel, the nations Continental Championship provides opportunity for Pan American athletes to experience international level competition close to home soil.

IMMAF’s Pan American member nations include Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States of America and Venezuela.

The United States has produced notable World Champions that include Jose Torres, Will Starks, Benjamin Bennett, Quitin Thomas and LaNeisha Vinson; while Team Canada has also enjoyed top level success with athletes that include Alexander Martinez and more recently, 2019 junior champion, Jett Grande. Michele Oliveira, Carlos Veras and Amanda Ribas have triumphed with Gold for Brazil; and host nation, Mexico has seen its women, in particular, scoop up World medals through Nadia Vera and Daniela Hernandez.

As an Open Championships, elite amateurs from around the World are welcomed to enter. Participation in IMMAF Continental Championships accrues ranking points for athletes and teams in the World Amateur MMA Rankings, with top performing athletes seeded for the end-of-year IMMAF World Championships.

FAMMEJL President, Raul Salas, said:

“We are very happy to be the host of this great event and will work to make your visit a fantastic and comfortable experience on the beautiful beaches of Cancun. MMA unites speakers of different languages, nations and will. War in the ring – Peace on earth.”

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

“The Americas are the home to contemporary Unified Rules MMA and a hotbed of talent, from which we can expect to see new IMMAF stars emerge. The Pan Ams provide a fantastic opportunity for international athletes to test their skills, most particularly against college wrestlers and advanced BJJ practitioners. We expect the Pan Ams to increasingly grow in stature year on year and fast develop into one of IMMAF’s Tier 1 events: This Championships therefore offers a great opportunity for sponsors to engage early for preferential partnership deals and to become a part of the development of elite amateur and grass roots MMA across Pan America.”

]]>

The post Athlete Registration Opens for the 2020 IMMAF Pan Am Open Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Aussie Courtney Gray Stands Between Clash of Champions at 2020 Oceania Open https://immaf.org/2020/02/24/aussie-courtney-gray-stands-between-clash-of-champions-at-2020-oceania-open/ Mon, 24 Feb 2020 13:27:04 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32285

The post Aussie Courtney Gray Stands Between Clash of Champions at 2020 Oceania Open appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

Australia’s Courtney Gray (pictured above, center) has the opportunity to announce herself as a premier amateur talent next month as the 24-year-old stands between a battle of reigning world champions in the atomweight division of the 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships.

The event takes place from 6 – 8 March at the Tallebudegra Leisure Center on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Making her debut on the international IMMAF platform, Gray enters the 105lb (47.6kg) bracket of the Oceania Open alongside Sweden’s reigning 2019 world champion Bezhan Mahmudi (pictured, left) plus 2019 junior world champion and senior European Open gold medalist Magdalena Czaban (pictured, right) of Poland.

After winning the world title at last year’s IMMAF World Championships in Bahrain, 25-year-old Mahmudi shot to second place in the atomweight world rankings. Meanwhile Czaban, age 20, is the number-one ranked junior atomweight contender following triumph at the world championships for under 21s. The Polish standout is also ranked 3rd in the senior division (18+) after claiming the 2019 European Open title in Rome.

Mahmudi vs. Czaban would be a significant bout between two decorated leaders of the division. Their participation lends to what is set to be the biggest Oceania Open to date, welcoming more international champions and top ranked standouts than ever before, particularly in the women’s divisions.

However, the right to face Mahmudi must first be decided in the semi-final collision of Czaban vs. Gray as the tournament draw grants a bye to the highest ranked contender. Standing between two world champions, Gray is the darkhorse of what is a major atomweight mini series and victory against one or even both of her top flight rivals would launch the Aussie to international prominence as one to watch heading into the 2020 World Championships.

For more information and tickets, click HERE.

By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

]]>

The post Aussie Courtney Gray Stands Between Clash of Champions at 2020 Oceania Open appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Visit French Boxing Federation In Paris https://immaf.org/2020/02/20/immaf-visit-french-boxing-federation-in-paris/ Thu, 20 Feb 2020 13:03:00 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=39892

The post IMMAF Visit French Boxing Federation In Paris appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

A delegation from the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), headed by President Kerrith Brown, visited the headquarters of the French Boxing Federation (FF Boxe) in Paris this week.

The French Sports’ Ministry recently chose the FF Boxe as their preferred choice to run the sport of MMA in France. They will set up and manage the necessary administrative, competition and membership structures via an internal MMA specialist unit, until an independent MMA federation is ready to go it alone.

The IMMAF delegation, which also included IMMAF CEO Densign White and IMMAF CSO Nicolas Davies, met Patrick Wincke, the National Technical Director of FF Boxe, Lionel Brezephin, Technical Officer and Liaison Officer for MMA as well as Arnaud Romera, President of the National Pro Boxing League (LNBP).

The FF Boxe are already hard at work building an administrative framework for MMA in France and will begin a wide consultation process, with a series of workshops to bring together the MMA community being planned over the next 6 months. It is expected that elections for the MMA Committee within the FF Boxe will take place in September.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

“We are very impressed with the positive attitude of FF Boxe. They are reaching out to France’s MMA community and building something that is both pragmatic and sustainable. The FF Boxe has the know-how, existing structures and human resources to help MMA develop in France. We are going to work closely with them, establishing regular communications and providing any support or guidance that is required.”

Patrick Wincke said:

“It was a pleasure to welcome IMMAF to our HQ in Paris, and to tell them more about our plans and challenges. As the World Governing Body for amateur MMA, IMMAF has well established frameworks for governance, technical rules, membership, educational pathways and competition management systems and are happy to share their knowledge with us. We are looking forward to building a strong working relationship.”

The post IMMAF Visit French Boxing Federation In Paris appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Dan Henderson to Host 2020 U.S. Youth MMA National Championships https://immaf.org/2020/02/18/dan-henderson-to-host-2020-u-s-youth-mma-national-championships/ Tue, 18 Feb 2020 00:11:00 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32265

The post Dan Henderson to Host 2020 U.S. Youth MMA National Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The USA are the defending no.1 ranked nation in the IMMAF youth world rankings, following the inaugural IMMAF World Championships in 2019 when Team USA took home 28 medals including 16 golds.

As the national teams looks to continue its momentum, the USFL has announced its 2020 Youth MMA National Championships, taking place April 25-26 and with assistance from UFC Hall of Fame member Dan Henderson. The MMA legend will host the event at Dan Henderson’s Athletic Training Center in Temecula, California.

The USFL Nationals are open to athletes between ages 8 and 17. Athletes between the ages of 12 and 17 will be selected to compete at the 2020 IMMAF Youth World Championships, tentatively scheduled for August 6-8 in Rome, Italy.

Athletes who are 17-years-old on April 25 but turn 18 prior to August 6 may participate in the U.S. National Championships but will not be eligible to compete in the IMMAF World Championships.

“We must continue to drive forward and acknowledge that last year’s accomplishment guarantees nothing without participation and hard work by coaches and athletes at the local level,” USFL President Jon Frank said. “I’m looking forward to a great national championship where the top talent in the U.S. come together to sharpen each other’s tools.”

Registration deadline for the USFL Nationals is April 18, 2020. All participants must have an active USFL license to participate. Visit FightLeague.org for further information.

The post Dan Henderson to Host 2020 U.S. Youth MMA National Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
MMA Academic Coaching Qualification Launches in Northern Ireland https://immaf.org/2020/02/17/mma-academic-coaching-qualification-launches-in-northern-ireland/ Mon, 17 Feb 2020 14:43:56 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32251

The post MMA Academic Coaching Qualification Launches in Northern Ireland appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

A fully accredited college MMA Coaching Award has been launched in Northern Ireland by IMMAF Coaching Committee member, Danny Corr, in cooperation with Kingsbridge Training Academy. The Open College Network course is the first of its kind as an OCN Credit For Learning Level 3 Academic Qualification, available in Ireland and recognised across the United Kingdom. The course is fully aligned with IMMAF Coaching Qualification Level 1 (i.e. Club Coach level).

The comprehensive course is aimed at providing MMA Coaches with a structured processes and principles of ethical MMA coaching. The course offers coaches and potential coaches the tools to acquire a working knowledge of all aspects of becoming a recognised MMA coach and teach to a uniform, certified structure as required by government bodies and insurance providers.

This major development  means that MMA coaches in the region will now have access to recognised academic institution that provides nationally recognised certification. The qualification not only ensures a robust level of training for delegates, including aspects such as Safeguarding and MMA-specific First Aid, but also provides each candidate with the support and structure for its implementation in their clubs and coaching.

IMMAF Director of Development Andrew Moshanovsaid:

“ There are nations where the sport of MMA is recognised and regulated by government sports authorities. However most of these are Eastern European countries, where sport has historically been regulated by the state. The establishment of this course is a remarkable achievement on the coach education front by IMMAF’s National Federation in Northern Ireland, as this is the first ever time that the sport of MMA has been on the radar of its national educational authority and within the national qualification framework in the UK.”

The first course will begin in May 2020, if you wish to register a place please follow the links below, or for more detail contact Danny Corr –
b4-mma@ntlworld.com

COURSE INFORMATION:

Package 1: https://kingsbridgetrainingacademy.com/training-courses/level-3-award-in-mixed-martial-arts-mma-coaching-package-1/

  • Coaching Practice and principles: Saturday 2 May 2020.
  • Safeguarding Children within Mixed Martial Arts: Saturday 6 June 2020.
  • MMA Sports Trauma Course Essential First Aid for Coaches: Saturday 4 July.

Package 2: https://kingsbridgetrainingacademy.com/training-courses/level-3-award-in-mixed-martial-arts-mma-coaching-package-2/

  • Coaching Practice and principles: Saturday 2 May 2020.
  • Safeguarding Children within Mixed Martial Arts: Saturday 6 June 2020.
]]>

The post MMA Academic Coaching Qualification Launches in Northern Ireland appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Jenni Kivioja Steps Up to Test World Lightweight Champ Michelle Montague https://immaf.org/2020/02/17/jenni-kivioja-steps-up-to-test-world-lightweight-champ-michelle-montague/ Mon, 17 Feb 2020 11:01:21 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32242

The post Jenni Kivioja Steps Up to Test World Lightweight Champ Michelle Montague appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

Finland’s Jenni Kivioja could be set to provide the challenge that IMMAF world champion Michelle Montague is searching for in 2020.

A perennial top contender in the IMMAF women’s featherweight (145lb) division, the Team Finland mainstay has taken on the challenge to enter the 155lb lightweight bracket of the 2020 Oceania Open in Australia.

New Zealand’s Montague remains undefeated as an amateur mixed martial artist. The 26-year-old grappling powerhouse currently reigns as the IMMAF Oceania Open champion and World Championships gold medalist while also aiming to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a freestyle wrestler.

2019 World Championships Final: Montague vs. Webster

Despite triumphing over opponents from Russia and Sweden at the 2019 World Championships, Montague was forced to battle New Zealand team mate Mel Webster for a second time as the Kiwi duo would both advance to the gold medal decider. In 2020 the world champion is on the hunt for new international rivals and the proven skill set of Kivioja will certainly up the ante for a hugely compelling 4-woman tournament.

Kivioja is a former silver medalist of the IMMAF World and European Open championships and won the 2018 “Performance of the Year” award for her devastating head-kick KO at the European Open in Bucharest, Romania – watch below in the 2018’s Performance of the Year nominees.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBN8jnWfe-k&t=6s

Should they collide, Montague vs. Kivioja would serve as one of the most insightful bouts of the year. Kivioja may look back to her experience in the 2018 World Championships finals against Julia Dorny, in which Kivioja’s striking kept her rival at bay and unable to secure an early takedown. While Dorny eventually secured a dominant position on the ground and captured the world title via an arm-bar in the second round, the German standout presented similar threats to that of Montague with both physical strength and a strong grappling pedigree. Montague’s overwhelming prowess on the ground has to date looked unstoppable, but compared with her new rival’s trademark movement and precision striking, a focused and tactical approach from Kivioja would embody many of the characteristics that could prove testing for Montague while standing.

The 2020 Oceania Open women’s lightweight divisions will feature Michelle Montague (defending champion), Mel Webster, Jenni Kivioja and newcomer Kelsey Schroder who could make a significant impact on her IMMAF platform debut.

The 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships take place from 6- 8 March at the Tallebudegra Leisure Center on Australia’s Gold Coast.

By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

]]>

The post Jenni Kivioja Steps Up to Test World Lightweight Champ Michelle Montague appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Signs With Fighting Spirit In Media Rights Deal https://immaf.org/2020/02/17/immaf-signs-with-fighting-spirit-in-media-rights-deal/ Mon, 17 Feb 2020 08:19:06 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32246

The post IMMAF Signs With Fighting Spirit In Media Rights Deal appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has signed a media rights agreement with Fighting Spirit for the worldwide sales of its broadcast programming.

IMMAF is the only legitimate global governing body for amateur MMA, working for Olympic recognition. With 100 nations as members and National Olympic Committee recognition in around 40 countries, IMMAF has a seven-year track record of organising nations MMA Championship tournaments with a rich back catalogue of programme material. IMMAF’s recent World Championships in 2019 featured over 400 matches over 5 days, while its Continental and World events continue to grow exponentially year-on-year.

Fighting Spirit is the leading agency of combat sports around the globe. Specialised both in delayed and live distribution, Fighting Spirit is a well-known established company in the field of international TV distribution.  

IMMAF President, Kerrith Brown, said:

“IMMAF is pleased to be signing with Fighting Spirit. Our MMA platform is growing in size, depth of talent and brand stature and ours is a young sport with high engagement among the millennial and Z generations. In 2020, we have committed to offering a calendar of broadcast material, with television packages available for our Asian Open Championships, European Open Championships, Under-18s Youth World Championships and World Championships. We invite broadcasters to benefit from showcasing world-class amateur mixed martial arts action from IMMAF.”

Fighting Spirit CEO, Laurent Pourrut, said:

“Fighting Spirit is honoured to work with IMMAF. Our strategy will be to give the best worldwide exposure to IMMAF but also to see that IMMAF co-exists with professional promotions in terms of its TV exposure. Fighting Spirit distributes well-established MMA brands such as Professional Fighters League (PFL) and M-1. There are a lot of synergies.”

]]>

The post IMMAF Signs With Fighting Spirit In Media Rights Deal appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Major Additions to Oceania Open Women's Divisions https://immaf.org/2020/02/13/major-additions-to-oceania-open-womens-divisions/ Thu, 13 Feb 2020 13:17:52 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32221

The post Major Additions to Oceania Open Women's Divisions appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) is hugely excited for what will be the most compelling Oceania Open to date when the 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships take place from 6- 8 March
at the Tallebudegra Leisure Center on Australia’s Gold Coast.

In conjunction with IMMAF and hosts, the Australian MMA Federation (IMMAFA), the event is set to welcome its greatest influx to date of elite level amateur standouts, particularly in the women’s divisions where several of the world’s leading contenders will battle for gold medals at atomweight, strawweight, flyweight, bantamweight and lightweight.

The diverse lineup of premier global talent bound for Australia will feature a total of 4 current world champions, 1 former world champion, 11 international medal winners and 10 top prospects ranked in the top-5 of their division. Following the big outcomes of 2019, this collision course between some of the biggest names in women’s amateur MMA will serve up a must-see of head-to-head bouts with big implications for the year to come.

Among those set to compete, top international standouts include:

Michelle Montague (New Zealand, lightweight):

– No.1 ranked lightweight
– 2019 World champion
– 2019 Oceania Open champion

Mel Webster (New Zealand, lightweight):

– No.2 ranked lightweight
– 2019 World silver medalist

Jenni Kivioja (Finland, lightweight):

– No.4 ranked featherweight
– 2019 World bronze medalist
– 2018 World silver medalist
– 2018 European Open silver medalist
– 2018 Performance of the Year winner

Bianca Antman (Sweden, flyweight):

– No.2 ranked flyweight
– 2019 World Champion

Anne Wilson (New Zealand, flyweight):

– No.5 ranked flyweight
– 2018 Oceania Open champion

Daria Samchik (Ukraine, strawweight):

– No.5 ranked strawweight
– 2018 World Champion
– 2017 European Open champion
– 2019 World bronze medalist

Nina Back (Sweden, strawweight):

– No.2 ranked strawweight
– 2018 World silver medalist
– 2019 European Open silver medalist
– 2018 European Open silver medalist

Olivia Ukmar (Australia, strawweight):

– No.6 ranked strawweight
– 2019 World silver medalist

Jenna Horto (Finland, strawweight):

– No.5 ranked atomweight
– 2018 European Open champion
– 2018 World bronze medalist

Bezhan Mahmudi (Sweden, atomweight):

– No.2 ranked atomweight
– 2019 World champion

Magdalena Czaban (Poland, atomweight):

– No.3 ranked atomweight (senior)
– No.1 ranked atomweight (junior)
– 2019 European Open champion (senior)
– 2019 World champion (junior)


By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

]]>

The post Major Additions to Oceania Open Women's Divisions appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Tickets on Sale: 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships https://immaf.org/2020/02/11/tickets-on-sale-2020-immaf-oceania-open-championships/ Tue, 11 Feb 2020 14:30:11 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32215 The post Tickets on Sale: 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

6–8 March 2020

Gold Coast, Australia

Buy Tickets and donate to the Australian Bushfire Appeal

Watch world-class MMA athletes from around the world compete on the Gold Coast, as the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation brings its three-day, nation vs nation tournament to Australia from 6 to 8 March with the 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships.

Highlights include watching the Australian National Team go toe-to-toe against international World Champions from the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Bahrain, amongst talent from across 13 nations. Watch rising MMA stars here first; New Zealand’s World Lightweight Champion and Olympic (wrestling) hopeful, Michelle Montague, and world #1 ranked junior amateur, Muhammed Mokaev (England). Opponents are selected randomly by tournament draw across male and female weight divisions, meaning competitors only learn who they will face the night before each bout, raising the stakes for each side!

Support the Australian bushfire crisis appeal

$10 AUD from every 3-day ticket sold (at $32.74) will be donatedto support emergency work in wake of the Australian bushfires crisis, in which 10 million hectares of land has been catastrophically destroyed. Your donation will contribute to emergency funds to care for injured wildlife, help restore homes for koalas and other wildlife and support the response, recovery and restoration teams.

Buy tickets and donate to the Bushfires Appeal here: https://bit.ly/2Sx7yf4

Schedule information

Hosted by the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation of Australia (IMMAFA), matches will commence at 10:00 hrs (local time) daily at the Tallebudegra Leisure Center, Palm Beach North, with a minimum run time of 4 hours. The Championships Finals and medals ceremonies will take place on Sunday 8 March.

For international visitors, Friends & Family Hospitality Packages are available. Contact klimenko@immaf.org for information.

Follow @IMMAFed on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

The post Tickets on Sale: 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Medalist Santoro Claims First Pro MMA Title in The UK https://immaf.org/2020/02/10/immaf-medalist-santoro-claims-first-pro-mma-title-in-the-uk/ Mon, 10 Feb 2020 17:22:49 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32204 The post IMMAF Medalist Santoro Claims First Pro MMA Title in The UK appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

As a veteran medalist of the IMMAF platform, Giacomo Santoro (pictured, at the 2018 IMMAF European Open) is the latest European standout to win a domestic MMA title in the UK.

The charismatic 24-year-old fighter kicked off his professional career on the evening of February 8 with a rear-naked-choke submission triumph that saw him claim the Fusion Fighting Championships’ pro flyweight title. Santoro bested Elliot Hoye, an English up-and-comer of notable experience.

In 2017 and 2018 Santoro qualified for the Italian amateur MMA team via the national circuit under FIGMMA, Italy’s MMA regulatory body. He represented Italy at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships where he reached the quarter-final stage in Bahrain. In 2018 he earned the men’s flyweight silver medal at the IMMAF European Open Championships in Bucharest.

Santoro is the latest in a trend of European talent and veterans of the international IMMAF platform, finding success within the UK’s regional promotions.

Santoro follows the likes of former IMMAF world champion and multi-time European gold medalists, Alexandra Toncheva, showcasing Bulgarian MMA talent in Ireland and the UK, plus Robin Roos, Tobias Harila and Andreas Gustafson Berg, the prominent Swedish trio now making a name for themselves as professionals.

Who will be the next international talent to test themselves on the busy UK MMA circuit?

By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

The post IMMAF Medalist Santoro Claims First Pro MMA Title in The UK appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
What’s Next for MMA in France? https://immaf.org/2020/02/09/whats-next-for-mma-in-france/ Sun, 09 Feb 2020 19:16:03 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32193 The post What’s Next for MMA in France? appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

On Friday 7 February, the Ministry of Sport officially announced that MMA will be regulated in France under the auspices of the French Boxing Federation. The announcement was made by Sports Minister, Roxana Maracineanu, at a dedicated press conference. [Watch press announcement video via Boxe Mag – French Language]

The Minister formalised the French Boxing Federation as host for the development of MMA until December 31, 2020. She also confirmed that MMA is now recognised in France and that professional competitions could be organised.

“This is an anticipated day for lovers of MMA,” said Maracineanu. “Their passion is recognised today. I took the time to discover this sport that I did not know. If I made this choice, it is for its recognition. It was not easy and I commend all the federations that have expressed interest.”

She stated that the challenge for the FFB “will be to open up, listen and involve as many people as possible.”

So, what next for MMA in France? See below for the French Boxing Federation’s agenda for the coming months:

February 2020: An official delegation of MMA’s representatives will meet with the Boxing Federation

Mid-February 2020: Workshop meeting with the Ministry of Sports and the Director of Sports

End of February 2020: Presentation meeting for the participants in the consultation work;

March 2020: “Assises du MMA” (general presentation with the participation of MMA representatives, federations, athletes)

End of March 2020: Opening of the application process for participants in MMA working groups;

April 2020: Constitution to be formed for the MMA working groups

May 2020: Finalisation of technical and safety rules

6 June 2020: General Assembly of the French Boxing Federation and validation of the statutes, regulations and sports codes for MMA;

September 2020: Possible launch of club affiliations and MMA licenses for practitioners.

Pictured: Chaieb Rayan scores a win for France over America’s Kevin Arnold at the 2019 IMMAF World Championships in Bahrain

The post What’s Next for MMA in France? appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Board Approves 2020 Action Plans & Welcomes Uzbekistan as New Member https://immaf.org/2020/02/09/immaf-boards-approves-2020-action-plans-welcomes-uzbekistan-as-new-member/ Sun, 09 Feb 2020 18:22:44 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32184 The post IMMAF Board Approves 2020 Action Plans & Welcomes Uzbekistan as New Member appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The Board of Directors of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) met on 7/8 February in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, to formulate policy and approve action plans for 2020.

The IMMAF Directors agreed to step up efforts to gain official recognition from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Global Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF) while continuing to strengthen IMMAF’s operational capacity.

The membership of IMMAF Commissions was approved, as was a new IT platform designed to ensure efficiency of communication. In addition, a 2020 Action Plan for each team was approved.

IMMAF President with Uzbekistan federation VP Sherzod Toshmatov

IMMAF was also pleased to welcome a new member from Uzbekistan (with Observation status).

The formation of Area commissions for Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania and Americas were also approved and appropriately, a Central Asian commission, made up of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, was also launched in Nur-Sultan.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

“The creation of these Area and Regional Commissions, under the IMMAF umbrella, will allow our policies and values to develop more quickly at local level, where the impact on the development of amateur MMA will be greatest.”

The Board also approved a revamp of the IMMAF brand, website and a new IT strategy,the latter of which will be managed by a new consultant Tobias Sahlin.

Densign White, IMMAF CEO said:

“We have had a very productive couple of days of meeting, and the Board has set out clear project guidelines for our teams to activate and deliver. We will be focusing on building an efficient commercial unit to untap the potential of IMMAF to generate significant revenues.

IMMAF’s Continental Championships will kick off with the Oceania Open at the Gold Coast from 6-8 March, while registration is now possible for the IMMAF Africa Open Championships in Johannesburg, South Africa from April 15-18th.

The Asian Open will be taking place at the state of the art Palace of Combat and Martial Arts in Nur-Sultan in June.

The post IMMAF Board Approves 2020 Action Plans & Welcomes Uzbekistan as New Member appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
French Sports Ministry Announces Official Decision for MMA to be Housed within Boxing – MMA Governing Bodies Respond https://immaf.org/2020/02/07/french-ministry-decision-for-mma-to-be-housed-within-french-boxing-mma-governing-bodies-respond/ Fri, 07 Feb 2020 14:09:18 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32171 The post French Sports Ministry Announces Official Decision for MMA to be Housed within Boxing – MMA Governing Bodies Respond appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

[London. 7 February 2020] The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and the Comité Français de Mixed Martial Arts (CFMMA) welcome today’s official announcement by the French Ministry of Sport that MMA is to be legalised in France under the auspices of the French Boxing Federation.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown commented:

“The official announcement is a crucial step on the path to creating a dynamic MMA structure in France. IMMAF will continue to supply constructive support and advice to all the MMA stakeholders.” 

IMMAF Board Director and CFMMA Co-President, Bertrand Amoussou said:

 “After many years of commitment and hard work by MMA activists in France, it is a major milestone that the French Sport Ministry has recognised our sport. We are now looking forward to working hard, and in a unified way, to ensure that the structures set up to govern MMA work as well as possible.”

The decision concludes a tender launched by the Ministry of Sports in 2019 to decide under which federation the sport’s governance would be developed to enable the legalisation of MMA in France. In France, by law, all sports must be governed within the structures of a government recognised federation and meet specific administrative criteria over a number of years. The interim housing of MMA within a comparative sport’s structures has allowed the Minister of Sport to fast-track the legalisation and regulation of MMA, while MMA’s stake holding organisations within the country are still in a developmental phase.

Main image: Antony Fresno Eyssette wins a match for France in the 2019 IMMAF World Championships

The post French Sports Ministry Announces Official Decision for MMA to be Housed within Boxing – MMA Governing Bodies Respond appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Africa Open Championships Returns to South Africa for 2020 https://immaf.org/2020/02/05/immaf-africa-open-championships-returns-to-south-africa-for-2020/ Wed, 05 Feb 2020 10:44:05 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32161 The post IMMAF Africa Open Championships Returns to South Africa for 2020 appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

Registration opens for athletes today

The International MMA Federation announces the return of its Africa Open Championships to Johannesburg, South Africa, as registration opens today to MMA’s elite amateurs from around the globe. Those wishing to compete should contact their National Federation for information.

Hosted by MMASA (Mixed Martial Arts South Africa), IMMAF’s 3-day, nation vs nation tournament will take place this year at the new EFC Performance Institute from 15 – 18 April 2020, with the Tournament Draw on 14 April. The Championships will be available to watch at IMMAF.TV and the programming schedule will be published shortly.

Africa broadened its footprint on the international mixed martial arts platform in 2019, with increased representation at the IMMAF World Championships from Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Ghana. Notably, Cameroon’s Rengou Mefire Simplice earned a world bronze medal for his country. South Africa currently stands at #9 in the National Team Rankings while Cameroon has climbed to #16.

New African nations to the IMMAF fold, last year, included Algeria, Nigeria, Guinea, Ghana and Morocco, while November saw the formation of an IMMAF Committee for Africa.

Open to talent from around the world, IMMAF’s Continental Championships aim to foster regional sport development and provide international competition opportunities for local athletes by bringing it to their doorstep.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

“The 2020 Africa Open is expected to receive a boost from the spike in regional confidence following growth in 2019. The move of location of the Africa Championships is illustrative of the event’s rising prestige. Africa athletes are demonstrating themselves to be a rising talent force and the competition provides an excellent proving ground for athletes looking to build experience, and gain medals opportunities and ranking points in preparation for the end-of-year World Championships.”

IMMAF’s Director for Africa, Raymond Phillips, said:

“We are proud to be hosting the fifth annual IMMAF Africa Open in South Africa. It is exciting to see the growth in MMA on the Africa continent as IMMAF continues to grow at a magnificent tempo towards our Olympic goal. We look forward to welcoming IMMAF affiliated teams from around the world. Over the past 5 years, MMASA has had the honour to host teams from Sweden, India, Cameroon, Australia, France, Czech Republic, Bahrain, Russia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Spain, Mauritius and Lebanon, for whom we have worked to provide unparalleled hospitality: Alongside the great sporting opportunities presented, we offer unique tourist excursions to make up a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience for visitors. We look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful country of South Africa!”

The post IMMAF Africa Open Championships Returns to South Africa for 2020 appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Australia’s MMA Prospects Excited to Face World’s Best at Oceania Open https://immaf.org/2020/01/30/australias-mma-prospects-excited-to-face-worlds-best-at-oceania-open/ Thu, 30 Jan 2020 13:32:04 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32149 The post Australia’s MMA Prospects Excited to Face World’s Best at Oceania Open appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

In five weeks time Australia’s amateur MMA prospects will be taking on some of the world’s very best at the 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships on the Gold Coast.

This year the Oceania Open is set to enjoy an added influx of world champion talent with four reigning gold medalists of the IMMAF World Championships looking to claim the continental title, including New Zealand’s women’s lightweight world champion Michelle Montague, Bahrain’s Ramazan Gitinov (welterweight) and Murtaza Talha Ali (light-heavyweight), plus the renown UK prodigy Muhammad Mokaev (men’s bantamweight).

Australia currently occupies 7th place in the senior team world rankings and the Australian MMA Federation has made clear its statement of intent for success as the host nation, registering a squad of 27 athletes to take on the likes of Bahrain’s national team who lead the world rankings. Pro MMA veteran Alan Philpott, who serves as one Australia’s team coaches, says that the Aussie standouts are excited to be kicking off the year against the best in the world.

“Any of the guys on the ‘Aus’ team that I have trained or spoken to are excited to be facing the tough opposition,” Philpott told IMMAF.org. “We are expecting tough grinding fights. Everyone is pushing hard and focusing purely on themselves which I believe will play a big part in their performances.”

Philpott relocated to Australia two years ago from Northern Ireland and is a vastly experienced veteran whose professional career dates back to 2011. A seven-man coaching staff will be in the corner of Australia’s athletes. Alongside Philpott will be Joel Thompson, Daniel Ung, Ryan Dunstan, Craig Jehn, Ed Bavelock and Renato Subotic.

Philpott experienced his first IMMAF event last year at the 2019 World Championships in Bahrain and believes the exciting and developing MMA scene within Australia has plenty to give. “I had a really good time,” he commented. “Being there among some of the best coaches in the world and seeing how well everyone got on together was good to see. I thought it was very well organised and as an amateur I would have loved to of had this opportunity . I think IMMAF tournaments are the way forward and before going professional this is the road that should be took.

“I have only been in Australia and part of the MMA scene for around 2 years now and in that time I’ve seen massive growth with the likes of Robert Whittaker, Alex Volkanovski , Martin Nguyen all being world champions. You have the guys from Melbourne all making waves and then the Mohktarian brothers with Nadia Kassem and Alex Gorgees and the other top fighters all making a name for themselves and starting to open doors for further athletes. Aussie MMA is on the rise and it’s only going to get better, I truly believe.”

The 2020 Oceania Open Championships take place from 6-8 March at the Gold Coast Recreation Centre, Palm Beach. Athletes set to represent the nation at the 2020 Oceania Open include:

Loni Doyle Filimoehala: Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)  
Patrick Best: Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)                  
Dane Alchin: Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)                       
Olivia Ukmar: Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)                        
Jesse Wenzlick: Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)                
Troy Fumo: Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)                            
Corey Reeves: Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)                    
Jordan Thomas: Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)     
Abdul Mahdawi: Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)                              
Courtney Gray: Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)                     
Kim Luk: Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)    
Adam Assuncao: Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)              
Lachlan Stitt: Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)                       
Andy Le: Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)    
Samuel Marles: Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs) 
Auryn Parmley: Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
Thomas Cooper: Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)                               
Colby Thicknesse: Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)           
James Sargison: Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)                                 
Aidan Nowfel: Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)                    
Omer Suliman: Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)                   
Tye Wall: Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)   
Kiera-Lee Botfield: Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)                          
Cash Douglas: Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)                     
Angelica Silva: Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)                   
Tala Peau: Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)           
Taj Fewquandie: Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)

By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

The post Australia’s MMA Prospects Excited to Face World’s Best at Oceania Open appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Creates first Regional Committee in Africa https://immaf.org/2020/01/28/immaf-creates-first-regional-committee-in-africa-2/ Tue, 28 Jan 2020 12:20:02 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32141 The post IMMAF Creates first Regional Committee in Africa appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

Main picture: Hocine Mesboua (Algeria), IMMAF Director Wissam Abi Nader, Africa Union Chairman Avinash (Mauritius), IMMAF President Kerrith Brown and IMMAF Africa Director, Raymond Phillips at formation meeting in Bahrain, November 2019.

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) is proud to announce the creation of its first Area Committee in Africa.

Africa Federations leaders at the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards

The African Committee is will be the first of a global network of representative bodies to help deliver IMMAF strategy and goals more effectively at national level.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

“This is a key strategic development for IMMAF and proves that our organisation has reached a mature stage of its development. Our African Committee, made up of representatives from IMMAF African member federations, under the supervision of IMMAF Africa Director Mr Raymond Phillips and Avinash Ramtohul as Chairperson, will work with us to develop the sport in that continent. The local needs and priorities of MMA are best understood by those on the ground. IMMAF will support each new Committee as they develop their own structures and plans.”

Amongst the priorities of IMMAF’s Africa Committee will be:

– To promote Amateur MMA in Africa in a way that benefits African IMMAF member federations
– To assist in the development of training methodology and pathways for coaching and officials’ education
– To provide administrative and communication support to members
– To support national efforts to gain recognition of Sport Ministries and National Olympic Committees
– To organise African events and competitions
– To provide an ethical framework of good governance and counter any methods and practices that go against IMMAF standards and guidelines

The full statutes of the African Committee are now being finalised as is the entire Leadership team, communication platforms and new logo.

“I am very excited to see a shared vision and goals for the development of our sport in Africa,” said Kerrith Brown. “The creation of our first Area Committee is just the start. IMMAF is looking forward to rolling out our programme around the world in 2020.

The post IMMAF Creates first Regional Committee in Africa appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
2020 Swedish Amateur MMA Finals: Results and Video https://immaf.org/2020/01/27/32133-2/ Mon, 27 Jan 2020 13:36:18 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32133 The post 2020 Swedish Amateur MMA Finals: Results and Video appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The 2020 Swedish Amateur MMA National Championships concluded this past weekend with finals taking place on January 26 in the city of Gothenburg.

Under the Swedish MMA Federation (SMMAF), the national amateur championships span three divisions separating experience levels: C-Class, B-Class and A-Class. A-Class competitors compete under the elite level IMMAF Unified Amateur MMA Rules with SMMAF finalists battling for qualification to the national team ahead of the 2020 IMMAF international championships events schedule.

Watch the full SMMAF national championships finals below via Kimurase and scroll down for A-Class results and list of medalists. For full results including C-Class and B-Class, visit mmanytt.se.

Finals (A-Class) Results:

Men’s Flyweight: Sebastian Gonzalez defeated Rickard Wickelgren via unanimous decision (3-0)

Women’s Bantamweight: Jessica Andersson defeated Frida Vastamäki via split-decision (2-1)

Men’s Bantamweight: Jonny Touma defeated Oskar Jaskari via spli-decision (2-1)

Women’s Featherweight: Sofia Hedqvist defeated Janina Danes via submission (arm lock, Round 2 (2:51)

Men’s Featherweight: Daniyal Shamkhalov defeated Emil Andersson via submission (guillotine), Round 3 (0:22)

Men’s Lightweight: Eladio Bravo defeated Tobias Söderberg via TKO, round 2 (1:41)

Welterweight: Christian Stigenberg defeated John Oldenqvist via spli-decision (2-1)

Middleweight: Danijel Grbic defeated Alexander Lindgren via submission (guillotine), Round 1 (2:32)

Light heavyweight: Daniel Karlsson defeated Robin Enontekiö via unanimous decision (3-0)

Medalists:

Men’s Flyweight:

  1. Sebastian Gonzalez, Redline Training Center
  2. Rickard Wickelgren, Adrenaline Fighters Idrottsförening
  3. Rekar Zana, Västerås Fight Club
  4. Markus Adolfsson, GBG MMA & BJJ IF

Women’s Bantamweight:

  1. Jessica Andersson, Coloseum Fightcenter Skövde
  2. Frida Vastamäki, Kampsportstadion
  3. Kim Amprazis, Masthuggets Kampsportsklubb

Men’s Bantamweight:

  1. Jonny Touma, Pancrase Gym Stockholm
  2. Oskar Jaskari, Redline Training Center
  3. Henric Pedersen, Nova MMA Idrottsförening
  4. Awat Kohzadi, Västerås Fight Club

Women’s Featherweight:

  1. Sofia Hedqvist, Sandviken Budo & Kampsportsklubb
  2. Janina Danes, Pancrase Gym Stockholm
  3. Sofia Odbro, Fighter Centre Idrottsförening

Men’s Featherweight:

  1. Daniyal Shamkhalov, Västerås Fight Club
  2. Emil Andersson, GBG MMA & BJJ IF
  3. Alexander Lööf, Västerås Fight Club

Men’s Lightweight:

  1. Eladio Bravo, Akademi Nord Idrottsförening
  2. Tobias Söderberg, Kampsportscentret LSS
  3. Robert Nilsson, Fighter Centre Idrottsförening
  4. Abdulbasid Saidov, Kampsportscentret LSS

Welterweight:

  1. Christian Stigenberg, Söders Fight Gym
  2. John Oldenqvist, GBG MMA & BJJ IF
  3. Alireza Mohammady, Östersunds Jeet Kune Do Klubb
  4. Lina Lindeberg, Combat Academy IF Täby

Middleweight:

  1. Danijel Grbic, Redline Training Center
  2. Alexander Lindgren, Västerås Fight Club
  3. Axel Karlsson, Fighter Centre Idrottsförening
  4. Addis Saljevic, Akademi Nord Idrottsförening

Light-Hevyweight:

  1. Daniel Karlsson, East Idrottsförening Norrköping
  2. Robin Enontekiö, Fighter Centre Idrottsförening

Heavyweight:

  1. Salif Diop, Pancrase Gym Stockholm

Main photo: Stefan Romare (MMA Nytt)

The post 2020 Swedish Amateur MMA Finals: Results and Video appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Afghan MMA Community Comes Together; Over 250 Athletes Compete in Kabul Event https://immaf.org/2020/01/23/afghan-mma-community-comes-together-over-250-athletes-compete-in-kabul-event/ Thu, 23 Jan 2020 18:01:20 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32128 The post Afghan MMA Community Comes Together; Over 250 Athletes Compete in Kabul Event appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

The inspiring power of community was recently on display within Afghanistan’s developing MMA scene.

National regulatory body, The Afghan MMA Federation (AMMAF), which caters to grass roots development of MMA within the nation, welcomed over 250 young athletes to compete at an amateur championships in Kabul on January 9.

“254 athletes participated from 11 provinces,” the AMMAF stated. “It was very effective for the development of Amateur MMA and its athletes, many who travel from far provinces for their wish to compete in these events, and so we pave the ground for them. They gained good experience before returning home to their provinces, Afghan people are very talented and these athletes will be selected step by step for eventual world competition. We hope they will continue to train and experience these events until they have enough experience for the IMMAF world level. The Afghanistan MMA Federation looks forward to continuing the journey of being an active IMMAF member.”

The post Afghan MMA Community Comes Together; Over 250 Athletes Compete in Kabul Event appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
French Sport Ministry chooses Boxing as host federation for MMA https://immaf.org/2020/01/21/french-sport-ministry-chooses-boxing-as-host-federation-for-mma/ Tue, 21 Jan 2020 20:03:00 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32122 The post French Sport Ministry chooses Boxing as host federation for MMA appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

London – 21 January – The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) welcomes the announcement earlier today that the French Boxing Federation has been given the responsibility of supervising the first phase of development of the sport of MMA in France.

This decision, by the French Sport Ministry, is part of a historic legalisation of the sport of MMA in France. In a statement, the Ministry said: “Having requested and analysed all relevant information received from a number of combat federations who were interested in welcoming MMA, we have decided, by an official Ministerial Decision, to delegate the sport of MMA to the French Boxing Federation.”

It has been made clear that this will be a temporary arrangement and, after a year, the Ministry will decide whether MMA is ready to become an independent federation in France.

Kerrith Brown, IMMAF President said; “We are delighted to see that Boxing will now be the partner of MMA in France, where it has extremely well established and respected structures. Above all, we believe that by partnering with boxing, MMA will show that it shares a willingness to create the right culture and values, especially in membership and education programmes for athletes, coaches and officials. “

Densign White, IMMAF CEO said: “This is another significant milestone for the sport of amateur MMA. France is a major sporting nation and host of the Olympic Games in 2024, so partnering with boxing will be a massive boost in the growth of MMA in France. This is a major step in the ongoing campaign by IMMAF for international recognition of MMA as a sport with Olympic values.”

Pictured: French 2017 IMMAF World Gold medallist, Manon Fiorot

The post French Sport Ministry chooses Boxing as host federation for MMA appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Lightweight World Champion Michelle Montague Teases Move To Featherweight https://immaf.org/2020/01/21/32111-2/ Tue, 21 Jan 2020 16:13:02 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32111 The post Lightweight World Champion Michelle Montague Teases Move To Featherweight appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

IMMAF world lightweight gold medalist Michelle Montague recently took to Instagram, teasing a move to the women’s featherweight division of amateur MMA’s premier international platform, on the hunt for more competition.

The 26-year-old announced herself under the IMMAF banner in 2019 while representing the New Zealand national team. Montague quickly established herself as one of the most imposing and physically impressive athletes at the international level, dominating at both the Oceania Open and World Championships, accumulating a trio of first round submission wins in addition to a single knockout triumph.

Not wholly content with reigning over the -155lbs ranks, Montague is an athlete in search of challenges and is strongly considering the option of going after the more populated featherweight talent pool. If the decision is made to target a second world title at the lower weight, the question that Montague will first look to assess is that of healthily maintaining the -145lbs limit for the duration of the tournament, likely to face 4 – 5 rivals within the championship week if she is to reach the finals.

The reigning lightweight world champion is already experienced is making the featherweight limit for singular bouts and is considering adapting that experience for the tournament format and potentially sustaining the change for a future pro career.

“I’ve always been proactive and strict when it comes to dropping weight,” Montague explained. “I’ve been under that weight (145lbs) at the beginning of 2019, so I can manage it.”

Historically, the likes of UFC champion Amanda Nunes and Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino have brought significant prominence to the professional featherweight division, but for Montague, a drop to featherweight would purely be in search of rivals and states that she feels no pressure to enter featherweight territory for any perception of a spotlight, citing the PFL lightweight division as a major platform for women at lightweight with Olympic Judo icon Kayla Harrison winning the $1 million dollar championship tournament last December, in addition to opportunities under the trailblazing all-women’s promotion, Invicta FC.

“My thoughts were that I’d for sure have fights at featherweight. I don’t have any motive about the spotlight part because I see the PFL lightweight division as a huge spotlight for those girls, so nope that’s not a factor.”

Following her gold medal triumph last November, “The Wild One” quickly set out her intent to qualify for the New Zealand Olympic wrestling team bound for Tokyo 2020. Stay tuned to find out more about her Olympic mission and 2020 campaign within the international proving ground of amateur MMA.

By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

The post Lightweight World Champion Michelle Montague Teases Move To Featherweight appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
IMMAF Origins Story: “We believed in the mission” https://immaf.org/2020/01/20/immaf-origins-story-we-believed-in-the-mission%ef%bb%bf/ Mon, 20 Jan 2020 12:52:33 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32088 The post IMMAF Origins Story: “We believed in the mission” appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

Main picture: IMMAF Board celebrates at the close of the inaugural IMMAF World Championships in Las Vegas in 2014 , with August Wallen centre facing.

The lessons learned the hard way in Sweden helped to make IMMAF what it is today. Founder August Wallen talks to immaf.org about IMMAF’s origins.

IMMAF founders, August Wallen & George Sallfeldt

“IMMAF’s journey began during dark times in Sweden, when MMA, and all full-contact combat sports faced the threat of a ban,” said August.

IMMAF’s story begins in Sweden where a martial artist called August Wallen had the vision, the plan, and like all good fighters, the discipline and determination to change the world.

In 2005 Sweden elected a new Sport Minister who promptly cancelled an investigation to accept all martial arts and legalise pro boxing, which was banned in Sweden at that time. The Minister set off instead to ban all forms of full contact martial arts in the country.

As a fighter, Wallen, a.k.a. “The Strangler” fought the likes of Yuki KondoVernon “Tiger” WhiteElvis Sinosic and Chris Greig and he has also been a coach, a promoter, a manager a gym owner and entrepreneur. But his greatest MMA legacy is likely to be political, as he was a driving force in amending the legislation to save MMA in Sweden and the man who then decided to reach beyond his country’s own border to pursue a dream called IMMAF.

“This gentleman was also vice Prime Minister of our country and stood up in front of Parliament to tell a bald lie about the dangers of mixed martial arts. I joined with George Sallfeldt (now IMMAF Vice President) and Michale Sjolin to lead a campaign not just against the proposed ban but about the principle of honest political principles in our country. We developed a very engaged lobbying group. They were knowledgeable about MMA, united, passionate and believed in democracy.”

Wallen was able to underline Swedish MMA’s safety, noting that there had been no deaths in MMA in Sweden, while horse riding had 160.

“You can’t ban MMA based on the argument of death in the sport, unless you ban horse riding first,” declared Wallen.”

“We succeeded, by 2007, to get the law changed. You now needed a national permit to organise competitions in all sports where there were head strikes.

“We were able to make 116 changes to the proposed ban,” Wallen says proudly. “We believed in the mission.”

August then founded SMMAF (Swedish MMA Federation) in 2007, securing the first permits for competitions before joining the Association of Swedish Budo and Martial Arts Federation. Upon admittance, MMA became a legitimate national sport and its approved clubs could be subsidized in part by the taxpayer.

“ This was important because I knew that in order to advance, we needed recognition, and in Sweden this could only happen when you were officially recognised by the Swedish Sport Confederation, which is the umbrella organisation for sport in the country.”

By setting up this body, and obtaining a permit for amateur MMA, it was possible for professional MMA to be accepted in Sweden, initially with “softer” rules than those of the UFC.

“It took, literally, years of work to ensure that amateur MMA developed roots in Sweden and for the authorities to be convinced that professional events could be sanctioned as well. I worked very closely with the UFC and we were finally able to secure permission to organise shows with the first event happening in 2012.”

“What I would call “sportifying” mixed martial arts in Sweden was critical to success,” explains Wallen. I think MMA developed kind of backwards. All other sports start on the amateur level with people playing soccer, for instance, in their backyards. Then you get many teams in one city, then a city against a city, regions against regions and finally international competition. But in MMA the professional scene emerged first, and we were trying to create a pyramid from the bottom up.”

With a proposed ban on mixed martial arts legislated in 2006, hosting a UFC event in Sweden in 2012 was a milestone event in a remarkable turnaround for the industry in Sweden. “The world’s roughest sport has become housebroken,” was the title of an article in Sweden’s Expressen.se.


“Very few if any sports federations in Sweden have ever accomplished so much in such short time,” said Wallen proudly.


The sport of MMA was no longer marginalised but prominent in Swedish living rooms. Television was showing local promotions Superior Challenge, Vision Fighting Championship, The Zone FC, and Rumble of the Kings with UFC events, including “The Ultimate Fighter,” regularly shown as well.

“The campaign to give the sport in my country legitimacy and to create a functioning national governing body gave us the confidence and experience to do the same thing on an international stage.”

From Sweden to the World – the birth of IMMAF

By 2012, Sweden had a solid structure with a national league, national championships, good governance and pathways for coach and technical official education.

August stepped aside for George Sallfeldt to take over and they agreed that what had been achieved in Sweden, could now become a model for a worldwide organisation.

“We both agreed that the key to further development, and funding, inside Sweden was to form and grow a legitimate international federation with World Championships. Creating this system would also allow fighters to remain amateur and develop their skills, rather than turn professional too quickly. We needed an amateur pyramid in MMA where some people were turning professional without even having competed, which was a crazy situation, but that was because amateur structures didn’t exist, unlike in almost every other sport.

Wallen knew that the first step for the IMMAF was to facilitate the formation of a unified national federation for as many countries as possible. Some countries, like France, had no body at all. Other nations, like Brazil, sported a handful of federations that operated independently of each other and sometimes in competition.

“It was a challenge to build the pyramid with safety and medical issues as the top priority. We needed that reassurance and trust so people could compete safely said Wallen. “There were world champions in other sports who were coming in to compete in professional MMA, but in the long run, we also wanted really good youth training programmes and competitions to develop true mixed martial arts fighters from the start.”


“Our first job was to see that there were national federations capable of sanctioning professional events,” said Wallen. “We could then look into arranging international amateur events and hold amateur world championships. Once you hold regular international world championships, then you can search for recognition from GAISF and the IOC. When you have that, you are a recognized sport.


“Thanks to the support of UFC we were able to organise our first amateur World Championships in Las Vegas in 2014, the same year that Kerrith Brown and Densign White joined IMMAF. Both were Olympian athletes in Judo and experienced sport administrators. Working with the elected Board, they have built a team, and processes, that have brought us to the brink of recognition by GAISF and the World Anti-doping Agency.”

WMMAA – Soul Mates not Enemies

In 2012, both the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and the World MMA Association (WMMAA) were founded independently, both aiming to establish an amateur structure based on principles of good governance. WMMAA was established by Vadim Finkelchtein, owner of the M1 professional franchise.

“I remember sitting down for the first time for a meeting with Vadim and his team,” said August. “The mood was friendly and respectful, and it was quickly clear that we both wanted the same things for the sport of amateur MMA globally. We were simply on parallel paths but aiming for the same destination. We left the meeting agreeing to stay in touch and wishing each other good luck.

It became clear from meetings with GAISF that they could only accept one International organisation and that “rivalry” was a serious hindrance to international recognition. IMMAF and WMMA began discussing how to best create a unified organisation which would have the best elements of both organisations.

The process ended formally in November 2019 with WMMA being absorbed into IMMAF.

“IMMAF is now a much more powerful and inclusive organisation as a result,” said August. “I cannot underline enough now important this is. It would never have happened without the positive attitude and good faith of Vadim and his team.

UFC – Friend and Partner

“The crucial thing about the UFC support is that it has always been very respectful of the fact that we needed to be independent and to focus on the development of amateur MMA around the world.

“One important factor, from the start, was that I absolutely insisted that my own involvement was completely pro-bono. I remained an unpaid volunteer when helping to set up an MMA federation in Sweden, supporting the arrival of the first UFC Event in Sweden, to founding IMMAF in 2012. I was always insistent on the fact that this was a labour of love, a truly “amateur” commitment from me. UFC respected that committed stance.”

But it is also crucial to emphasise that UFC did not only give IMMAF verbal support but also committed finances, without which IMMAF would simply not have been able to grow and develop.

“I really think we need to acknowledge the contribution of George Sallfeldt,” said August. “He took over as President of the Swedish Federation, then joined the Board of IMMAF where he was soon elected as IMMAF Vice President.

“With a background in business, George negotiated an agreement with UFC so IMMAF could obtain, to use an entrepreneurial term the “seed funding” for vital administrative structures and activities. Thanks to this support oversee IMMAF could start to build the sport on a global level

With the UFC’s verbal and financial backing and years of hard work, the IMMAF is now the only legitimate international governing body for MMA. Through its support of IMMAF, UFC shows its real commitment to international grassroots development.

The post IMMAF Origins Story: “We believed in the mission” appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>
Cutman Committee & Licenses Renewal to Preserve Highest Standard for Athletes https://immaf.org/2020/01/17/cutman-committee-licenses-renewal-to-preserve-highest-standard-for-athletes-2/ Fri, 17 Jan 2020 15:35:44 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32076

The post Cutman Committee & Licenses Renewal to Preserve Highest Standard for Athletes appeared first on IMMAF.

]]>

  • – IMMAF establishes a Cutman Committee, headed by Robert Plant

  • – All IMMAF “B” and “C” cutmen and -women trained in 2018 and earlier are required to take revalidation course to extend their licence for 2020 and 2021.

  • The IMMAF CUT TEAM aims to preserve the highest standard of services provided to its athletes at every step of their ‘amazing’ journey .

    Over the past few years, IMMAF has provided training to more than 100 cutmen and women all over the world. Many of them are now successfully working with national promotions and at international events. IMMAF recently reviewed its and updated its programme for the training and certification of cutpersons.

    Robert Plant, unarguably one of the best cutman with IMMAF and a world expert heavily engaged in UFC shows, said:

    “ IMMAF is like no other promotion anywhere in the world. Our work is intense, but gratifying. The IMMAF CUT TEAM is committed to delivering the best quality services to the athletes at every single step of their amazing journey in sport. We are proud to be part of it and happy to see them safe and successful.”

    IMMAF’s Director of Sport Development, Andrew Moshanov, commented:

    “It is not surprising that so many international promotions are keen to invite IMMAF trained cutman to work on their events, relying on the quality of our specialists. As the calendar of IMMAF events continues to grow, we need continue to need more specialists of high calibre around the world, on every continent and in every country.”

    IMMAF’s renewed cutman programme sees the adoption of the following policies and measures to elevate this vital part of IMMAF event operations to the next level:

    1. The formation of the IMMAF Cutman Committee to oversee the development and training of the specialists in the field with Robert Plant taking the role of a Chairman
    2. The redesigned official cutman training program on offer to all IMMAF national federations
    3. A Continuous Professional Development (CPD) pathway and mandatory revalidation process.

    CPD revalidation comprises a bi-annual, short refresher course for all IMMAF cutmen, which will be mandatory for them to extend their licence for a further 2 years. It combines a theory test with a review of the cutperson’s work history over the preceding 2 years. Further information is to follow at Immaf.org

    All IMMAF “B” and “C” cutmen trained in 2018 and earlier are required to complete revalidation course to extend their licence for another two years (2020 and 2021). Register at mynextmatch.com for revalidation.

    Q & A

    Q1: Is it possible to register interest to work at IMMAF event without valid IMMAF Cutman licence?

    No. To work at any IMMAF Continental Championships, a cutman’s licence must be extended by the start of registration for that event.

    Q2: Is there any other way to extend the IMMAF Cutman licence?

    No. It is mandatory for IMMAF cutman to revalidate their licences for the next 2 years.

    Q3: What will happen if a cutman does not undergo revalidation?

    If an IMMAF licenced cutman fails to revalidate their qualification for longer than 3 months he/she will be considered as a “lapsed specialist”, and his progression to the next level of cutman qualification will cease. This means, he will not be considered for work at any official IMMAF events.

    Q4: How can a “lapsed cutman” come back onto the IMMAF ladder?

    All “lapsed experts” will need resit the full training course again in order to return to the progression ladder.

    Q5: What is the structure of revalidation course?

    It is a combination of an on-line theory test and a review of the cutperson’s work history over the preceding period of 2 years.

    Q6: What is the pass mark for revalidation test?

    The pass mark for the revalidation theory test is 95%. The working history over the preceding period of 2 years shall be reviewed by IMMAF Cutman Committee.

    Q7:  Where can one find an official IMMAF Cutman Licensing Course?

    The official IMMAF cutman courses are advertised exclusively at immaf.org and mynextmatch.com and are presented by IMMAF approved tutors.

    IMMAF LEVEL “A” CUTMEN

    The list of IMMAF “A” LEVEL CUTMeN (effective since January 1, 2020)

    1. Robert Plant (UK)
    2. Angelo Tarantini (Italy)
    3. Vahaq Petrosyan (Poland)
    4. Paolo Benedito (Portugal)
    5. Paride Scanu (Italy)
    6. Chiara Scappa (Italy)
    7. Paul Barton (UK)
    8. Joahim Alves (Portugal)
    9. Paolo Masala (Italy)
    10. Bryan Coyle (Ireland)
    11. Debora O’Sullivan (Ireland)
    12. Jessica Issacson (Ireland)
    13. Basel Alhindawi (Jordan)

    ALL IMMAF “B” LEVEL CUTMAN trained before 2018 are due for revalidation by March 1, 2020. Please, register at MyNextMatch for the on-line test.

    ]]>

    The post Cutman Committee & Licenses Renewal to Preserve Highest Standard for Athletes appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF CEO “Satisfied” with Progress of Case to Gain WADA Recognition https://immaf.org/2020/01/15/immaf-ceo-satisfied-with-progress-of-case-to-gain-wada-recognition/ Wed, 15 Jan 2020 23:13:20 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32071 The post IMMAF CEO “Satisfied” with Progress of Case to Gain WADA Recognition appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    [LONDON – 15 January 2020] A hearing, requested by the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) in the dispute regarding recognition of IMMAF as an official signatory to the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA), took place on Tuesday 14 January in Lausanne, Switzerland.

    IMMAF CEO Densign White was present together with representatives from IMMAF’s legal representatives (Gros & Waltenspühl). The hearing was technical and its main purpose was to restrict (from both parties) the number of statements to be disputed and for which witnesses will be called.

    WADA requested a suspension of the proceedings, on the grounds that the admission process to the WADA is currently being modified and that the 2021 version of the Code will most likely allow the IMMAF to become signatory.

    IMMAF has objected to this request and the judge is now considering whether a suspension of the proceedings would be appropriate.

    IMMAF CEO, Densign White, said:

    “I was satisfied that our case was heard. Our legal representatives clearly stated IMMAF’s position which is that a suspension of proceeding would not be appropriate. It would unduly delay the whole process and there is also absolutely no guarantee that WADA would accept IMMAF as a signatory when the new Code enters into force.”

    The judge also set a 10-day deadline (until Friday, January 24, 2020) to determine a restricted list of witnesses who will testify, and whether this would be in person in Lausanne or by rogatory letter. No date has yet been fixed for the next hearing.

    The post IMMAF CEO “Satisfied” with Progress of Case to Gain WADA Recognition appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF Fantasy Matchmaking: Jose Torres vs. Muhammad Mokaev https://immaf.org/2020/01/15/immaf-fantasy-matchmaking-torres-vs-mokaev/ Wed, 15 Jan 2020 11:56:29 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32066 The post IMMAF Fantasy Matchmaking: Jose Torres vs. Muhammad Mokaev appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    What if the original face of amateur MMA took on today’s most talked about amateur champion, who would have taken victory in this battle of IMMAF bantamweight prodigies?

    Jose Torres (USA)

    Torres

    In his early 20’s Jose Torres earned gold at the inaugural IMMAF World Championships in Las Vegas 2014 and retained the title in 2015 to become the first ever two-time IMMAF world champion. After his two years competing on the IMMAF platform Torres was the world’s most recognised amateur prospect and the top talent within Team USA at a time when the nation was the leading force of the World Championships. Torres blazed a trail for the prominence of amateur mixed martial artists on the IMMAF platform and was defeated only once (on his amateur debut). His 25-1 amateur record was unprecedented in 2016 and in 2019 we are seeing a number of current greats follow that same level of dedication. Torres was often credited and recognised by mainstream MMA media as the world’s most decorated amateur MMA fighter. After being the first 0-0 professional to sign with Titan FC, he would go on to win the promotion’s bantamweight and flyweight titles before completing a victorious UFC debut in 2018.

    Muhammad Mokaev (UK/England)

    Despite being yet to battle the IMMAF senior ranks, Muhammad Mokaev is undoubtedly the most talked about amateur MMA standout of today. While his back-to-back IMMAF world titles and European Open triumph have come at the junior level (under 21’s), he has continuously bested far older rivals on the UK circuit and at 21-0 is among the most dominant and most recognised talents with a reputation and following that overshadows many of his professional counterparts. At just 19 years of age this Team GB wrestling veteran and Olympic hopeful has truly redefined what it means to be a champion of amateur MMA.

    Tell us your thoughts in the comments!

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    The post IMMAF Fantasy Matchmaking: Jose Torres vs. Muhammad Mokaev appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Additions From Canada, Finland, India and French Polynesia Join 2020 Oceania Open Challenge https://immaf.org/2020/01/13/additions-from-canada-finland-india-and-french-polynesia-join-2020-oceania-open-challenge/ Mon, 13 Jan 2020 13:59:00 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32062 The post Additions From Canada, Finland, India and French Polynesia Join 2020 Oceania Open Challenge appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Athletes from Canada, Finland and India have joined the list of contenders set to challenge at the 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open in March, joining standouts from the UK, Bahrain and host nation Australia.

    The event will also welcome the first appearance of a French Polynesia national team and will feature five athletes making their international debuts following last week’s announcement confirming the region as an IMMAF member. French Polynesia has become the first French territory to supervise the practice of MMA and Amateur MMA under a government mandate.

    Canada’s’ Justin Grey continues his travels, entering the men’s featherweight division as a veteran of the 2018 IMMAF World Championships and 2019 Pan-American Open. Similarly, India’s Vaibhav Vaman Shetty enters the middleweight bracket as a veteran of the 2019 World Championships and Asian Open. At age 34, Shetty is among the oldest contenders at the international amateur level.

    In the men’s bantamweight division, 18-year-old Max Hynninen (main picture) seeks his first win on the IMMAF platform following his international debut at the 2019 Junior World Championships where he was handed a unanimous decision loss at the hands of two-time world champion Muhammad Mokaev. Nevertheless, three rounds of experience against the world’s foremost amateur contender presents a unique opportunity to learn and Hynninen will look to demonstrate his progression at the first continental Open of 2020.

    Pictured: World champions of amateur MMA – Ramazan Gitinov (left), Murtaza Talha Ali (center) and Muhammad Mokaev (right).

    The challenge is steep as some of the world’s most prominent and dominant amateur MMA standouts such as Muhammad Mokaev, Murtaza Talha Ali and Ramazan Gitinov setting their sights on the Oceania Open and a clean sweep of the year to come. Read more HERE.

    The 2020 IMMAF events calendar begins with the Oceania Open Championships taking place from 6 – 8 March at Australia’s Gold Coast Recreation Centre on Palm Beach. Athlete registration closes on Jan. 24.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    The post Additions From Canada, Finland, India and French Polynesia Join 2020 Oceania Open Challenge appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF International Growth Continues as Venezuela Becomes New Member https://immaf.org/2020/01/13/immaf-international-growth-continues-as-venezuela-becomes-new-member/ Mon, 13 Jan 2020 10:57:41 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32054 The post IMMAF International Growth Continues as Venezuela Becomes New Member appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    IMMAF, the world governing body for amateur Mixed Martial Arts, is proud to welcome Venezuela as its latest international observational member.

    Mauricio Delgado, IMMAF’s representative in Venezuela

    Venezuela becomes the 13th IMMAF member in the Pan-American Area, joining Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago and the USA. 

    IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said: “MMA is growing fast around the world with the Pan-American region one of the most diverse and dedicated. IMMAF is consistently investing in the continent with sports’ development resources, and we are excited about the potential of this region, especially with the Pan-American Open Championships heading to Cancun, Mexico in May, which is a renowned destination for combat sports.”

    Mauricio Delgado, IMMAF’s representative in Venezuela, runs the Fundacion Pugilatus, the most important combat sports promotion in Venezuela which is involved in the development of MMA, Boxing and Kick Boxing at both amateur and professional level.

    “Venezuela is very proud to become the latest member of the IMMAF family” said Delgado, “and we are working hard to develop the Venezuelan Federation. Through the MMA Venezuela Alliance, we have united the 18 MMA clubs in the country, which is equivalent to 60% of the entire MMA amateur community.”

    The priorities for Venezuela are to create the necessary administrative and competition structures as well as coaching and technical official certification pathways. “We are looking forward to preparing a Venezuelan team for IMMAF events in 2020, starting at the Pan-Am Open and with the goal of competing at the World Champs at the end of the season,” said Delgado.

    The post IMMAF International Growth Continues as Venezuela Becomes New Member appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    French Polynesia becomes the First French Territory to Legalise MMA https://immaf.org/2020/01/09/%ef%bb%bffrench-polynesia-becomes-the-first-french-territory-to-legalise-mma/ Thu, 09 Jan 2020 17:26:45 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32039 The post French Polynesia becomes the First French Territory to Legalise MMA appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    FRENCH POLYNESIAN TEAM TO COMPETE IN IMMAF OCEANIA CHAMPIONSHIPS

    In France’s mainland the Sports Ministry has postponed its decision about the guardianship of MMA and its legalisation until February. Meanwhile, in France’s overseas territory of French Polynesia, a Public Service Delegation (DSP) was granted on December 27 for the Federation of Wrestling, mixed martial arts, jiu jitsu and associated disciplines (FPLALDA) to supervise the practice of MMA and Amateur MMA competitions. A decree was published on January 3 in the Official Journal of French Polynesia.

    A Public Service Delegation can only be granted to a sports federation by the country’s President on the advice of the French Polynesia Olympic Committee: The mandate bestows on the federation a monopoly over technical rules and regulations, official competitions, education, insurance and licensing, as well as disciplinary authority. The term, ‘Polynesian Federation’, is only legally permitted in the company name of organisations that have been granted the DSP.

    In an interview with news outlet Tahiiti Info, FPLALDA President, Hiro Lemaire, commented :

    “This Public Service Delegation will also allow us to organise a Polynesia MMA Championships this year, and will allow our fighters to represent French Polynesia in the context of international competitions. This will apply in March for the (IMMAF) Oceania MMA Championships in Australia.”

    The post French Polynesia becomes the First French Territory to Legalise MMA appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    GEMMAF Confirms Additional Merge of MMA Governing Bodies in Germany https://immaf.org/2020/01/09/gemmaf-confirms-additional-merge-of-mma-governing-bodies-in-germany/ Thu, 09 Jan 2020 16:08:09 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32033 The post GEMMAF Confirms Additional Merge of MMA Governing Bodies in Germany appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    The German Mixed Martial Arts Federation (GEMMAF) has announced the completion of an agreement to further unite MMA in Germany, expanding unified goals for regulatory and development standards within the sport.

    In 2019 GEMMAF merged with counterpart, GAMMAF, to unify Germany’s standout governing bodies under the GEMMAF banner following the merger of international umbrella bodies, IMMAF and WMMAA. Despite this, GAMMAF representatives later separated from the national unity, dividing the German scene once again.

    Founded in 2014, GEMMAF serves as the oldest and largest regulatory body for German MMA and has been working with the UFC since 2014. GEMMAF begins 2020 by expanding its reach further upon merging with GAMMA², an additional sanctioning body dedicated to grappling and MMA with sanctioning experience with the organisation, We Love MMA, one of Germany’s most well established MMA promotions.

    A statement at GEMMAF.de explained, “After both the GEMMAF and the GAMMA² had done valuable development work in the field of MMA in their specializations for years, both organizations have decided to join forces and, under the GEMMAF flag, to combine all strengths of both clubs in the fields of amateur MMA, events and training use.

    “We are highly motivated to continue our work on structuring MMA in Germany in 2020 and see this cooperation as an important step towards standardizing the German MMA scene!”

    GEMMAF president Clemens Werner commented, “This is an important development and overall a great step. We are getting stronger and stronger.”

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    The post GEMMAF Confirms Additional Merge of MMA Governing Bodies in Germany appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Russia's Newest Prodigy, 20-Year-Old Igor Glazkov Wins Pro Debut With Single Punch https://immaf.org/2020/01/08/russias-newest-prodigy-20-year-old-igor-glazkov-wins-pro-debut-with-single-punch-2/ Wed, 08 Jan 2020 17:12:55 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32021

    The post Russia's Newest Prodigy, 20-Year-Old Igor Glazkov Wins Pro Debut With Single Punch appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Former IMMAF junior world champion and senior European Open gold medalist, Igor Glazkov will be one to watch in years to come after winning his professional debut last month in St. Petersburg, dropping his opponent in the opening seconds with a left hook counter.

    The 20-year-old wrestling champion of Siberia took on the best of amateur MMA in 2019 and conquered the IMMAF light-heavyweight ranks. After qualifying to represent the Russian national team under the government affiliated Russian MMA Union, Glazkov made his international debut at the 2018 IMMAF – WMMAA Unified World Championships in the junior men’s -205lb division, forcing knockout and submission stoppages to best opposition from New Zealand and the Czech Republic to earn the gold medal.

    While Glazkov’s documented record does not account for the volume of Siberian regional contests, his official record from the international IMMAF platform and Russia’s national championships stands at 11-1 with his sole defeat coming in Russia’s 2019 national championship finals against Magomed Shakhrudinov who would go on to win the 2018 IMMAF senior world title.

    In 2019 Glazkov stepped up to the elite senior level of the European Open Championships in Rome. The junior world champion laid waste to the division, proving his ability with four back-to-back triumphs from 20-23 June, first submitting Igor Kutsenko of the prominent Ukrainian national team before completing a TKO of Belgium’s Cedric Lushima.

    Glazkov could not be stopped as he entered the European Open semi-finals to make astonishingly light work of towering Frenchman Paulin Begai. In the European Open final, Glazkov completed a three round shut-out against Finland’s Kirill Andreev. The incredibly humble standout consistently showcased unstoppable wrestling prowess and struck hesitation within rivals with fierce strikes while standing and without mercy on the ground.

    Following his path of destruction at the European Open, Glazkov turned his attention to going pro and was signed to the reputable pro fight team and management group, Рать, a stable of Russian UFC talent and standout up and comers including Georgy Kichigin, Nikolay Aleksakhin, Roman Kopylov and Timofey Natyukhin who sensationally knocked out former UFC champion Eddie Alvarez last year.

    Glazkov’s corner captured footage of his pro debut, watch it HERE.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Russia's Newest Prodigy, 20-Year-Old Igor Glazkov Wins Pro Debut With Single Punch appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF Resumes Legal Action Against WADA https://immaf.org/2020/01/07/%ef%bb%bfimmaf-resumes-legal-action-against-wada/ Tue, 07 Jan 2020 09:58:16 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32017 The post IMMAF Resumes Legal Action Against WADA appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    IMMAF, the World Governing Body for the sport of amateur Mixed Martial Arts, has resumed legal action against the World Anti-Doping Agency. The case between IMMAF and WADA will be heard at the Tribunal d’Arrondissement in Lausanne on 14th January 2020.

    IMMAF is challenging the decision in the ordinary Swiss Courts because IMMAF’s application to WADA for signatory status has been rejected.

    IMMAF CEO Densign White, said: “At the end of August 2019 we accepted a request of WADA to postpone our court case (scheduled for 4 September) to allow them more time to review the current procedure for a sport organisation to become a signatory. But now WADA has asked for a further 5 months extension which the IMMAF Board of Directors has unanimously rejected.”

    “We regret that we have to take legal action, but it seems to be the only way to force this issue. WADA should be a fully independent body but maintain that they need a green light from GAISF to accept IMMAF as a signatory. We continue to wait for GAISF to consider our application for Observer status. As a WADA code compliant sport, we should also be a WADA signatory. Without this status IMMAF’s sanctions are easily bypassed to the detriment of our athletes, their safety and Clean Sport.” said White.

    IMMAF first implemented an anti-doping policy based on the World Anti-Doping Code and Standards in 2015. In-competition testing was introduced at its international Amateur MMA tournaments, commencing with the 2015 IMMAF World Championships. IMMAF works with the internationally renowned expert consultancy, Sporting Integrity Ltd, headed by Michele Verroken, to develop its anti-doping policy and programme.

     “IMMAF’s application to WADA is a crucial part of being recognised by the Sport Movement. Signing up to WADA means promoting development, open access to funding, professional services and our authority to safeguard participants,” said White. “As we start 2020, we are resolute in pursuit of international recognition which benefits our member federations and our athletes.”

    The post IMMAF Resumes Legal Action Against WADA appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF World Champions Set Sights on 2020 Oceania Open https://immaf.org/2020/01/02/world-champions-set-sights-on-oceania-open/ Thu, 02 Jan 2020 16:48:10 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32007 The post IMMAF World Champions Set Sights on 2020 Oceania Open appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    The 2020 IMMAF events calendar kicks off the new year with the Oceania Open Championships taking place from 6 – 8 March at Australia’s Gold Coast Recreation Centre on Palm Beach.

    In previous years the event has served up a collision for Australia and New Zealand’s national teams to battle for superiority of the continental Open. In 2020, the opportunity for a major impact presents itself with world leading contenders from Bahrain and UK added to the fold, set to challenge for the Oceania Open titles.

    Two-time junior bantamweight World champion and European Open gold medalist, the undefeated Muhammad Mokaev (21-0) of the English national team begins the most compelling new chapter of his IMMAF tenure. The world’s no.1 ranked junior athlete (under 21’s) makes his debut in the senior (18+) division and will be looking to prove his highly touted and world renown abilities. Already the world’s most prominent amateur prospect, the 19-year-old may yet end 2020 as the GOAT of amateur MMA.

    Following his successful return to action at the 2019 IMMAF World Championships, the also undefeated Murtaza Talha Ali (11-0) of Bahrain continues to regain momentum in the senior light-heavyweight division. The 2017 World Champion and 2018 European Open gold medalist missed a year of action with injury from the latter half of 2018 until his return at the 2019 World Championships last November. Defying any notion that he had been surpassed by those who emerged during his absence, “The Juggernaut” bulldozed his way to the world semi-finals where he would clinch a split-decision triumph over defending 2018 world champion, Russia’s Magomed Shakhrudinov, before going on to claim the gold medal and regain the world title.

    Also representing Bahrain at the Oceania Open will be welterweight world champion, Ramazan Gitinov (11-2). Amassing a 10-fight win streak in 2019 alone, Gitinov emerged as one of the most dominant athletes of the year, first shutting out two-time world silver medalist Axel Sola at the Asian Open in Bangkok before going on to a further 9 consecutive triumphs. The senior welterweight leader concluded 2019 as the Asian Open champion, European Open champion and World Champion.

    With even more international standouts expected to join the fold, athlete registration for the 2020 Oceania Open closes on Jan. 24.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran


    The post IMMAF World Champions Set Sights on 2020 Oceania Open appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF President End of Year Message 2019 https://immaf.org/2019/12/26/immaf-president-end-of-year-message-2019/ Thu, 26 Dec 2019 15:59:08 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=32002

    The post IMMAF President End of Year Message 2019 appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    As we turn into 2020, IMMAF President Kerrith Brown looks back on 2019 as the year in which IMMAF further distinguished itself as the global governing body for MMA. 

    Dear Members, Participants and Supporters, 

    Once again, we end the year in celebration of our expanding community and its increasing influence, as MMA continues to carve its place on the world stage of ‘legitimate’ sport. 

    We upped the ante in 2019 and set yet higher standards for ourselves in hosting a world first in the inaugural Youth MMA World Championships, in Rome. Over 250 pioneering athletes, of between the ages of 12 to 17, blazed a trail for youth-adapted MMA competition without head shots.     

    Our global calendar of events concluded with the showcasing of world-class, amateur MMA at its best as 50 national teams and 436 athletes converged in Bahrain for the 2019 World Championships. The depth of talent, scale and diversity of the World Championships astounds me every year: The bar continues to be obliterated as we welcome more and more phenomenal athletes from every country to represent their nation’s flag on amateur MMA’s premier proving ground.   

    In our quest for legitimacy from the international sports world, we did not sit back, and IMMAF and WMMAA pushed to gain considerable ground. IMMAF postponed its case against the World Anti-doping Agency, ceding time to the organisation for it to review its statutes in relation to how signatory applications are processed. We are anticipating an update in January, when the IMMAF Board can then make a decision about our next steps.   

    Following the companies’ merger of IMMAF and WMMAA in 2018, we concluded 2019 with a democratic amalgamation of the two Boards of Directors at a pivotal General Assembly. In 2020 this historic outcome will prove its significance. Our stewardship of MMA is undeniable with a global membership of 97 national members recognised by their government or National Olympic Committee. This is an accomplishment that cannot be rivaled.

    For another memorable year, on behalf of the unified board of IMMAF and WMMAA, to all presidents, coaches, athletes, staff, volunteers and officials, I wholeheartedly thank you for your much-valued support and loyalty. I speak confidently in saying that 2020 is set to mark our greatest turning point to date. Together, our journey continues.

    On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish you all peace, health and happiness in what will surely prove to be a momentous new year.

    IMMAF President, Kerrith Brown.

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF President End of Year Message 2019 appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF and WMMAA Federations in China Work Towards Unified Vision https://immaf.org/2019/12/22/immaf-working-with-former-immaf-and-wmmaa-federations-in-china-to-create-one-vision/ Sun, 22 Dec 2019 10:13:55 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31982

    The post IMMAF and WMMAA Federations in China Work Towards Unified Vision appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF China

    President Kerrith Brown and IMMAF Director Bertrand Amoussou have joined Director Han Jiuili in Beijing to review and support the progression of governance of MMA in China.

    The MMA Department of the Chinese Boxing Federation, headed by Jiuli, was approved as IMMAF’s national representative for China by members at the IMMAF General Assembly in November. The former WMMAA member will be working with former IMMAF member, the Chinese Mixed Martial Arts Federation, following on from the IMMAF -WMMAA merger of 2018/19.

    President Brown, who has been meeting with both groups, said:

    “CIMMAF’s contribution to the development of MMA in China is well recognised by the IMMAF Board, and we are working to consolidate the new structure and the organisation’s place within it. They have carried out some immense groundwork in developing the sport across the regions of China. It’s an honour now to work with both groups towards a unified national vision for MMA.”

    Meanwhile, Director Amoussou, has been working on the ground to introduce the IMMAF Progression Scheme into Chinese gyms.

    President Brown will be delivering a detailed report and recommendations to the IMMAF Board, at their next meeting, about the status of MMA in China and the progress of affiliation between the two Chinese National Federations.



    ]]>

    The post IMMAF and WMMAA Federations in China Work Towards Unified Vision appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Unparalleled IMMAF Standards Lead The Way in MMA Event Safety https://immaf.org/2019/12/19/31968-2/ Thu, 19 Dec 2019 17:12:34 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31968

    The post Unparalleled IMMAF Standards Lead The Way in MMA Event Safety appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    The remarkable medical standards in operation at IMMAF championships are second to none in the world of MMA. IMMAF continues to raise the bar for medical standards with each passing year, its level of processes are a leader in both mixed martial arts and the wider combat sport world.

    The 2019 IMMAF World Championships were no exception and once again served as leading example for the world governing body’s dedication to athlete safety.

    While each registered athlete is subject to medical pre-clearance prior to the championships start, including bloodwork and examinations that see IMMAF’s medical team network with doctors on a worldwide scale, the focus placed on athletes does not stop there.

    Spanning 50 national teams, a total of 436 athletes were in action at the 2019 IMMAF World Championships. IMMAF’s third-party medical consultancy and non-profit services provider, Safe MMA, provided a breakdown of processes that continued to uphold elite standards of the most extensive medical policy in MMA.

    Dr Aljulanda Almaskari hand picked his team,” Safe MMA records manager Yoni Gottlieb explained. “Working closely with them, he ensured that they first understood the sport, after which most fell in love with it! It was a source of pride to him that many of them practice martial arts, with a few even being decorated national and international champions in BJJ, boxing and MMA.

    “Through regular training sessions and active participation in events, Dr Almaskari ensured the bar was raised in delivering excellent medical care to athletes competing in one of the most physically demanding sports. The principle codes of conduct he set down were:

    – Every athlete is a fighter, a superstar, and someone special. They have families, they fight for their countries and beliefs, and most importantly they are “our patients”.
    – NO ATHLETE IS LEFT BEHIND, not in the accommodation, not in the arena or in the training ground.
    – Every incident should be accounted for and every episode should be seen through to conclusion.
    – Do the best possible; if it’s beyond your limit, seek help and advice.
    – Keep your conduct professional.
    – Keep everyone at the same distance: “my personal approach is instead of keeping everyone at an arm’s length away, embrace everyone.”
    – SMILE, HIGH FIVE, FIST BUMP… HUGS are welcome after consent!

    The phenomenal medical team led by Dr Aljulanda Almaskari comprised of:

    – 25 doctors from the following specialties

    • Orthopaedics and Trauma
    • intensive care / anesthesia
    • General Surgery
    • Plastic and reconstructive surgery
    • Emergency medicine
    • ENT
    • Ophthalmology
    • Neurosurgery
    • Internal and Acute medicine
    • Obstetrics & Gynecology
    • Dentistry and Maxillofacial surgery

    – 12 Nurses
    – 20 Paramedics
    – 6 ambulance drivers
    – 20 medical volunteers
    – 3 secretaries (maintaining records and tracking sheets)

    The extensive medical facilities covering the event were:

    – Bahrain Defence Force Hospital

    • Tertiary care hospital with acute trauma care and neurosurgical care
    • 24/7 emergency services

    – Salmaniya Medical Complex

    • Tertiary care hospital with acute emergency, trauma care and neurosurgical care
    • 24/7 services

    – Yousif Engineer Health center

    • Primary health center with radiology services
    • 200m from Sports arena

    medical care areas were set up within 2 sites:

    Venue:

    • – Medical center at the competition venue
    • – Fully equipped for care of minor injuries and for athlete screening and primary care
    • – Resuscitation and emergency intervention set up
    • – Readily available for all athletes, teams and staff as well as audience/fans

    Athlete hotel:

    • – 24 hour coverage provided by a doctor and a nurse
    • – Resuscitation and emergency intervention equipment
    • – Primary care and medications
    • – Readily available for all athletes, medical teams and IMMAF staff as well as host federation

    From approximately 388 bouts, there were a total of:
    – 18 brain CT scans, all normal results.
    – 7 facial CT scans, 1 of which was normal and 6 of which detected a total of 4 nasal fractures and 3 orbital fractures.
    – 18 X-rays, 15 of which were normal and 3 of which detected metatarsal/metacarpal bone fractures.
    – Beyond these 9 athletes with fractures, there were 42 athletes with minor injuries recorded, ranging from exhaustion to lacerations.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Unparalleled IMMAF Standards Lead The Way in MMA Event Safety appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF Board Member Looks Forward to Seeing IMMAF App Bolster the Recreational MMA Community. https://immaf.org/2019/12/17/immaf-board-member-looks-forward-to-seeing-immaf-app-bolster-the-recreational-mma-community/ Tue, 17 Dec 2019 17:31:50 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31961

    The post IMMAF Board Member Looks Forward to Seeing IMMAF App Bolster the Recreational MMA Community. appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    IMMAF broke new ground this month the announcement of an all-new MMA Grading App for coaches, students and fans of Mixed Martial Arts.
    Recap the full launch announcement HERE.

    Developed by IMMAF – the world governing body for MMA – in tandem with its Coaches’ Education and Licensing Programme, at official launch, five-hundred-and-forty-seven IMMAF certified coaches already have full access to the IMMAF App. As IMMAF continues to roll out its coach licensing courses around the world in 2020, use of the App as a teaching and assessment tool is set to become a core course component following its 2019 pilot program featuring over 500 coaches in nations such as Australia, Mexico, France, Ireland and Greece.

    Expectations for 2020 aim to see a further 1000 coaches engaged from Kazakhstan and Russia, where the sport MMA and national federations under IMMAF enjoy government affiliation and support.

    Bertrand Amoussou, IMMAF board member and founder of CFMMA in France, is a strong believer that the IMMAF App will significantly bolster the growing attention given to MMA as a sport for recreational participation.

    “MMA is entering a new era that reverses the pyramid to see it further developed from the base,” Amoussou stated. “Today, we no longer see MMA as something just for professionals, but for personal, physical and mental development, that which affects a high percentage of practitioners. The IMMAF application is the tool that characterizes this paradigm shift. It is an application 100% dedicated to this community which does not have its eye on the belt of world champion, a recreational practitioner who is aware that competitive MMA it is not their vocation, but who seeks their share of recognition for efforts and progress, materialized by a grade. Yes, we can now become an MMA black belt if we give ourselves the will to do so.

    “The application is the ideal tool for coaches, who will have at their fingertips the complete program of technical progress, level by level and technique by technique, for each of their students. This unifying program, common to all members of this new community will weigh very heavily in the world of martial arts and combat sports.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OErZm7W34g&feature=emb_logo
    ]]>

    The post IMMAF Board Member Looks Forward to Seeing IMMAF App Bolster the Recreational MMA Community. appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Danny Corr Delivers Talk on MMA Pathways Giving a Chance to Youth of Northern Ireland, at Fight For Peace Awards in London https://immaf.org/2019/12/16/danny-corr-delivers-talk-on-mma-pathways-giving-a-chance-to-youth-of-northern-ireland-at-fight-for-peace-awards-in-london/ Mon, 16 Dec 2019 10:22:19 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31955

    The post Danny Corr Delivers Talk on MMA Pathways Giving a Chance to Youth of Northern Ireland, at Fight For Peace Awards in London appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>


    Danny Corr, founder and chairman of The Ulster Amateur MMA Association visited London upon invitation to the annual Fight for Peace Awards.

    Danny (pictured above coaching his son Jack at the 2017 Amateur MMA World Championships) delivered a talk on the ground-breaking work making waves in Belfast, using the sport of MMA to impact social development within communities and effectively generate cohesion within the youth of Northern Ireland.

    The former Karate competitor and coach of Irish and Northern-Irish national teams, delivered an overview of the ZKJ Dojo’s unique program supported by Laureus Sport For Good Foundation and Fight For Peace.

    Speaking with IMMAF.org, he said: “My club, ZKJ, is among the only organisations across the UK who were awarded support to develop and run an Education and MMA Pathways program, to help young people who have either disengaged from formal learning, or who are struggling due to varying reasons to find their education and move on to further education, employment or training. The project offers the chance of unlimited training at ZKJ, formal education under the guidance of qualified teachers and access to coaching qualifications. This is also combined with vital personal development sessions to help young people build much needed resilience in their lives, probably the most important aspect. This is a culmination of many years volunteering in the community by coaches and ZKJ volunteers, giving young people a chance to train without the usual financial burdens.”

    In 2016 The Ulster Amateur MMA Association concluded its research of pilot program Fight to Unites and discovered inspiring feedback and results on the impact of local youth work through MMA in relation to ongoing issues among young people and formally received high commendation from Northern Ireland Justice Minister David Ford. Danny’s work has continued to flourish and attract further support ever since

    “When most gyms concentrate on the short term goals we have always looked at longevity and giving people not only an amazing sport but the tools and qualifications to engage in every aspect of life,” Danny explained to IMMAF.org. “To offer recognised qualifications alongside sport specific training is a dream come true. Bringing experts from education and youth work into the gyms breaks down many barriers faced by young people. I have been part of the Fight For Peace Alliance for over 5 years after I was lucky enough to visit the FFP Academy In Mare Favela in Rio. The similarities between their problems and the problems young people in our areas face are all very familiar. This inspired us to develop a similar system in the North alongside the Northern Ireland Youth Forum. It has been hard long work but this year has made a huge difference and will provide a legacy for the future. We can’t just focus of finding the best competitor otherwise we miss all the amazing young people that need our help.”

    On Saturday, December 14, key stakeholders of Northern Ireland’s MMA scene came together, discussing essential communication as the nation moves froward with the development of MMA as a legitimised sport. Danny summarised that in 2020 a big year is expected for MMA Northern Ireland.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran 

    ]]>

    The post Danny Corr Delivers Talk on MMA Pathways Giving a Chance to Youth of Northern Ireland, at Fight For Peace Awards in London appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships: Registration Opens https://immaf.org/2019/12/13/2020-immaf-oceania-open-championships-registration-opens/ Fri, 13 Dec 2019 09:29:19 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31929

    The post 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships: Registration Opens appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>


    *6 – 8 MARCH 2020
    *GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA
    *AUDIENCE ENTRY FREE

         ATHLETE CHECK-IN & TOURNAMENT DRAW: 5 MARCH

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation is proud to invite amateur MMA athletes from around the world to compete in the 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships to be held on the Gold Coast, Australia from 6 – 8 March*, as registration opens today.

    Athletes interested in competing in the three-day, nation vs nation tournament should contact their National Federation for information about how to apply.

    *Athlete Check-In and the Tournament Draw take place on 5 March, with the Tournament commencing on 6 March

    FRIENDS & FAMILY PACKAGES

    Athletes’ friends and family have the opportunity to bring their support and enjoy a holiday on the beautiful Gold Coast through the Friends and Family Package offered by host federation, IMMAFA. For the price of $250 AUD, the package includes:

    * VIP event tickets
    * Accommodation in the official athlete village
    * Breakfast and dinner included

    To register your interest and for further information email klimenko@immaf.org

    GOLD COAST

    The Gold Coast is a stunning tourist destination in Queensland, Australia with its sunny subtropical climate. It is renowned for its surfing beaches, theme parks, nightlife, and rainforest hinterland. The city hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

    Richie Cranny, President of host federation, the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation Australia (IMMAFA) said:

    “As President of IMMAFA I would like to personally extend an invitation to all IMMAF federations around the world to attend the 2020 IMMAF Oceania in March, on Australia’s amazing Gold Coast in Queensland.

    “I understand that Australia and New Zealand are a long way away for many athletes and coaches to travel to, but we intend on putting on a great three-day event in a location that will be hard to beat, ensuring we reward all those that make the trip.

    “2020 will become a timestamp of change for IMMAF in our region and we look forward to welcoming as many athletes and federations as possible in joining us.”

    ]]>

    The post 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships: Registration Opens appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF Medalist Anton Turkalj Goes The Distance With UFC Icon Gustafsson in Symbolic Bout https://immaf.org/2019/12/12/immaf-medalist-anton-turkalj-goes-the-distance-with-ufc-icon-gustafsson-in-symbolic-bout/ Thu, 12 Dec 2019 17:32:42 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31905

    The post IMMAF Medalist Anton Turkalj Goes The Distance With UFC Icon Gustafsson in Symbolic Bout appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Anton Turkalj, a former IMMAF standout and medalist of the international amateur MMA platform went the distance this week in a no-gi submission grappling match with former UFC light-heavyweight title contender, Alexander Gustafsson.

    23-year-old Turkalj faced off against Gustafsson, 32, going the ten-minute distance with Sweden’s greatest UFC star on December 11 as they headlined the card of AK Fighting Championship 3 in Gothenburg. The grappling superfight capped off a mixed lineup of MMA, Muay Thai and submission grappling bouts.

    According to MMANytt.com, the encounter played out predominantly on the feet and Gustafsson edged a points victory with momentary takedowns. However, the contest contained far more depth than that of a friendly roll.

    Sharing the headline slot alongside a certified legend of Swedish MMA, Turkalj donned his aviators and made a flamboyant entrance to the sound of Justin Timberlake’s “I’m bringing back sexy back” while flanked by carnival dancers. If it was not already clear, the occasion served as the package intended to deliver and elevate the charismatic prospect as the man who Gustafsson’s torch may ultimately pass on to.

    Following the event, Gustafsson discussed the potential of Turkalj with Sebastian Martinez:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZwKuAUxPSI&feature=emb_logo
    In one of his standout IMMAF moments, Turklj stopped Belorussian Pavel Pahomenko in the opening round of the 2018 European Open semi-finals, avenging a previous defeat from the World Championships photo by Jorden Curran.

    During his amateur tenure from 2015 to 2018, Turkalj built an overall record of 11-3, 8-3 at the elite IMMAF level representing the Swedish national team at light-heavyweight. He is a 2017 Asian Open silver medalist, 2017 World Championships bronze medalist and 2018 European Open silver medalist. He has been on fire since turning pro with a debut victory in Romania and has since dominated Sweden’s professional scene, currently 4-0 with all wins coming via stoppage.

    Former IMMAF World & European Open gold medalist Cornelia Holm stormed to a home town triumph – photo by Stefan Romare.
    Photo by Stefan Romare

    Also on the card, former IMMAF world champion Cornelia Holm (pictured above) secured her latest pro victory, charging through Amilia Kapri to force a second round TKO stoppage. Holm moves to 4-1 at the professional level and continues her momentum now with a 3-fight win streak.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran 
    Main Image: Stefan Romare | MMANytt.com

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF Medalist Anton Turkalj Goes The Distance With UFC Icon Gustafsson in Symbolic Bout appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Change to Age Band Criteria for 2020 Competitions – 12.12.19 https://immaf.org/2019/12/09/change-to-age-band-criteria-for-2020-competitions/ Mon, 09 Dec 2019 16:50:30 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31872

    The post Change to Age Band Criteria for 2020 Competitions – 12.12.19 appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Following feedback from members, IMMAF’s Age Band policy has been changed (on 12 December) so that a competitor’s age category will be determined by their age on the first day of (and throughout) the competition, as outlined below:

    Youth category C 12 – 13 years old

    The player must not be under the age of 12 years or over the age of 14 years before 1st day of competition and must be within this age band until the competition has been completed.

    Youth category B 14 – 15 years old

    The player must not be under the age of 14 years or over the age of 16 years before 1st day of competition and must be within this age band until the competition has been completed.

    Youth category A 16-17 years old

    The player must not be under the age of 16 years or over the age of 18 years before 1st day of competition and must be within this age band until the competition has been completed.

    Juniors Under 21 years old

    The player must be between 18 years of age and 20 years of age by the 1st day of competition.  The junior player cannot be over 21 years by the 1st day of competition and must be within this age band until the competition has been completed.

    Seniors 18 years old and above.

    The player must be 18 years of age by the 1st day of competition. There is no upper age limit.

    ]]>

    The post Change to Age Band Criteria for 2020 Competitions – 12.12.19 appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF elects new Board and approves 15 Committees and Commissions https://immaf.org/2019/12/06/immaf-elects-new-board-and-approves-15-committees-and-commissions/ Fri, 06 Dec 2019 13:05:41 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31794

    The post IMMAF elects new Board and approves 15 Committees and Commissions appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    A historic Ordinary General Assembly of IMMAF (International Mixed Martial Arts Federation) concluded with the merger of IMMAF and WMMAA and a new Board of Directors elected unanimously to represent the sport of amateur MMA.

    Presidents from 48 national federations representing the amateur sport worldwide, meeting in Bahrain on November 15, elected Kerrith Brown (GBR) as IMMAF President. Former WMMAA President Vadim Finkelchtein (RUS) was elected as Honorary President, to stand alongside August Wallen ( SWE ) who was elected as Honorary President in 2015. George Sallfeldt (SWE) was elected as Vice President and retiring board member Frank Babcock (USA) was elected as an Honorary Board Member.

    The new 14 strong board has three women for the first time: Denitza Batchvarova (USA), Tatiana Klimenko (RUS) and Svetlana Odintsova (NED).

    Also elected to the IMMAF Board: Bertrand Amoussou (FRA), Stewart Brain (AUS), Wissam Abi Nader (LEB), Viktor Frolov (RUS), Han Jiuli (CHN), Iskander Karim (KAZ), Raymond Phillips (SA), Tom Madsen (GER) and Galimzhan Yessenov (KAZ).

    Kerrith Brown said; “The schedule over the past year has been extremely gruelling as we continue our crusade for recognition. More than ever, we will focus on the job at hand and overcome all obstacles in our drive to gain our place amongst other international sport federations.

    “The merger with WMMAA will certainly increase our operational efficiency. With the two organisations now merged, we have greatly expanded our geographical reach, boosted our membership base and reinforced our credibility as the only legitimate world governing body for MMA.”

    Vadim Finkelchtein underlined the great progress that has been made over the past 12 months, “The representatives from both organisations are now working strongly together. We share the same vision and passion to develop a world governing body for MMA that delivers for our federations and athletes and can be fully integrated into the global sport community.”

    As well as approving an increased budget for 2020, the General Assembly also elected the following Committees for a two-year term:

    Arbitration Committee

    Rupert Beloff (GBR)
    Sean Sullivan Gibbs (GBR)
    Eusebio Rivera (PAN)
    Mathieu Laplante-Goulet (CAN)

    Anti-doping Committee

    Michele Verroken (GBR)
    Max Shephard (GBR)
    Jack Kreindler (GBR)
    David Wang (USA)
    Veronika Nalbatska (BUL)

    Anti-doping Disciplinary Committee

    Max Shephard (GBR)
    Michele Verroken (GBR)
    Prem Kumar (MAL)
    Andrew Smith (GBR)

    Disciplinary Committee

    William Lexton Jones (GBR)
    Thomas Rudkin (GBR)
    Stanislav Nedkov (BUL)

    Nominations Committee

    Jesper Gunnarson (SWE)
    Clements Werner (GER)
    JD Du Plessis (RSA)

    The General Assembly also voted to create new commissions in addition to Coaching, Medical, Ethics and Regulatory Affairs.

    Athletes’, Business Development, Communications and Marketing, Competition Bidding, Women’s and Youth Development Commissions will support the work of the IMMAF Board and administration, bringing the total number of expert advisory groups to 15. The list of members, including chairpersons, and 2020 strategic plans for each committee/commission, are now being finalised.

    IMMAF is also setting up new Area Commissions for Africa, Asia, Europe, Pan-America and Oceania to give each area a stronger voice and a structure that can help to accelerate the amateur sport’s development at regional level.

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF elects new Board and approves 15 Committees and Commissions appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF Launches Pioneering MMA Grading App for Coaches, Students & Fans of Mixed Martial Arts https://immaf.org/2019/12/05/immaf-launches-pioneering-mma-grading-app-for-coaches-students-fans-of-mixed-martial-arts/ Thu, 05 Dec 2019 19:09:07 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31786

    The post IMMAF Launches Pioneering MMA Grading App for Coaches, Students & Fans of Mixed Martial Arts appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    ·       IMMAF CELEBRATES 547 CERTIFIED MMA COACHES

    AVAILABLE AT THE APP STORE
    & GOOGLE PLAY STORE

    For all enquiries contact moshanov@immaf.org

    Download the pioneering IMMAF application at the App Store or Google Play store and join the new global hub for MMA, where practitioners can develop skills and acquire certifications via the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s grading system for mixed martial arts.

    As an athlete / practitioner, the IMMAF App. will allow you to:

    • Log and track your progress based on the newly established MMA-specific grading system

    • Get upgraded and download your belt certification

    • Learn and improve your skills thanks to our vast media collection of learning videos and instructions

    • Chat with your coach

    As a coach, the IMMAF App will allow you to:

    • Log and track the progress of your students based on the newly established MMA-specific progression scheme

    • Enable you to upgrade your students’ belts

    • Adjust your students’ progression and score their moves

    • Chat with your students and send broadcast messages to all your students

    • Learn and enhance your skills thanks to our vast media collection of learning videos and instructions

    Additionally, the IMMAF App. is the best way to receive all the latest news and competition information for global amateur MMA.

    Developed by the world governing body for MMA in tandem with its Coaches’ Education and Licensing Programme, at official launch, five-hundred-and-forty-seven IMMAF certified coaches already have full access to the IMMAF App. As IMMAF continues to roll out its coach licensing courses around the world in 2020, use of the App. as a teaching and assessment tool is set to become a core course component:

    ·        All MMA coaching course candidates in 2020 will be required to download App for registration as part of the course. A how to register guide will be sent to all candidates prior to the seminar.

    ·        Part of the course program will be an introduction to the MMA grading procedure using the IMMAF App.

    ·        Candidates for Level 1 and Level 2 will have access to familiarize themselves with all techniques prior to the course in the “TEACH ME” application section. Note: Videos are free up until Orange belt 

    ·        Candidates will be officially graded and registered on the IMMAF application by the seminar coach after training completion.

    IMMAF’s Director of Sport Development, Andrew Moshanov, said:

    “I am happy that the IMMAF Coach Education and Certification Programme for MMA has materialised from its earlier pilots into a solid program in 2019, and we were able to see 547 coaches through it. Leading numbers are in Australia, Mexico, France, Ireland and Greece. There are many more coaches working around the globe, queuing to join up in 2020.

    “Next year will see program taught in Kazakhstan and Russia, where MMA is a state supported sport and nearly a 1,000 of coaches are expected to join the IMMAF certified coaching taskforce. 

    “From 2020 we will be offering to all coaches the multi-lingual state-of-art App, allowing them to run the grading of their athletes in the new way – online.”

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF Launches Pioneering MMA Grading App for Coaches, Students & Fans of Mixed Martial Arts appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF World Champion Michelle Montague; The Next Big Thing in Women's MMA https://immaf.org/2019/12/04/immaf-world-champion-michelle-montague-the-next-big-thing-in-womens-mma/ Wed, 04 Dec 2019 16:37:52 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31732

    The post IMMAF World Champion Michelle Montague; The Next Big Thing in Women's MMA appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    IMMAF World Championships gold medalist and Team New Zealand Olympic hopeful Michelle Montague is looking like the next big thing in women’s MMA.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsyABJQ_4wI

    The 26-year-old emerged as a powerhouse on the IMMAF – WMMAA international amateur platform, cruising to gold medals at both the Oceania Open and World Championships of Amateur MMA in 2019. Montague’s immense physical presence is underpinned by tremendous execution and calculation, her hunched stance cuts a daunting figure opposite rivals.

    96 women competed across 10 divisions at the 2019 IMMAF World Championships as the platform leads the way in women’s participation at the elite amateur level. Through Montague, New Zealand retained its dominance of the senior women’s lightweight division. Both Montague and fellow Kiwi Mel Webster met in the -155lb tournament final on November 16 in Bahrain. Montague’s crushing ground game forced yet another first round stoppage, on this occasion via an arm-bar submission as she follows in the footsteps of Gase Sanita who ruled over the same division for their country in 2017 and 2018.

    Victory over Webster was Montague’s third triumph of the week at the 2019 World Championships, first stopping Russia’s Olga Rasina via TKO in the quarter-finals before finishing Sweden’s Sandra Meneses with a guillotine choke in the semis.

    The grappling specialist overwhelmed her Russian opposition in the quarter-finals.

    While the former rugby player continues on her MMA journey, she also aims to qualify for the New Zealand Olympic Freestyle Wrestling team set for Tokyo 2020. Montague visted the Sky Sport NZ studio to discuss her IMMAF World Championships victory:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyXxpadSbO4

    The 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships take place from 6-8 March in Australia at the Gold Coast Recreation Centre, Palm Beach.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF World Champion Michelle Montague; The Next Big Thing in Women's MMA appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Putting Malaysia on The Map: Colleen Augustin Claims First World Championships Medal For Her Nation https://immaf.org/2019/11/27/bronze-medalist-colleen-augustin-puts-malaysia-on-the-map-taking-her-nation-to-the-world-championships-podium/ Wed, 27 Nov 2019 13:30:56 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31709

    The post Putting Malaysia on The Map: Colleen Augustin Claims First World Championships Medal For Her Nation appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    From Atomweight to Lightweight, a total of 96 women competed across 10 divisions at the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA World Championships.

    Among the international standouts, a newcomer to the World Championships platform would emerge as one of the competition’s biggest surprises and most exciting new faces.

    In the women’s senior strawweight bracket, Colleen Augustin made history for the Malaysian national team, achieving a bronze medal to secure her country’s first World Championships podium finish. Augustin and Team Malaysia made it as far as the semi-finals and would produce one of this year’s surprise triumphs in the process.

    After her 3-0 start to amateur MMA at the domestic level, the IMMAF platform first glimpsed the 21-year-old in May at the 2019 Asian Open. Taking place in Bangkok, Augustin bested a duo of rivals from the accomplished Kazakhstan national team, both via TKO to earn the continental gold medal, earmarking herself as one to watch at the November World Championships.

    At the 2019 Asian Open: Augustin overwhelmed opponents with aggression in the Thai clinch.

    Augustin exceeded expectations in the World Championships strawweight tournament, arguably pulling off this year’s biggest upset in the women’s ranks.

    Nina Back of Sweden is a former World silver medalist and two-time European Open silver medalist.

    Sweden’s Nina Back was on the hunt and considered a most likely finalist having achieved silver at both the 2018 World Championships and 2019 European Open, but the aggression and fearlessness that Augustin showcased in Bangkok carried through to Bahrain where she sensationally eliminated Back after a split-decision nod over England’s Marie Spencer progressed her to the final 16.

    The Malaysian clinched a rare TKO stoppage over the Swedish standout during a sudden-death fourth round of their final-16 encounter with the judges having declared a draw after the standard 3 rounds of action. After a back-and-forth bout Augustin had more left in the tank and secured a dominant position on the ground.

    With both athletes exhausted, the finishing strikes from Augustin did not carry ferocity, but the display of unanswered volume highlighted to the referee that Back was no longer sufficiently defending herself.

    Augustin’s journey would eventually be halted by Ukraine and the highly talented Anastasiya Svetkivska. The reigning European Open gold medalist pulled off an arm-bar submission against the Asian Open standout and Svetkivska went on to win the 2019 world title, defeating Australia’s Olivia Ukmar in the final.

    Malaysia’s final victory of the 2019 World Championships booked the nation’s first bronze medal in amateur MMA’s premier tier. In the quarter-finals Augustin out-pointed Estonia’s Ksenija Grabova by way of unanimous decision.

    “It was exciting and an amazing experience for me,” she stated. “Since it was my first time competing MMA at a world stage. I learnt a lot and I’m very blessed to be given the opportunity to be there and be able to represent my country and put Malaysia on the map.

    “In 2020 I definitely hope to come back to the world stage and become a world champion.”

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Putting Malaysia on The Map: Colleen Augustin Claims First World Championships Medal For Her Nation appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Sweden Strike Gold Again; Women's Talent Carried Nation Back to IMMAF World Championships Success https://immaf.org/2019/11/25/sweden-strike-gold-again-womens-talent-carried-nation-back-to-immaf-world-championships-success/ Mon, 25 Nov 2019 16:44:28 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31684

    The post Sweden Strike Gold Again; Women's Talent Carried Nation Back to IMMAF World Championships Success appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    After an unsettling 2018 World Championships saw Sweden fail to win a single gold medal for the first time in years, the nation once again struck gold at the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships, taking place from 11 – 16 November.

    Under the Swedish MMA Federation (SMMAF), Sweden’s national amateur MMA team has a decorated legacy as one of the most accomplished countries on the international amateur platform.

    Having taken first place in the World Championships medal tables in 2016 and 2017, Sweden’s success plummeted in 2018 with 2 silver medals and a single bronze, the former no.1 nation finished in 10th place among senior national teams with 12 nations achieving greater medal hauls.

    This year Sweden returned to the podium summit, earning 5 medals at the 2019 World Championships with 2 golds and 3 bronze.

    Ultra focused Daniyal Shamkhalov prepares himself for action flanked by coaches Anders Ohlsson (left) and Jörgen Hamberg (right). Photo credit: MMA Nytt | Stefan Romare,

    Men’s featherweight hopeful Daniyal Shamkhalov showed great promise in the face of Russia and Bahrain’s wrestling focused dominance of the men’s divisions. Shamkhalov clinched a sensational split-decision triumph over reigning European Open champion Abdulmanap Magomedov before succumbing to a decision loss against eventual gold medalist, Akhmed Gazimagomedov.

    The remaining 4 medals were achieved by Sweden’s women who elevated the nation to third place in the final senior medal table and stood out as the most accomplished female group of any senior team.

    It was, however, an uncertain start as World and European Open silver medalist Nina Back was eliminated early on by Malaysia’s Asian Open gold medalist Colleen Augustin, who emerged as one of the platform’s newest breakout stars.

    Former European Open gold medalist Frida Vastamäki continued her fight for World Championships gold in the continuously evolving bantamweight division. Vastamäki carried herself through another three round war against England’s Lexi Rook, taking her second hard fought victory of the British standout, but it was China’s Guangmei Han who would eventually clinch the title after a decision win over the Swede in the semi-finals.

    On another day, each of Sweden’s 2019 bronze medalists could have found themselves on an alternate path towards the finals, but luck of the tournament draw saw each contender facing off against the eventual gold medalist. Sandra Meseses took bronze in the women’s lightweight division with a TKO stoppage over France’s Cruau Marine before falling victim to New Zealand’s unstoppable new powerhouse, Michelle Montague.

    Bezhan Mahmudi (right) battled Kazakhstan’s Ayan Tursynova in the women’s atomweight final.

    Sweden’s first gold medal of the 2019 World Championships campaign was secured in the atomweight bracket by Bezhan Mahmudi. Mahmudi fought her way to the -105lb division final where she bested Team Kazakhstan mainstay Ayan Tursynova. With a unanimous decision triumph Mahmudi ended a 13-fight win streak of the Asian Open gold medalist and three-time Kazakh national champ.

    Bianca Antman (pictured above) completed Sweden’s gold medal tally, in the 125lb flyweight bracket. After receiving a bye in the final 16, Antman kicked things off with an Americana submission to finish South Africa’s Ceileigh Niedermayr. In the semis, Antman took a unanimous decision over Russia’s Zemfira Alieva and would complete her trilogy of triumphs with a rear-naked-choke in the second round of the final to stop New Zealand’s Hannah Dawson who picked up her second world silver medal.

    Team Sweden answered its own call to action at this year’s World Championships. While its men’s team adapts to the evolving competitive landscape, we are reminded that Sweden’s female talent will continue to grasp the torch passed from former greats with Svenska Flaggan flying high over the women’s ranks.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Sweden Strike Gold Again; Women's Talent Carried Nation Back to IMMAF World Championships Success appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Who Will Be The First 3-Time Amateur MMA World Champion? https://immaf.org/2019/11/22/who-will-be-the-first-3-time-amateur-mma-world-champion/ Fri, 22 Nov 2019 15:01:53 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31669

    The post Who Will Be The First 3-Time Amateur MMA World Champion? appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    The international IMMAF platform is yet to crown a 3-time World Championships gold medalist, but 2020 could well be the year.

    With national teams and the global talent pool of amateur contenders constantly evolving, the challenge to retain becomes ever greater each year as many would learn in 2019. Over 400 athletes and 50 national teams featured at the 2019 Unified IMMAF | WMMAA World Championships in November, the premier proving ground for the world’s best amateur MMA prospects.

    Among them, three reigning champions would go on to equal the world record of being crowned world gold medalist for a second time. Since the inception of the IMMAF World Championships in Las Vegas 2014, just 5 athletes had previously achieved the feat with each having since turned their attention to pro career aspirations.

    Jose Torres (men’s bantamweight) USA – 2014, 2015

    Will Starks (welterweight) USA – 2015, 2016

    Irman Smajic (heavyweight) Sweden – 2016, 2017

    Gase Sanita (women’s lightweight) New Zealand – 2017, 2018

    Delyan Georgiev (men’s featherweight) Bulgaria – 2017, 2018

    This year the exclusive list of pioneering champions welcomed two new faces at the senior level (age 18+) in addition to the first ever two-time junior world champion (under 21’s). All 3 standouts remain active amateur competitors and each is undefeated while still in the running for a history making third world title in 2020.

    The hottest prospect in amateur MMA today, 19-year-old prodigy Muhammad Mokaev retained his junior men’s bantamweight gold medal for Team England in dazzling form, extending his amateur record to 21-0.

    At the senior level, Kazakhstan’s Bagdat Zhubanysh continued his own unblemished form with masterful instincts and technique in the cage, adding a second men’s strawweight world title to his resume.

    Monstrous super-heavyweight champion Pasha kharkhachaev secured a second gold medal in the +265lb division for Bahrain. While this year’s tournament served his toughest experience to date, the famed KO specialist proved to any skeptics that he could last all three rounds.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Who Will Be The First 3-Time Amateur MMA World Champion? appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Ukraine Duo Reflect on IMMAF World Championships Gold Medals https://immaf.org/2019/11/21/ukraine-duo-reflect-on-immaf-world-championships-gold-medals/ Thu, 21 Nov 2019 17:55:36 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31642

    The post Ukraine Duo Reflect on IMMAF World Championships Gold Medals appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    The Ukraine amateur MMA team impressed once again at the IMMAF | WMMAA Amateur MMA World Championships, taking 4th place in the senior medal table for the second year in a row.

    While 2018 women’s strawweight champion Daria Samchik and light-heavyweight contender Dima Ruzhytskyi each picked up bronze medals, it was men’s flyweight Ata Atdayev and women’s strawweight Anastasiya Svetkivska who earned gold medals for the country.

    Interestingly, 21-year-old Atdayev and Svetkivska, also 21, journeyed on near identical paths to claiming the world title. In 2018 both athletes were on the receiving end of their first losses, yet both would progress to represent the Ukraine national team and win gold at the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA European Open Championships.

    At the European Open in Rome last June, Svetkivska would best the UK’s Marie Spencer and Germany’s Clara Danssmann before upsetting Swedish world silver medalist Nina Back in the final. Meanwhile, Atdayev bounced back from his world championships defeat to complete an exhausting quartet of back-to-back unanimous decision wins against opposition from Finland, the Republic of Ireland and Spain before overcoming the highly touted Suleyman Bershigadov of the formidable Russian national team.

    The international outing served valuable experience to the Ukraine duo, who had shown promise yet encountered international rivals of greater experience. Upon addressing the reality, the young hopefuls bounced back with great effect in 2019. “My first loss in Europe helped me understand at what level I could perform and what I could show,” Svetkivska explained. “After returning home, I finalized my areas which lagged behind and confidently, no doubt claimed victory.”

    At last week’s World Championships, Svetkivska collected four wins including three arm-bar submissions, stopping the momentum of Malaysia’s Asian Open champion Colleen Augustin during the semi-finals. In the gold medal decider she defeated Australia’s Olivia Ukmar with a second round arm-bar submission, avenging teammate and former world champion Daria Samchik who Ukmar defeated earlier in the tournament.

    Having retained the strawweight gold medal for her country, Svetkivska summarized her experienced and what it means for her to represent the official Ukraine national team with over 400 athletes and 50 nations contesting the 2019 IMMAF World Championships: “The tournament was really hard and long, emotionally exhausting. The most difficult fight for me was the first (Nurzhamal Sadykova – Kazakhstan), because the most important thing is to start well, but the rival gave me a decent competition.

    2019 Women’s Strawweight medalists, left to right: Olivia Ukmar (silver), Anastasiya Svetkivska (gold), Colleen Augustin (bronze), Daria Samchik (bronze), alongside IMMAF director Bertrand Amoussou (far left)

    “I think my finale was one of the best,”Svetkivska commented, “I showed a good and thoughtful strategy, worked carefully and outplayed my opponent.”

    For Atdayev’s World Championships campaign, he defeated Finland’s David Pajunen for a second time before forcing a TKO stoppage over Frenchman Antony Fresno Eyssette.

    It was in the World semi-finals when Atdayev solidified himself as the flyweight division’s next big thing, taking a unanimous decision triumph over Russia’s defending world champion, Ruslan Satiev. The Ukrainian went on to triumph in the final over the USA’s Israel Galvan.

    Atdayev launches a high kick against Galvan.
    2019 Men’s Flyweight medalists, from left to right: Israel Galvan (silver), Ata Atdayev (gold),
    Yernaz Mussabek (bronze), Ruslan Satiev (bronze).

    After the tournament Atdayev expressed that he was determined to be the first Ukrainian men’s contender to win gold at the World Championships.

    He added: “Thanks to our national team coaches Rasul Ibalaev and Anton Blank, we have become stronger. My trainer Rasul and I dismantled it and in the final it was like a reading a book for us. When we raised our hands, it was the most significant and happy day.”

    “It is very important and a big responsibility for me to represent Ukraine in the international arena, because I want my country to be talked about as a leader among leaders,” Svetkivska stated. Ukraine now occupies 5th place in the senior world team rankings.

    See full lists of Junior and Senior medalists and medal table HERE.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Ukraine Duo Reflect on IMMAF World Championships Gold Medals appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Russia Break Medal Records For Second Year in a Row at 2019 Amateur MMA World Championships https://immaf.org/2019/11/20/russia-break-medal-records-for-second-year-in-a-row-at-2019-amateur-mma-world-championships/ Wed, 20 Nov 2019 13:35:52 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31623

    The post Russia Break Medal Records For Second Year in a Row at 2019 Amateur MMA World Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Russia set new medal table records for the second year in a row at the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA World Championships.

    In 2018, Team Russia fielded a squad of 26 amateur MMA standouts; 15 seniors, 11 juniors and with a total of over 370 athletes competing between the Junior and Senior competitions.

    With over 370 competing athletes from across 50+ nations, a combined total of 26 world titles were up for grabs in 2018. 15 Russian athletes progressed to the 2018 finals; 8 seniors, 7 juniors. The feat set an inaugural junior world championships record and edged out Sweden’s record of 7 senior finalists, set in 2016. Russia’s 5 senior gold medals also topped Sweden’s 2017 record of 4.

    The World responded in 2019, this year with 436 total athletes – 118 juniors and 318 seniors – spanning 50 national teams with host nation Bahrain leading the senior team rankings with Russia in a close second place. Russia had previously secured top spot in the junior team rankings.

    Russia headed for Bahrain as hot favorites across the majority of divisions. However, talent from nations such as Italy, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Sweden, Ukraine, Bahrain, Poland, Czech Republic, Finland, Mexico and Estonia reminded us that the growing depth of the IMMAF World Championships will always stimulate evolution of competition and tougher challenges with each passing year.

    In the senior women’s divisions Russia achieved 3 bronze medals in what was a tough campaign to reach the podium. The Russian women’s team is still a relatively new project following it’s inception earlier this year, and so it is one area where Russia faces some of its toughest challenges. After winning gold at the 2019 European Open, Flyweight division favorite Viktoriya Dudakova was forced to settle for bronze after her quarter-finals victory resulted in an injury and withdrawal from the semi-finals.

    Yet still, Russia’s team prowess could not be overshadowed. The team of 45 strong: 28 seniors alongside 17 juniors, topped the respective medal tables and further raised the bar of success at the World Championships stage.

    Russia achieved a haul of 19 medals at the senior level, equaling their record of 5 gold medals alongside 4 silver and 10 bronze while setting a new record for total senior finalists (9).

    Russia built upon 2018’s inaugural Junior World Championships records, matching the current gold count record of 5 while also earning 3 silver and 3 bronze. The team extended its junior finalists record from 7 to 8.

    Under the Russian MMA Union, the nation’s squad is selected based on those who medal at the Russian national championships. Russia’s great depth of talent has seen the country’s governing body implement an alternating squad between the World and European Championships, meaning that several prominent IMMAF champions of the 2018 calendar did not feature at the 2019 Worlds due to the squad rotation order.

    Russia’s 2019 Senior Gold Medalists:

    At senior bantamweight, national champion Gadzhimurad Zavaev earned gold in the place of 2018 champion Sharapudin Magomedov who has since turned professional.

    Ahmed Gazimagomedov earned gold at bantamweight, taking the place of Bulgaria’s Delyan Georgiev, the two-time world champion who has also turned his attention to a pro career.

    National champion Murad Umachiev conquered the lightweight ranks while Gazimurad Magomedov took gold at middleweight and
    Gadzhimurad Bagaudinov avenged a European Open loss to Bahrain’s Shamil Gaziev and went on to claim the heavyweight title.

    For full list of medalists and medal tables click HERE.

    Main picture: Men’s lightweight gold medalist, Murad Umachiev

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Russia Break Medal Records For Second Year in a Row at 2019 Amateur MMA World Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    President's Message: Olympic Dream is Real https://immaf.org/2019/11/19/presidents-message-olympic-dream-is-real/ Tue, 19 Nov 2019 16:47:53 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31630

    The post President's Message: Olympic Dream is Real appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    On behalf of myself and the New Board of IMMAF, we would like to thank all staff, officials, volunteers, Presidents, nations and of course all participants of the 2019 World Championships in Bahrain.

    Congratulations to all of our coaches and athletes on their outstanding performances. It was an amazing tournament with some phenomenal men and women showcasing elite talent. 

    The performance in all areas of this year’s championships has been out of this world, providing everything you would want from MMA as an Olympic Sport. The hairs on the back of my neck have stood up so many times and I have felt the passion throughout the week.

    With 436 Athletes and 50 national teams and over 380 bouts this was a history-making, bar-raising event for amateur MMA. Future stars have a platform and have arrived in style, the sport is here to stay and the next generation have showed again that they have a voice and the Olympic dream is real.

    What has stood out to me during this World Championships is the attitude, commitment, spirit and behaviour of all athletes, coaches and teams who have championed respect, patience honour and integrity throughout, which I am deeply proud of and grateful for.

    I would like to thank His Highness, Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad al Khalifa who is a representative for His Majesty the King for charity work and youth affairs, for his endorsement. I also thank His Highness, Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad al Khalifa as the driving force behind MMA within Bahrain as founder of KHK MMA. This dedication and commitment has been instrumental in the growth, development, regulation and recognition of sport of MMA in the Kingdom of Bahrain and truly inspirational to MMA in the Middle East.

    Thanks also to Shaikh Salman bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Combat Sports Council, and to Shahid Mohammed, president of BRAVE, for his support and vision of IMMAF and the Combat Week.

    Bahrain has been a tremendous host to us once again as the host federation: BMMAF President Mohammed Qamber has provided invaluable support of IMMAF’s vision and contribution to its delivery. His loyalty and commitment is greatly appreciated and without the hard work and determination of himself and his team, the event would not have run so smoothly.

    Between the IMMAF team and BMMAF, it was through all of your efforts that we as a team delivered another successful event. Congratulations to all for a job well done.

    Great thanks is also due to our amazing sponsors who enable us to continue to develop this amazing platform.

    Once again, many thanks on behalf of all of at IMMAF. Together we stand!
    Keep it real 2028

    Yours in MMA,

    IMMAF President Kerrith Brown

    ]]>

    The post President's Message: Olympic Dream is Real appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    2019 Amateur MMA Awards – Winners https://immaf.org/2019/11/15/2019-amateur-mma-awards-winners/ Fri, 15 Nov 2019 13:17:29 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31607

    The post 2019 Amateur MMA Awards – Winners appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) proudly hosted the second Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday night (November 14) in Manama, Bahrain.

    The annual ceremony took place following the Junior finals and Senior semi-finals of the IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships. Senior finals are set to take place on Saturday, November 16.

    With a full house of IMMAF | WMMAA leaders, international members, athletes, staff and special guests, the prestigious black-tie occasion celebrated the achievements of athletes, teams and individuals over the past year who contributed to furthering the development of amateur MMA.

    Recap category nominees and winners below:

    Block A – Member Vote

    Voted on by IMMAF-WMMAA members in attendance at the 2018 World Championships during registration. Each nation had 1 vote.

    Senior Female Athlete of the Year

    • Nina Back (Sweden)
    2018 World Championships: silver
    2019 European Open: silver

    • Alish Smith (Australia)
    2019 Oceania Open: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold

    Gase Sanita (New Zealand) – WINNER
    2018 World Championships: gold

    • Alexandra Kovacs (Hungary)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    Senior Male Athlete of the Year

    • Sola Axel (France) – WINNER
    2018 World Championships: Silver
    2019 Africa Open: silver
    2019 Pan American Open: gold
    2019 Oceania Open: gold
    2019 European Open: gold

    • Pasha Kharkhachaev (Bahrain)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold
    2019 European Open: gold

    • Bagdat Zhubanysh (Kazakhstan)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold

    • Lee Hammond (Ireland)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    • Delyan Georgiev (Bulgaria)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 European Open: bronze

    Junior Athlete of the Year

     Muhammad Mokaev (UK)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 European Open: gold

    • Shamsutdin Makhmudov (Russia) – WINNER
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 European Open: gold

    • Reo Yamaguchi (Japan)
    2018 World Championships: silver
    2019 European Open: silver

    • Megan Morris (UK)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    • Mahboob Khan Mohammed (India)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    National Team of the Year

    Bahrain – WINNER
    • Russia
    • Kazakhstan
    • Ukraine
    • Ireland

    Block B – IMMAF / IMMAF Partner Awards

    Elected by IMMAF committees or partners (where marked)

    • Official of the Year: Derek Hickey (Ireland)
    • Cutperson of the Year: Bob Plant (UK)
    • Host Federation of the Year: FIGMMA (Italy)
    • Most Proactive Federation in Coach Education and Training: IMMAFA (Australia)
    • Most Proactive Federation in Implementing the “Technical Progression Scheme”: CMMAF (Cyprus)
    • MyNextMatch Award of Excellence (elected by MyNextMatch): KAZMMA (Kazakhstan)

    Block C – Public vote via Social Media

    • Green Hill Performance of the Year (for best performance in a single bout): Salamat Isbulaev (Russia)
    • SafeJawz Golden Mouthguard Award for special commitment to the sport of MMA and embodiment of its core values: Ezekiel Wetere (New Zealand)

    Keep up with IMMAF World Championships updates via Social Media;

    ]]>

    The post 2019 Amateur MMA Awards – Winners appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Live at The Sun Online & L'Equipe: 2019 IMMAF World Champs Finals https://immaf.org/2019/11/12/live-at-the-sun-online-lequipe-2019-immaf-world-champs-finals/ Tue, 12 Nov 2019 20:37:18 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31595

    The post Live at The Sun Online & L'Equipe: 2019 IMMAF World Champs Finals appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    WHERE TO WATCH LIVE ONLINE:
    2019 MMA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS FINALS

    · THE SUN ONLINE (FREE-TO-VIEW) – UK, IRELAND, USA, AUSTRALIA & CANADA
    · L’EQUIPE (FREE-TO VIEW) – FRANCE
    · ALL 5 DAYS AVAILABLE ONLY AT IMMAF.TV (PPV) – WORLDWIDE

    WATCH the Senior Championships Finals of the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA World Championships of Amateur MMA live online at The Sun Online in the UK, Ireland, USA, Australia and Canada or at L’Equipe in France on Saturday 16 November from 11am UTC +3 [est. 6 hours runtime].

    The Championship Finals sees the culmination of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s flagship, 5-day, nation vs nation tournament with 440 competitors from 50 countries across 16 weight divisions (male and female) in Senior and Junior categories. Programming includes medals ceremonies for Gold, Silver and two Bronze awardees in each division.

    The competition is underway this week at the Khalifa Sports City Arena, in Manama, Bahrain from 11 – 14, and 16 November.

     All days of competition are available to watch via pay-per-view and subscription offer at IMMAF.TV.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation is the only legitimate, global governing body for amateur MMA, seeking official sport recognition with the vision of seeing MMA into the Olympic Games. All matches take place under Unified Amateur MMA Rules

    IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

    “We are excited to announce the streaming of our Senior Championships Finals at The Sun Online and L’Equipe These platforms will give a wider audience the opportunity to enjoy the high octane, entertainment value of elite, international level, amateur MMA.

    “Our tournament format demands athletes to compete up to five days in a week against opponents selected by draw and our competitors may compete more than twenty-times a year. Many return to IMMAF over a number of years, some to medal or Champion multiple times. Because of their incomparable experience, IMMAF Champions are becoming increasingly headhunted by the big, international pro shows. Here’s where MMA fans can expect to catch some of tomorrow’s stars first.

    “I would like to thank our IMMAF TV platform partner, Sportradar, for facilitating additional live streaming to these brand-name media platforms.”

    ]]>

    The post Live at The Sun Online & L'Equipe: 2019 IMMAF World Champs Finals appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Senior Female Athlete of The Year Nominee: Alexandra Kovács (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/11/06/senior-female-athlete-of-the-year-nominee-alexandra-kovacs-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Wed, 06 Nov 2019 13:01:02 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31539

    The post Senior Female Athlete of The Year Nominee: Alexandra Kovács (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    The culmination of a dominant amateur career came together for Hungary’s Alexandra Kovács in 2018.

    Team Hungary’s greatest amateur MMA product has cast a commanding figure over the IMMAF platform ever since her 2016 European Open debut where she bested a trio of the flyweight division’s leading faces, including that of former world champion Gabriella Ringblom, who found herself dissected by the Kempo specialist.

    Kovács went on to win the European Open gold medal for a second time in 2017 and headed into the year’s World Championships as the heavy favorite for the women’s flyweight gold. However, Kovács’ momentum was halted upon going the distance with Brazil’s Michele Oliveira. Despite the final round ending with Kovács in control on the ground and raining down strikes, Brazil’s Oliveira had done enough to secure a scorecards victory and would go on to win the world title with Kovács awarded bronze.

    The year of Kovács at the IMMAF World Championships came in 2018 where she took no prisoners. The 28-year-old enacted her most impressive form to date as she stormed through all comers, including reigning European gold medalist Janika Antinmaa, to force a trio of TKO stoppages.

    Kovacs’ ground game remained devastatingly precise as she continued to collect TKO stoppages.

    As the competition grew tougher each year, so did Kovács, expanding her European Open legacy to complete a take-over of the World Championships. Hungary’s greatest export performed a surgical dissection of her rivals on the international amateur platform, showcasing her her sniper-like kempo style of unsettling push kicks, precision strikes and hip tosses with the exclamation point of an unrelenting killer instinct on the ground.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    Senior Female Athlete of The Year nominations include:

    • Nina Back (Sweden)
    2018 World Championships: silver
    2019 European Open: silver

    • Alish Smith (Australia)
    2019 Oceania Open: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold

     Gase Sanita (New Zealand)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    • Alexandra Kovacs (Hungary)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    By IMMAF.org lead writer/photographer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Senior Female Athlete of The Year Nominee: Alexandra Kovács (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Watch Live & On-Demand: 2019 MMA World Championships https://immaf.org/2019/11/05/watch-live-on-demand-2019-mma-world-championships%ef%bb%bf/ Tue, 05 Nov 2019 21:07:08 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31528

    The post Watch Live & On-Demand: 2019 MMA World Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Bagdat Zubanysh

    AT IMMAF.TV
    • 5 DAYS OF MIXED MARTIAL ARTS ACTION FROM BAHRAIN
    • 11 – 14 & 16 NOVEMBER 2019, FROM 11AM (UTC +3)
    • 1st DAY FREE: PPV FROM €4.99 (EARLY BIRD)

    WATCH the 2019 MMA World Championships live at immaf.tv on 11 – 14, & 16 November from 11am UTC +3, as the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF | WMMAA) presents 5 days of nation vs nation, amateur combat sports action from Manama, Bahrain.

    Taking place at the Khalifa Sports City Arena, the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA World & Junior World Championships is set to showcase 452 athletes from 51 nations across the two tournaments, in 16 weight divisions (male and female). The matches will play out across up to 4 cages at a time to an estimated daily run time of about 7 hours.

    All matches take place under Unified Amateur MMA Rules.

    Go to immaf.org for information about competing National Teams and other competition information

    STREAMING SCHEDULE

    Monday 11          Round 32 for Seniors / Round 16 for Juniors ( 4 cages)

    Tuesday 12         Round 16 for Seniors / Round 8 for Juniors (4 cages)

    Wednesday 13    Round 8 for Seniors / Round 4 for Juniors (semi- finals) (4 cages)

    Thursday 14        Round 4 for Seniors (Semi Finals) / Finals for Juniors and Medals Awards (3 cages)

    Saturday 16        Finals for Seniors, Medals Awards and Closing Ceremony (1 cage)

    VIEWING INFORMATION

    The 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA World & Junior World Championships will be available for audiences around the world to watch LIVE and on demand 11 – 14, & 16 November from 11am (UTC + 3) daily from just €4.99 (Early Bird).

    ALL matches will be uploaded to the platform this month as
    as videos-on-demand and will be available as part of the pay-per-view package.

    Matches schedule information for each ring will be published daily throughout the Championships at immaf.org full tournament information available at mynextmatch.com

    PRICING

    • Day 1 (11 November) is FREE to view
    • Take advantage of the Early Bird offer before 12 November

    “Early Bird” offer (until the 11 November) After 11 November
    Championship Pass – € 4.99 Championship Pass – € 9.99 Season Pass – € 24.99  


    IMMAF.TV PACKAGES

    Championship PASS:

    • Watch the live stream in HD quality from ALL DAYS of a specific tournament.
    • Access to watch all videos on demand from that tournament

    Special Offer: 
                        € 9.99 (or € 4.99 Early Bird before 12 November)

    2019 Season Subscription:

    • Watch every live stream and video on-demand in HD quality brought to you by IMMAF in 2019 Season.
    • € 24.99

    IMMAF.TV is brought to you in partnership with SPORTRADAR

    Join the conversation on Twitter at @IMMAFED using #MMAWorlds2019

    CONTACT INFO@IMMAF.ORG FOR INFORMATION

    ]]>

    The post Watch Live & On-Demand: 2019 MMA World Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Senior Female Athlete of The Year Nominee: Gase Sanita (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/11/05/senior-female-athlete-of-the-year-nominee-gase-sanita-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Tue, 05 Nov 2019 13:58:25 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31512

    The post Senior Female Athlete of The Year Nominee: Gase Sanita (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Gase Sanita cemented her legacy last year on the international IMMAF platform. As the most formidable product of the New Zealand national team, she set herself apart as the most successful woman in World Championships history, equally the two-time gold medalist record.

    At the 2018 World Championships, Sanita became the first woman to earn a second gold medal at the IMMAF World Championships to continue her reign from 2017. She joins the iconic list of two-time world champions and pioneers of amateur MMA’s premier level, alongside Jose Torres (USA), Will Starks (USA), Irman Smajic (Sweden) and Delyan Georgiev (Bulgaria.) Sanita reigned for two years as the powerhouse of the women’s lightweight division.

    Sanita’s 2017 showing displayed impressive boxing savvy, working hard as the shorter athlete bullying her way to the inside with great effect. While her 2018 campaign saw less striking exchanges, her evident physical strength was ever prominent and truly menacing as she forced back-to-back first round submission stoppages in the semi-finals and final.

    Taking on Chinese striker Yudan Bao, the Kiwi world champion remained busy as the pair exchanged fists. Sanita controlled the distance with level changes and speed before clinching. Sanita’s strength was unanswered as she utilized the body lock to methodically walk Bao across the cage to the fence before hoisting Bao into the air for a high-crotch takedown. From there, double hooks set up the rear-naked-choke submission with forceful hip pressure leaving Bao no choice but to tap with her feet.

    Sanita faced towering Russian
    Polina Kobzeva in the 2018 World Championships final.

    The strength of Sanita’s clinch-game and submission application was showcased once more, in the World Championships final against towering Russian Polina Kobzeva. Sanita ducked under the early barrage of strikes to secure double under-hooks followed by an outside trip takedown.

    While Kobzeva maintained a half-guard, it was no match for Sanita’s pressure. Despite the Russian’s defense, Sanita adjusted her posture to secure an arm-triangle choke with incredible effectiveness, enough to render Kobzeva unconscious.

    2018 World Championships: Women’s Lightweight medalists.

    At age 29 Sanita turned professional earlier this year having continued to blaze the trail for Team Zealand, who since 2016 have maintained their place within the World Championships finals producing gold medalists in successive years.

    A tradition of the IMMAF World Championships finals, Team Zealand motivate their finalist with a spine tingling Haka.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    Senior Female Athlete of The Year nominations include:

    • Nina Back (Sweden)
    2018 World Championships: silver
    2019 European Open: silver

    • Alish Smith (Australia)
    2019 Oceania Open: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold

     Gase Sanita (New Zealand)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    • Alexandra Kovacs (Hungary)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    By IMMAF.org lead writer/photographer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Senior Female Athlete of The Year Nominee: Gase Sanita (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Senior Female Athlete of The Year Nominee: Alish Smith (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/11/04/senior-female-athlete-of-the-year-nominee-alish-smith-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Mon, 04 Nov 2019 17:52:48 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31498

    The post Senior Female Athlete of The Year Nominee: Alish Smith (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    It has not been an easy journey for Australia’s Alish Smith, yet her undeterred dedication in the face of frustrating results has seen the young contender remain a prominent fixture at the international level and in 2019 the 23-year-old picked up her first international accolades on the IMMAF platform.

    Representing the Aussie national team, Smith has been a consistent supporter of IMMAF championships since 2017 and remains committed to seeking out competition at the elite amateur level. Having been stopped only once, way back in 2017 by Swedish world silver medalist Anja Saxmark, subsequent mixed results do not tell her full story with the striking specialist consistently going the distance against standout medal winners, time and again battling with heart and talent yet coming up short on the scorecards.

    On Day 2 of the 2018 World Championships, a knockout win over Ukraine’s Olga Volkova showed the potential of Smith’s striking and power of a well timed counter shot.

    Despite facing elimination in the World Championships quarter-finals, Smith would go on to bounce back and turn heads as she hit the ground running in 2019, picking up gold at both the Oceania Open and Asia Open championships, besting Australia’s Jacinta Austin and China’s Huihua Ni in respective finals, taking her progression even further with exciting displays of counter grappling and control on the ground which contributed greatly the breakthrough performances that saw her take to the podium and climb the world rankings.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    Senior Female Athlete of The Year nominations include:

    Nina Back (Sweden)
    2018 World Championships: silver
    2019 European Open: silver

    • Alish Smith (Australia)
    2019 Oceania Open: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold

     Gase Sanita (New Zealand)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    • Alexandra Kovacs (Hungary)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Senior Female Athlete of The Year Nominee: Alish Smith (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Senior Female Athlete of The Year Nominee: Nina Back (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/11/01/senior-female-athlete-of-the-year-nominee-nina-back-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Fri, 01 Nov 2019 13:44:50 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31471

    The post Senior Female Athlete of The Year Nominee: Nina Back (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Consistency is key for relevance on the international IMMAF platform. Sweden’s Nina Back remains at the summit of the women’s strawweight rankings having never failed to reach the finals of the World Championships or European Open.

    The senior women’s strawweight division has evolved considerably over the past two years. The 115lb bracket featured 9 contenders at the 2017 World Championships. This year, the division is set to host 18 of the World’s best with 21-year-old Back having spearheaded the division’s growth.

    The fact that Back continues to pursue her first gold medal under the IMMAF banner is a testament to the depth of talent that she battles among. Since her international debut at the 2018 European Open, Back’s talents have grown to showcase great strength and forcefulness having taken the reigns from her predecessor and former world champion, Anna Astvik.

    Photo credit: Daniel Schalander @PHOTOGRAPHYVIKING

    Back has brought a new level of intensity to the strawweight ranks, booking her place in the finals of the 2018 Worlds and 2019 European Open with submission and KO stoppages on each occasion with 3 out of 4 finishes secured without mercy in the opening round.

    As the World and European silver medalist, Back is the number-one seed and the most consistent performer in her division and Team Sweden’s hunger to regain the strawweight world title no doubt linger. While the challenge grows greater each year, Back remains as the division’s perennial benchmark.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    Senior Female Athlete of The Year nominations include:

    • Nina Back (Sweden)
    2018 World Championships: silver
    2019 European Open: silver

    • Alish Smith (Australia)
    2019 Oceania Open: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold

     Gase Sanita (New Zealand)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    • Alexandra Kovacs (Hungary)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Senior Female Athlete of The Year Nominee: Nina Back (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Senior Male Athlete of The Year Nominee: Axel Sola (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/10/30/senior-male-athlete-of-the-year-nominee-axel-sola-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Wed, 30 Oct 2019 19:24:27 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31457

    The post Senior Male Athlete of The Year Nominee: Axel Sola (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    2019 is anticipated to be the final year of Axel Sola’s storied amateur tenure. As one of the most decorated and consistent challengers since 2017, the Frenchman is set for a final showing at the 2019 IMMAF Amateur World Championships, in hunt of that which has continued to elude him, the world title.

    Sola has been the most active athlete of the 2018-2019 year. As a welterweight in 2018, he earned silver at the World Championships for a second time. In arguably the most competitive division, Sola entered the 2018 Worlds as the reigning European Open gold medalist and further set himself apart with decision victories against fellow medal favorites, Luxembourg’s Yann liasse, Sweden’s Robin Roos and Bahrain’s Russian born Murad Guesinov

    The 22-year-old possesses exceptionally rounded abilities and can certainly boast wrestling and well-drilled sprawls as a standout facets of his game. Nevertheless, a back-and forth showcase resulted in a decision loss to Russia’s Islam Bagomedov at the World Championships Finals, yet served as a motivator for Sola to set off and target maximum experience in 2019, committing to every continental open of the new year and moving up in weight to join the middleweight ranks.

    2018 World Championships final: Sola lands a right hand on Bagomedov

    The journey has produced mixed results thus far, but not without valuable lessons. Sola cruised to gold medals at both the Oceania and Pan-America Championships, and while booking his place in the Africa Open final, he opted to withdraw due to a hand injury with the European Open still to come.

    A decision loss to Ramazan Gitinov at the Asia Open was a reminder that Sola’s kryptonite lies within the most experienced of wrestling specialists, yet the exposure will no doubt factor in his approach to this year’s World Championships campaign. The Frenchman looked on course to retain his European Open title in 2019, with a first round arm-bar submission of Dmytro Honcharenko (Ukraine) and a one-sided decision over Welshman Jack Tucker. A captivating semi-final was lined up against Russia’s Magomedkhabib Umarov, but injury struck again as Sola’s aggravated hand issues resulted in his withdrawal.

    His self-funded commitment towards utilizing the international platform are inspiring and deserving of commendation. Accumulating a 9-2 run (18-4 overall,) Sola’s impressive medal haul of the past year includes World Championships silver (2018), Oceania Open gold, Pan-Am gold, Africa Open silver and European Open bronze.

    French MMA Commission (CFMMA) President Bertrand Amoussou presented sola with his 2018 European Open gold medal.

    Securing the coveted gold medal at the 2019 World Championships, taking place this November, would no doubt place Sola’s determination to reach the summit among the sport’s greatest triumphs as the finest example of evolution through the catalyst of competition.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    Senior Male Athlete of The Year nominations include:

    • Sola Axel (France)
    2018 World Championships: Silver
    2019 Africa Open: silver
    2019 Pan American Open: gold
    2019 Oceania Open: gold
    2019 European Open: bronze

    • Pasha Kharkhachaev (Bahrain)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold
    2019 European Open: gold

    • Bagdat Zhubanysh (Kazakhstan)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold

    • Lee Hammond (Ireland)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    • Delyan Georgiev (Bulgaria)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 European Open: bronze

    By IMMAF.org lead writer/photographer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Senior Male Athlete of The Year Nominee: Axel Sola (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Senior Male Athlete of The Year Nominee: Lee Hammond (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/10/28/senior-male-athlete-of-the-year-nominee-lee-hammond-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Mon, 28 Oct 2019 16:16:34 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31448

    The post Senior Male Athlete of The Year Nominee: Lee Hammond (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Lee Hammond completed one of the great returns IMMAF competition at the 2018 World Championships. In a coming of age showcase the young Irishman tapped into his finest form to date as an amateur prospect and did so having bounced back from a life-threatening accident while training overseas.

    Representing the Republic of Ireland, the 23-year-old is set to defend his world title in November at the 2019 IMMAF World Championships, but his journey to the gold dates back to 2015. At the inaugural European Open Championships, Hammond made his international debut as one of Ireland’s most talked about up and comers and accomplished a bronze medal in the lightweight division.

    The UFC’s Jack Shore emerged to win the European Open in 2015. Norway’s Geir Cemsoylu earned silver with the Irish duo of Hammond and Thomas Martin picking up bronze.

    His progress continued with the IMMAA national team. The SBG product under John Kavanagh produced a sensational run of four wins at the 2016 European Open, three by way of arm-bar submission, eventually earning silver after a split-decision loss in the final to Bulgaria’s Ferdun Osmanov.

    Hammond vs. Osmanov, 2016.

    The 2017 World Championships were expected to be the scene of Hammond’s gold medal breakthrough, but fate took a turn as he was hospitalized while in Portugal, suffering a ruptured bowel.

    Upon recovering, Hammond qualified once again to represent his country and hit the ground running, continuing with momentum as he had never left.

    Making a huge impact without delay, Hammond went viral on Day 1 of the 2018 World Championships, capturing the attention of the MMA world his trademarked Hammoplata submission of Romania’s Stefan Tonu.

    A second submission win over Sweden’s Mario Markus set up the captivating showdown of Hammond taking on Ukraine’s dominant Pavel Senchenko, the 2018 European Open gold medalist and favorite for the world title. After a demanding three rounds going to a split-decision, Hammond secured his biggest win to date and proved his worth among the elite of his division, solidifying himself a gold medal contender.

    The final chapter of Hammond’s World Championships campaign was against surprise finalist, Finland’s Marko Sarasjärvi. The duo battled to a split-decision and Hammond was dramatically forced to endure a near completed arm-bar hold from Sarasjärvi, but Hammond’s overall control and high level BJJ with continuous transitions from the bottom saw his journey come to the end with Ireland receiving gold on the lightweight division podium.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    Senior Male Athlete of The Year nominations include:

    • Sola Axel (France)
    2018 World Championships: Silver
    2019 Africa Open: silver
    2019 Pan American Open: gold
    2019 Oceania Open: gold
    2019 European Open: bronze

    Pasha Kharkhachaev (Bahrain)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold
    2019 European Open: gold

    • Bagdat Zhubanysh (Kazakhstan)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold

    • Lee Hammond (Ireland)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    • Delyan Georgiev (Bulgaria)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 European Open: bronze

    By IMMAF.org lead writer/photographer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Senior Male Athlete of The Year Nominee: Lee Hammond (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Senior Male Athlete of The Year Nominee: Pasha Kharkhachaev (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/10/28/senior-male-athlete-of-the-year-nominee-pasha-kharkhachaev-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Mon, 28 Oct 2019 12:06:23 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31428

    The post Senior Male Athlete of The Year Nominee: Pasha Kharkhachaev (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Pasha Kharkhachaev stunned audiences upon his debut at the 2018 IMMAF World Championships and continued to bring fear upon his division throughout the year, bringing a touch of outrageous spectacle to the international amateur platform.

    After storming through the quarter and semi-final stages, the enigmatic super-heavyweight blasted his way to the 2018 World Championships gold medal with perhaps the most devastating strike ever seen on the amateur platform, knocking out Russian national champion Grigoriy Ponomarev with a single punch in the opening round of their world championship final (main picture.)

    Kharkhachaev would go on to cement himself as one of the most must-see performers in all of MMA. Showcasing unprecedented one-punch stopping power, he picked up both the European and Asian Open titles in 2019.

    Having progressed from his sambo background, where opponents would meet a similar end, Kharkhachaev brings his conquering appetite to the sport of mixed martial arts. To date, the 24-year-old remains undefeated (6-0) having flattened all comers in the opening round, consistently punching his way to one title after another. His walk away knockout triumphs are fast becoming legend and his notoriety has captivated Bahrain as he represents the country’s national team.

    Kharkhachaev has all the makings of a lovable draw, reminiscent of unassuming big hitters such as Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson. There is, however, even greater substance to his ability, far beyond that of a novel appearance and ridiculous KO power.

    Kharkhachaev’s laid back approach sees him slowly, menacingly, walk down his opponents with a blank expression of contempt, much in the style of cinematic boogeymen such as Friday the 13th’s Jason or Halloween’s Michael Myers. The moment of his strike then comes with astonishing quickness, leaving opponents devastated in the blink of an eye. In the 2019 European Open final, a hesitant Ruslan Moiseienko appeared lost as the daunting world champion slowly approached.

    Considered by some within the Bahrain camp as the team’s greatest talent, the true extent of his capability may in fact remain hidden. While his success is underpinned by punching power, the precision and speed of his execution must be praised in equal measure. Kharkhachaev displays reserved agility with spinning back kicks and head kicks, delivered as if to be a teaser, to keep us guessing just what he will do next. Rumor has it that the near 350lb standout is able to pull off both a backflip and full splits.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    Senior Male Athlete of The Year nominations include:

    • Sola Axel (France)
    2018 World Championships: Silver
    2019 Africa Open: silver
    2019 Pan American Open: gold
    2019 Oceania Open: gold
    2019 European Open: bronze

    • Pasha Kharkhachaev (Bahrain)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold
    2019 European Open: gold

    • Bagdat Zhubanysh (Kazakhstan)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold

    • Lee Hammond (Ireland)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    • Delyan Georgiev (Bulgaria)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 European Open: bronze

    By IMMAF.org lead writer/photographer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Senior Male Athlete of The Year Nominee: Pasha Kharkhachaev (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Senior Male Athlete of The Year Nominee: Bagdat Zhubanysh (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/10/25/senior-male-athlete-of-the-year-nominee-bagdat-zhubanysh-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Fri, 25 Oct 2019 13:07:27 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31434

    The post Senior Male Athlete of The Year Nominee: Bagdat Zhubanysh (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    In his debut year at the international level, Bagdat Zhubanysh was a breakout star of the IMMAF – WMMAA Unified World Championships, accelerating without any hindrance to the summit of the men’s senior strawweight division, claiming the 2018 World & 2019 Asian Open titles.

    Weighing in at 115lbs and little over 5 feet tall, Bagdat reigns as Kazakhstan’s standout amateur export of the past year. Representing the prominent Kazakh national team, Bagdat was the nation’s sole gold medalist at the 2018 World Championships.

    At the 2018 Worlds Bagdat presented his rounded skill set of striking and grappling, securing a first round arm-bar submission over Bahrain before an opening round TKO against Lebanon in the semi-finals.

    Against Ukraine’s undefeated Roman Syrkin (pictured above), Bagdat exemplified the talent depth of the IMMAF platform with a three round showcase of fine-tuned ability, explosive movement and sharp execution without hesitation; springing in-and-out of range, launching superman punches, spinning back-kicks and completing elevated takedowns with masterful counters to all that his opponent could throw.

    The reigning world champion extended his rule in 2019, earning the gold medal at the Asian Open Championships in Bangkok, swiftly capturing submission wins over challengers from Malysia and national team mate Yerulan Kabdulov in what was an all-Kazakh final.

    World Championships podium: Gold medalist Bagdat stands tall with the Kazakh flag.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    Senior Male Athlete of The Year nominations include:

    • Sola Axel (France)
    2018 World Championships: Silver
    2019 Africa Open: silver
    2019 Pan American Open: gold
    2019 Oceania Open: gold
    2019 European Open: bronze

    • Pasha Kharkhachaev (Bahrain)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold
    2019 European Open: gold

    • Bagdat Zhubanysh (Kazakhstan)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold

    • Lee Hammond (Ireland)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    • Delyan Georgiev (Bulgaria)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 European Open: bronze

    By IMMAF.org lead writer/photographer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Senior Male Athlete of The Year Nominee: Bagdat Zhubanysh (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Senior Male Athlete of The Year Nominee: Delyan Georgiev (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/10/23/senior-male-athlete-of-the-year-nominee-gelyan-georgiev-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Wed, 23 Oct 2019 16:29:33 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31415

    The post Senior Male Athlete of The Year Nominee: Delyan Georgiev (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Bulgaria’s most successful amateur MMA standout brought his tenure to a close in 2019, now turning his attention to a professional career.

    From 2017 to 2019 Delyan Georgiev would grow to become the most decorated product of the Bulgarian national team, concluding his service as a two-time IMMAF world champion, winning the gold medal in both 2017 and 2018. Georgiev also earned bronze at the 2019 European Open having previously won the continental title on home soil in 2017.

    Competing in the men’s senior featherweight division, Georgiev’s record on the international IMMAF platform is capped at an incredible 16-1 with an overall amateur record of 28-1. It was not until the 2019 European Open in Rome, entering as the world champion, that Ukraine’s Artem Afanasenko would bring an end to Georgiev’s 28-0 win streak by way of a dramatic split-decision battle in the semi-finals.

    The Bulgarian standout frequently showed little interest in pressing the action. With no emotion beyond that of a blank stare through his opponent’s chest, Georgiev would wait, and wait, unafraid of a stalemate until his opponent could wait no longer. Once his rival made their move, Georgiev would snap into action and counter by ducking under and delivering counter strikes or sealing a takedown and taking over with his trademark wrestling.

    By the latter stages of a bout, Georgiev would have calculated a full download of his opposite enabling the Bulgarian to appear stronger and even more effective in dictating the bout as the final rounds played out.

    Georgiev and Germany’s Eduard Kexel weny toe-to-toe in one of the most competitive finals in IMMAF World Championships history.

    When 21-year-old German up and comer Eduard Kexel stormed to the 2018 World Championships final, Georgiev encountered one of his greatest battles as the featherweight duo engaged in a lively collision and sensational battle of wills. The high energy contest forced the best of Georgiev as Kexel pressed relentlessly. Once again, it was in the final stanza when Georgiev’s tried an tested gas tank and capacity to learn and anticipate saw him acquire full control over Kexel, capturing the judge’s attention to edge ahead for a split-decision.

    In the incredibly deep 145lb division, the featherweight semi-final stages can be expected produce some of the event’s most closely contested outcomes. Split-decisions were a frequent result of Georgiev’s long-game approach, yet his tactical faith in the cage produced consistent triumphs for three years. His counter attacking style demanded the utmost patience and discipline, never straying from what was perhaps a more psychological offence than a physical one.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    Senior Male Athlete of The Year nominations include:

    • Sola Axel (France)
    2018 World Championships: Silver
    2019 Africa Open: silver
    2019 Pan American Open: gold
    2019 Oceania Open: gold
    2019 European Open: bronze

    • Pasha Kharkhachaev (Bahrain)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold
    2019 European Open: gold

    • Bagdat Zhubanysh (Kazakhstan)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold

    • Lee Hammond (Ireland)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    • Delyan Georgiev (Bulgaria)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 European Open: bronze

    By IMMAF.org lead writer/photographer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Senior Male Athlete of The Year Nominee: Delyan Georgiev (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Muhammad Mokaev (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/10/22/junior-athlete-of-the-year-nominee-muhammad-mokaev-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Tue, 22 Oct 2019 22:59:01 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31396

    The post Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Muhammad Mokaev (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Leading UK prospect Muhammad Mokaev was the outright most successful junior amateur competitor of 2018 – 2019.

    At age 18, Mokaev was already turning heads as an undefeated a domestic prodigy (6-0) boasting a major online following. In 2018 he stepped up to the international platform of the IMMAF World Championships, the premier proving ground for amateur MMA.

    Contesting the men’s junior bantamweight division of the IMMAF | WMMAA Junior Worlds, Mokaev earned the gold medal with a quartet of triumphs, proving himself beyond the confines of British MMA, besting a diverse lineup of styles and talent from Russia, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Japan, taking each hurdle at minimal notice in the testing day-by-day tournament.

    Mokaev is a picture of confidence, charging in to the World Championships final

    The team GB wrestler utilized his bread and butter skillset to shut out all comers. While Mexico’s Ismael Zamora produced a compelling glimmer of resistance, Mokaev ultimately scored yet another UD, perhaps benefiting from the helpful reminder to never feel too settled on the world stage. What followed was a shut-out performance of takedowns secured at will against his fellow finalist, Japan’s Reo Yamaguchi, in the gold medal decider.

    Mokaev and Yamaguchi would solidify themselves as leaders junior bantamweight ranks and two of the most consistent standouts of the age 18-20 level, meeting for a second time in the 2019 European Open final.

    Yamaguchi showed greater readiness in their second clash, landing significant strikes and showcasing takedown defense against arguably the best wrestler in amateur MMA. Yet still, Mokaev had enhanced abilities of his own to showcase following the world championships and brilliantly adapted to the resilience of his rival to earn the European Open title.

    Having defeated Ireland’s Abanoub Fares and Russia’s Batir Sharukhanov, Mokaev defeated Japan’s Reo Yamaguchi in the 2019 European Open final

    To date, the greatness of Mokaev appears to have no parallel. It was expected that Mokaev would be tested by the likes of Russia, a front runner of the national team rankings, yet the UK-MMA product surpassed his otherwise dominant Russian rivals with flying colors.

    Despite being the most successful junior MMA athlete of the past year, it is Mokaev’s patience, awareness and complete understanding for utilizing his amateur tenure, that sets him apart. Time and again Moakev expresses that he will not be tempted to turn pro while opportunities for development remain vast, leaving no stone unturned.

    Stakeholders of the professional game will be watching on as Moakev, representing Team England, aims to defend his junior world title at the 2019 World Championships. The senior ranks most likely await Mokaev in 2020, for what may come to be a defining master plan of long term amateur progression, brilliantly outlined, step-by-step, towards undeniable professional prominence.

    2018 Junior World Championships: Men’s bantamweight medalists.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    Junior Athlete of The Year nominations include:

    • Muhammad Mokaev (UK)
      2018 World Championships: gold
      2019 European Open: gold

    • Shamsutdin Makhmudov (Russia)
      2018 World Championships: gold
      2019 European Open: gold

    • Reo Yamaguchi (Japan)
      2018 World Championships: silver
      2019 European Open: silver

    • Megan Morris (UK)
      2018 World Championships: gold

    • Mahboob Khan Mohammed (India)
      2018 World Championships: gold

    For more information on award categories and nominates, click HERE.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer/photographer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Muhammad Mokaev (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF to show MMA World Champs Highlights on Sports Channel Network in UK https://immaf.org/2019/10/20/immaf-to-show-mma-world-champs-highlights-on-sports-channel-network-in-uk/ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 22:15:40 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31398

    The post IMMAF to show MMA World Champs Highlights on Sports Channel Network in UK appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Sport Channel Network

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has signed a broadcast deal with Sports Channel Network (SCN) for the post-event highlights programme from the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA World Championships of Amateur MMA, which takes place in Bahrain from 11-16 November.

    Sports Channel Network is free to air in the United Kingdom on Freeview, YouView (Channel 266) and the SCN App.

    As well as showing the highlight programme, SCN will be using pre-recorded short form video content on social media to help promote IMMAF and its flagship event, in the lead up to the competition.

    Paul Coster, Founder and CEO of SCN said: “We are thrilled to be able to partner with IMMAF, who are the world governing body for a sport that is growing dramatically and is especially appealing to young people. I am delighted that IMMAF has seen the benefit of a partnership approach and that both IMMAF and SCN will be promoting this content via their own PR and Marketing channels. This approach is what makes SCN different to other free to air channels in the UK.”

    Kerrith Brown, President of IMMAF said: “Although we are the World Governing Body of amateur MMA, the UK is one of our major markets and our promotion strategy aims to leverage local appeal to grow globally. This agreement not only gives amateur mixed martial arts free to air reach in the UK but SCN are also committed to using their own resources to promote our sport. IMMAF can benefit from ad sales on SCN, which is a new revenue stream, and benefit from data analysis of who is watching our content.”

    Sports Channel Network (SCN) is a UK based free to air sports channel available on Freeview and YouView Channel 266. It is an on-demand channel, not a linear broadcaster, meaning all content is delivered via IP in an OTT environment supported by advertising which requires no login or subscription.

    Since launch at the end of 2017 SCN has built up a catalogue of over 1000 hrs of premium content from 30+ content partners in 20 categories hosting premium finished programming from the likes of partners including FIBA, Formula E, FIH, ASO, IMG and Sunset & Vine. We currently showing, exclusively, a new documentary called HEAD ON about the topical issue of head injuries in rugby and were also given the opportunity to show the full highlights programme of Eliud Kipchoge’s historic sub-2 hour marathon run in Vienna last Saturday.

    SCN is a digital platform meaning it can report with great accuracy on both the audience and programming analytics.

    Here is a link to the IMMAF World Championships promo video:  https://bit.ly/2MkSG1j 

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF to show MMA World Champs Highlights on Sports Channel Network in UK appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Megan Morris (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/10/18/junior-athlete-of-the-year-nominee-megan-morris-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 10:01:23 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31381

    The post Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Megan Morris (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Megan Morris blazed a trail for junior athlete progression in 2018-2019 and set a leading example for young women in the sport of MMA.

    Representing Team UK at the 2018 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships, Morris took on the junior women’s flyweight division and made amateur MMA history as the first ever junior athlete to receive a world championships gold medal.

    Pictured: Morris stands with gold as the UK national anthem plays

    At age 20, Morris earned her junior world title the hard way with a pair of split-decision victories, first getting the nod over Germany’s reigning European Open champion, Anna Gaul, before meeting talented Swedish newcomer Millie Eriksson in the gold medal decider.

    Morris and Eriksson went toe-to-toe in a thrilling world championships final

    The Swedish striking specialist proved troublesome in the early stages of the bout, effectively working from the outside and keeping Morris at bay until the Brit found her range and caught the judges’ eyes, pushing forward as the aggressor now landing consistently bigger shots including her trademark overhand right.

    Upon the announcement of a split-decision win for the Morris and the UK team, the close bond between athlete and coaches was vivid as Morris and coaches Mark Spencer and former IMMAF medalist Joanne Doyle erupted in celebration (pictured above).

    Morris continued to flourish, progressing to the senior bantamweight division.

    Morris continued to blaze a trail for junior platform veterans, stepping up to the senior ranks, now age 21, to earn the 2019 European Open silver medal. In Rome, she added to her resume with a showcase of sublime technical development, once again in perfect sync with her corner and producing vivid displayed of fast growing skill, all the time with a smile on her face.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    Junior Athlete of The Year nominations include:

    • Muhammad Mokaev (UK)
      2018 World Championships: gold
      2019 European Open: gold

    • Shamsutdin Makhmudov (Russia)
      2018 World Championships: gold
      2019 European Open: gold

    • Reo Yamaguchi (Japan)
      2018 World Championships: silver
      2019 European Open: silver

    • Megan Morris (UK)
      2018 World Championships: gold

    • Mahboob Khan Mohammed (India)
      2018 World Championships: gold

    For more information on award categories and nominates, click HERE.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Megan Morris (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Shamsutdin Makhmudov (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/10/17/junior-athlete-of-the-year-nominee-shamsutdin-makhmudov-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Thu, 17 Oct 2019 12:46:15 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31368

    The post Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Shamsutdin Makhmudov (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    The pound-for-pound number-two ranked junior athlete,Shamsutdin Makhmudov dispatched of all comers in 2018 – 2019 to become both World and European champion.

    Russia’s junior heavyweight champion entered the international amateur platform at the 2018 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships and tore his path to the final with with a guillotine choke submission over Kazakhstan.

    Makhmudov first met Ireland’s Trevor Makengo at last year’s World Championships finals. After the Irishman asserted himself in the opening round with successful striking and a triangle choke attempt, Makhmudov finished the round on top with a sign of how the tables would turn.

    Makhmudov stepped up a gear and rallied to overwhelm the tiring Makengo. The Russian’s smothering control drained the will from his rival resulting in the TKO stoppage at little more than 60 seconds in to round 2.

    Makhmudov and Makengo would meet for a second time, in 2019 at the European Open Championships in Rome. Makhmudov expanded his success against Irish rivals with an almost bullying performance that saw Makengo’s national teammate Brian Draper controlled against the fence and bloodied with strikes until the referee stepped in.

    The European Open junior heavyweight final produced the rematch between Makhmudov and Makengo. While Makengo had announced his place in the final with a strong unanimous decision showing against Poland’s Błażej Romanowski, Makhmudov momentum could not be halted.

    Makhmudov wasted no energy in snatching away the European title from the 2018 champion, Makengo. This time, Makhmudov steamrolled his top rival in the opening round to secure a rear-naked-choke submission before crawling back to his corner, like a feasting bear.


    Picture: Makhmudov crawls back to his corner after a first round submission win over Makengo.

    Standing 5-feet-11-inches, Makhmudov is far from the tallest of heavyweights, but at just age 20 had shown the capacity to effectively use his size, endure difficulty and rebound with vengeance. At the 2019 European open, he gave no quarter, showcasing stamina and focus serving his strength to control opposition at will and just keep on hammering.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    Junior Athlete of The Year nominations include:

    • Muhammad Mokaev (UK)
      2018 World Championships: gold
      2019 European Open: gold

    • Shamsutdin Makhmudov (Russia)
      2018 World Championships: gold
      2019 European Open: gold

    • Reo Yamaguchi (Japan)
      2018 World Championships: silver
      2019 European Open: silver

    • Megan Morris (UK)
      2018 World Championships: gold

    • Mahboob Khan Mohammed (India)
      2018 World Championships: gold

    For more information on award categories and nominates, click HERE.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Shamsutdin Makhmudov (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Mahboob Khan Mohammed (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/10/16/junior-athlete-of-the-year-nominee-mahboob-khan-mohammed-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 13:36:36 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31354

    The post Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Mahboob Khan Mohammed (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Mahboob Khan Mohammed made history for India in the 2018 – 2019 year, achieving the nation’s first ever World Championships gold medal.

    At the age of 20, he joined Team India in Bahrain at the 2018 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships, competing in the junior men’s strawweight division, exclusively for athletes age 18-20.

    Making his debut on the international amateur platform, Mahboob was no doubt considered as an underdog in the division with standouts from decorated nations Kazakhstan and Bulgaria starting as strong favorites to contest the gold medal.

    Mahboob dispelled any such notion without delay, against Kazakhstan’s Yerlun Kabdulov, taking just 76 seconds to eliminate one of the division favorites with a first round guillotine choke submission.

    All preconceived expectations for the junior strawweight podium were turned upside down at the semi-final stage. Mahboob had booked his place in the final while home grown Bahrain product Ebrahim Darwish produced a unanimous decision triumph over Bulgaria’s Radostin Angelov.

    Both Mahboob had Darwish had showcased the potential of their nation’s young talent, battling against nations already proven as exporters of elite medal winners.

    Victory in sight as Mahboob delivers a knockout blow

    “The Pride of India” took his moment on the day of the World Championships finals, once again finishing his opponent in the opening round. Shortly following the 90 second mark, a step-in left hook created the opening for Mahboob to follow with an overhand right knocking Darwish to the canvas for a KO stoppage (pictured above).

    Upon returning home to India’s Telangana region, Mahboob and coach Shaik Khalid were welcomed back with a street rally and celebration among the local population.

    Crowds gathered to welcome back India’s world champion

    Having emerged as a truly pioneering talent for MMA in India, challenging expectations and achieving emphatic success, Mahboob subsequently becomes India’s first athlete nominated for the International Amateur MMA Awards.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    Junior Athlete of The Year nominations include:

    • Muhammad Mokaev (UK)
      2018 World Championships: gold
      2019 European Open: gold

    • Shamsutdin Makhmudov (Russia)
      2018 World Championships: gold
      2019 European Open: gold

    • Reo Yamaguchi (Japan)
      2018 World Championships: silver
      2019 European Open: silver

    • Megan Morris (UK)
      2018 World Championships: gold

    • Mahboob Khan Mohammed (India)
      2018 World Championships: gold

    For more information on award categories and nominates, click HERE.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Mahboob Khan Mohammed (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF Recognises the FPLAJDA in French Polynesia https://immaf.org/2019/10/15/immaf-recognises-the-fplajda-in-french-polynesia/ Tue, 15 Oct 2019 09:35:43 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31343

    The post IMMAF Recognises the FPLAJDA in French Polynesia appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    ·       Sports Minister Postpones Legalisation and Recognition

    The Polynesian Federation of Wrestling and Associated Disciplines (FPLAJDA) has been recognised by the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), with its membership announced at a press conference on Friday 11 November in Tahiti.

    FPLAJDA President Hiro Lemaire with the IMMAF President & Director Amoussou

    Hosted by the FPLAJDA as part of its bid for national sport recognition, the press event was part of a one-week programme of seminars and conferences about MMA, its safety, social impact and regulation, featuring specialists that included doctors and sociologists. IMMAF President Kerrith Brown was in attendance along with Bertrand Amoussou, French Comity President and Board Director of IMMAF, and Gosha Malik, IMMAF’s Member Relations Manager.

    At an earlier press conference on Tuesday 8, the French Polynesian Minister for Sports, Christelle Lehartel, announced that she will extend the time period for the legalisation and recognition of the sport, for which FPLAJDA has applied to be its official national governing body. The extension is to enable further study of the management of the discipline and also to reassure the public.

    Polynesia is an overseas territory of France. This year on June 24, the French Minister of Sports Roxana Maracineanu initiated the process towards the legalisation of MMA following the recommendations of a cross-parliamentary report. Various recognised combats sports federations are due to submit their bids to adopt the sport within their structure on 27 November, with the Sports Minister’s announcement of the successful applicant anticipated at the end of December.

    Meanwhile, in French Polynesia, the FPLAJDA is the only federation to have applied for government recognition as the governing body for MMA.

    Lehartel stated:

    “We have to be clear, there is no competition with France. We work in a partnership with the Minister’s office in Paris. But at a given time, Polynesia will have to make its position clear, but I am more reassured with each passing day and our champions invited me to watch their demonstration. We have to be serious about MMA now. I see the visit of this IMMAF delegation as an excellent way to reassure the population and our youth about MMA.”

    If the FPLAJDA’s application is successful, the “legalisation” of MMA in Polynesia will still need to be granted by a public service delegation (DSP), with local decrees voted on at the Ministry Counsel. However, a ruling could intervene during the next renewal of the DSP after October 21 or when recognition of the Polynesia’s national governing body for MMA is announced by the Sports Ministry on 1 January 2020.

    IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

    “We are delighted to welcome another member federation to IMMAF. It shows the global appeal of amateur MMA and I have been very impressed by the approach by the authorities here. While the sport is already very popular with their young population, they are keen to ensure that the governance is exemplary. We will support the FPLAJDA’s application in any way we can.”

    Main image: Various MMA and combats sports demonstrations featured in the one week programme

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF Recognises the FPLAJDA in French Polynesia appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Reo Yamaguchi (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/10/14/junior-athlete-of-the-year-nominee-reo-yamaguchi-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Mon, 14 Oct 2019 19:19:43 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31335

    The post Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Reo Yamaguchi (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    World and European junior silver medalist, Reo Yamaguchi has served as Japan’s star man over the past year, maintaining his presence under the IMMAF banner as one of the most consistent and successful junior athletes.

    As a product of the Alive MMA Dojo, a reputable exporter of talent to professional organisations such as the UFC, Pancrase, Shooto and ONE, Yamaguchi stands as a shining example for Japan’s young prospects to begin their path to the elite international amateur platform.

    Under the tutelage of Alive Dojo and Team Japan head coach Yoichi Suzuki, Japan’s growing national team showed signs of promise in 2018 with gold medals taken at the Oceania Open and highly encouraging performances at the 2018 World Championships.


    Yamaguchi alongside coach Yoichi Suzuki

    It was 19-year-old Yamaguchi, as one of Japan’s Oceania gold medalists, who has since emerged as the nation’s standout achiever, next reaching the bantamweight final of the Junior World Championships (for athletes age 18-20,) with a rounded skillset amplified by seasoned instincts and quick execution of strikes and movement all without hesitation.

    After going the distance with undefeated UK prodigy Muhammad Mokaev, Yamaguchi earned the silver medal and returned for the 2019 European Open in Rome where he battled to reach his second consecutive IMMAF finals.

    Despite coming up short against Mokaev for a second time by way of the scorecards, Yamaguchi’s progression was noticeable; able to explode forward and surprise his main rival, closing the distance to land with quickfire shots in addition to showcasing some encouraging takedown defense, something that is not often accomplished against Mokaev, the a highly accomplished wrestling specialist.

    Yamaguchi battles Mokaev at the 2018 World Championships finals

    Admirably humble, respectful and determined to challenge as a champion in search of further great and global accomplishment, Yamaguchi is every bit the incarnation of Japan’s martial arts spirit. With two silver medals earned in the 2018-2019 year, Yamaguchi will be one to watch as he returns with Japan to contest the junior bantamweight division once again at next month’s 2019 IMMAF – WMMAA World Championships.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    Junior Athlete of The Year nominations include:

    • Muhammad Mokaev (UK)
      2018 World Championships: gold
      2019 European Open: gold

    • Shamsutdin Makhmudov (Russia)
      2018 World Championships: gold
      2019 European Open: gold

    • Reo Yamaguchi (Japan)
      2018 World Championships: silver
      2019 European Open: silver

    • Megan Morris (UK)
      2018 World Championships: gold

    • Mahboob Khan Mohammed (India)
      2018 World Championships: gold

    For more information on award categories and nominates, click HERE.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer/photographer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Junior Athlete of The Year Nominee: Reo Yamaguchi (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Team of The Year Nominee: Kazakhstan (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/10/12/team-of-the-year-nominee-kazakhstan-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Sat, 12 Oct 2019 12:54:31 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31317

    The post Team of The Year Nominee: Kazakhstan (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Regularly in action as one of the largest national teams on the IMMAF | WMMAA platform, Kazakhstan maintained consistency in 2019 as a continental leader with standout achievers on amateur MMA’s elite world stage.

    Team Kazakhstan at the 2019 Asian Open Championships

    Kazakhstan ended 2018 among the prominent medal winning nations of the World Championships, earning 4 bronze and 1 silver medal at the Junior Worlds, plus 3 bronze at the Senior World Championships in addition to one of the year’s star competitors, Bagdat Zhubanysh, who won gold in the men’s strawweight division.

    The 23-year-old Zhubanysh (pictured below) completed his gold medal winning campaign with one of the most energetic and untouchable striking displays of the World Championships week.

    In 2019, Kazakhstan took over at the Asian Open, taking place from 1-4 May in Bangkok, Thailand. The Kazakh national team excelled at the summit of the medal table earning 7 gold medals, 9 silver and 6 bronze.

    The nation’s female talent stood out as the most decorated of the Asian Open, earning 3 silver medals with Talshyn Zhumatayeva (lightweight) and world championships medalist Ayan Tursyn (atomweight) both earning gold. Back in the men’s strawweight division, world champion Zhubanysh bagged submission wins to score the continental title.

    Atomweight Asian Open gold and World bronze medalist, Ayan Tursyn

    Kazakhstan’s success at the Asian Open saw the nation reach number-one in the official world team rankings.

    The most active team of the year were not done yet as they featured in Rome at the 2019 European Open where Jr. men’s featherweight gold medalist Anatoliy Zolotykh produced a sublime modified kneebar from his opponent’s back. Never before seen on the international amateur platform, and rare still at the professional level, 21-year-old Zolotykh’s completion of the hold echoed the style Zabit Magomedsharipov’s near identical submission in 2018 under the UFC banner. Zolotykh would also pull off a stunning head-kick KO later in the tournament.

    https://twitter.com/IMMAFed/status/1141685519153324033

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    National Team of The Year nominations include:

    Bahrain
    • Russia
    • Kazakhstan
    • Ukraine
    • Ireland

    For more information on award categories and nominates, click HERE.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Team of The Year Nominee: Kazakhstan (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Team of The Year Nominee: Russia (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/10/11/team-of-the-year-nominee-russia-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Fri, 11 Oct 2019 13:02:21 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31296

    The post Team of The Year Nominee: Russia (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    In less than a year the Russian amateur MMA team has asserted itself as the benchmark superpower of talent cultivation and success.

    The Russian MMA Union, serving as the nation’s recognised governing body for MMA, joined the IMMAF fold with the team making its debut in a unified effort with counterpart body, the MMA Federation of Russia, at the 2018 Unified World Championships following the amalgamation of IMMAF and WMMAA.

    The vast influx of elite amateur athletes to the World Championships via the Russian MMA Union network dramatically impacted the international landscape. Russia charged to the summit of both the senior and junior World Championships with record setting dominance.

    A total of 15 Russian athletes progressed to the finals: 8 seniors, 7 juniors. The feat set an inaugural Junior World Championships record and edged out Sweden’s record of 7 senior finalists set in 2016. Russia’s 5 senior gold medals also topped Sweden’s 2017 record of 4.

    An unfamiliar sight, athletes from the same nation achieve gold and silver as Russia takes over at the 2018 World Championships

    With nations permitted to enter two athletes per weight division, Russia’s extensive dominance was further highlighted in the junior middleweight and senior light-heavyweight divisions where the gold medal decider was contested in Russia vs. Russia finals.

    From the 2018 World Championships last November to the 2019 European Open back in June, Russia did it again. The conquerors of the World Championships topped both senior and junior medal tables at the European Open in Rome with a total of 10 gold medals secured, split evenly between the two contests.

    With so many to choose from, there are perhaps two athletes in particular who personify Russia’s depth of strength in 2019. At the European Open, reigning junior world champions, middleweight Magomedkhabib Umarov (pictured above, left) and light-heavyweight Igor Glazkov (pictured, right) transitioned to the deeper, more challenging senior divisions.

    Both athletes took over the senior ranks with utterly dominating performances. The former junior duo mauled their opposition with Russian wrestling prowess, forcing stoppages, but also showcasing effective striking, in one particular moment from Umarov who turned to cunning creativity on his feet upon the rare occasion that an opponent was ready to defend his takedown.

    In contrast, the ever humble and at times apologetic Glazkov would trouble his opposition with precise, clubbing strikes. Like Umarov, his flawless takedown success rate came with its own smothering, bulldozer style. Unsurprising considering his background as wrestling champion of Siberia. The ominous extent of Russia’s potential hits home even harder when considering that Glazkov is only the number-two amateur light-heavyweight in Russia, twice a runner up at the Russian national championships.

    2019 was also the year that Russia’s MMA Union turned its attention to the development of women’s talent. After Polina Kobzeva and
    Svetlana Kotova blazed a trail for Russian women at the 2018 Worlds by earning silver and bronze, flyweight prospect Viktoriya Dudakova (pictured above) emerged among Russia’s inaugural women’s national championship winners.

    Dudakova was the nation’s first international gold medalist with three wins at the European Open, defeating standouts from the UK, Finland and Germany, including a highly competitive semi-final win over 2018 gold medalist Janika Antinmaa.

    From relative obscurity in the national team rankings up until 2018, Russia has skyrocketed into contention for the coveted number-one team ranking. Already leaders at the junior level (age 18-20) by a significant margin, Russia are hot on the heels of Bahrain to claim the status of being number-one at the elite senior level (18+). The Russian team currently rests in second place and they are far from satisfied.

    Throw into the mix a prominent showing at the world’s first Youth MMA World Championships where Russia’s young talent took the nation to third place in the medal table. All things considered, Russia stands in 2019 as the outstanding and de facto world leader of MMA talent development.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    National Team of The Year nominations include:

    Bahrain
    • Russia
    • Kazakhstan
    • Ukraine
    • Ireland

    For more information on award categories and nominates, click HERE.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Team of The Year Nominee: Russia (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Team of The Year Nominee: Bahrain (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/10/10/team-of-the-year-nominee-bahrain-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Thu, 10 Oct 2019 12:29:17 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31261

    The post Team of The Year Nominee: Bahrain (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Team Bahrain celebrated its greatest collective achievement in 2019, officially becoming the world’s number-one ranked national team at the senior amateur level.

    Bahrain’s hopefuls reset their focus upon the start of the new year, following a 2018 World Championships of mixed results. Despite hosting several top medal contenders heading into the 2018 Worlds and boasting one of the largest squads, gold proved elusive as the championships played out with Bahrain taking just two athletes to the senior finals.

    Nevertheless, Bahrain prevailed in the end. The host nation was forced to wait, but it was the super-heavyweight monster Pasha
    Kharkhachaev
    who forcefully took gold with one of the greatest shots ever seen on the international amateur platform, knocking out Russian national champion Grigoriy Ponomarev with a single punch in the opening round (pictured below.)

    Kharkhachaev, also nominated for Senior Male Athlete of The Year, would go on to cement himself as one of the most must-see performers in all of MMA. Showcasing unprecedented one-punch stopping power, he picked up both the European and Asian Open titles in 2019 as Bahrain’s team prowess began to take great effect with several new recruits alongside seasoned team members such as Abdulmanap Magomedov (pictured below) realising their hunt for gold against top flight rivals.

    Team Bahrain took the year by storm, dominating the African Open and placing second in the medal table at the Asian Open Championships, all before delivering a full account of themselves at the 2019 European Open, where Russian dominance was highly anticipated.

    Bahrain were unable to take home a single silver medal from the European Open. That is because all five of Bahrain’s athletes who made it to the finals were triumphant. With five gongs to their name, Bahrain tied with Russia in the European Open gold count and finished second in the overall medal table, retaining their place at the summit of the senior team rankings. Heavyweight Shamil Gaziev achieved his third continental title of the year, seeing him overtake no.1 ranked world champion, Ryan Spillane (Ireland), setting up a highly anticipated collision at this year’s World Championships.

    The determination of the Bahrain MMA Federation and talent development hub KHK MMA has high ambitions for nurturing MMA within the kingdom. The nation’s policy has seen life changing opportunity given to athletes and coaches of Dagestan, to join the national team ranks.

    In return, the team’s success lends to the profile of MMA within Bahrain and enables home grown prospects and budding athletes from the Arabic region to enjoy exposure to high caliber training partners and world class facilities.

    2018 Junior World Bantamweight Medalists, left to right: Reo Yamaguchi (silver, Japan), Muhammad Mokaev (gold, UK), Ali Yaqoob (bronze, Bahrain), Ismael Zamora (bronze, Mexico)

    Junior contenders Ebrahim Darwish and Ali Yaqoob stand among the youngest home grown examples, who fought their way to the Junior World Championships podium, while senior veterans have also continued to evolve such as Hamza Zrira winning the Africa Open in 2019 for the second time and original Team Bahrain alumni Hussein Ayyad Abdulla (pictured below) having transitioned to become a standout professional under the Brave FC banner, building a resume of international victories.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    National Team of The Year nominations include:

    • Bahrain
    Russia
    • Kazakhstan
    Ukraine
    Ireland

    For more information on award categories and nominates, click HERE.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Team of The Year Nominee: Bahrain (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Team of The Year Nominee: Ukraine (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/10/09/team-of-the-year-nominee-ukraine-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Wed, 09 Oct 2019 13:34:39 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31237

    The post Team of The Year Nominee: Ukraine (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    In 2018 – 2019 Ukraine’s national amateur MMA team emerged as a steadily growing power in the team landscape. While Bahrain and Russia battled it out for the moniker of being the world’s no.1 ranked team, Ukraine made things difficult as the nation continued to frequent the podium, securing their share of titles to climb the rankings.

    Beginning with the 2018 Unified World Championships, Ukraine earned the third highest medals total (6) with 3 bronze, 2 silver and Daria Samchik (pictured below) earning gold in the women’s strawweight division. Samchik’s unforgiving aggression was meticulously channeled, finishing Sweden’s Nina Back with an overwhelming forceful TKO in the third round after battling to the final in her debut World Championships appearance.

    Ukraine continued to build on this in 2019 at the second biggest event on the amateur MMA calendar, the European Open. Ukraine’s top standouts were as troubling as any title contender could be. Taking place in Rome, Team Ukraine secured the second highest medal total – 7 (3 bronze, 2 silver, 2 gold.)

    With world champion Samchik absent and men’s lightweight standout Pavel Senchenko injured, the depth of Ukraine’s squad was evident with fresh faces making themselves known. In place of Samchik, Anastasiya Svetkivska (pictured below) occupied the women’s strawweight division, kicking off with a first round TKO of the UK’s Maries Spencer and a semi-final unanimous decision over Germany’s Clara Danssmann. Gold medal favourite Nina Back would once again face heartbreak at the hands of Ukraine with Svetkivska grinding her way to a unanimous decision in the gold medal decider.

    After picking up bronze at the World Championships, Men’s flyweight contender Ata Atdayev would surprise with his pursuit of European Open gold. Atdayev’s time in the cage was maximized with a grueling journey of back-to-back unanimous decisions across four bouts, besting rivals from Finland and Ireland before halting Rafael Calderon Coria, one of Spain’s multiple Cinderella surprises of the 2019 Euros.

    A win over Russia on the international amateur platform is no common feat and particularly rare on the day of championship finals. Effective takedown defence against Russia’s best is a hard key to come by, yet Atdayev would claim victory against Russia’s Sulejman Bershigadov to secure the European Open title. While Russia and Bahrain would go on to haul the majority of gold medals at the 2019 Euros, Atdayev’s triumph drew a line in the sand.

    Pictured: Atdayev’s hand is raised at the European Open

    Ukraine’s Artem Afanasenko supplied what is arguably the biggest win of any in 2019, ending the historic 28-0 streak of two-time world champion, Bulgaria’s Delyan Georgiev. In the semi-finals of the European Open, men’s featherweight division, Afanasenko rose to prominence as the first to solve the Georgiev puzzle.

    While often resulting in close decisions, Georgiev would welcome a stalemate, refusing to make the first move from round to round, simply waiting for his moment with stone cold patience to counter with strikes and secure the round with a takedown, always mindful of the perfect moment to drop levels.

    Pictured: Artem Afasenko takes in the moment after ending the 28-0 record of Georgiev

    The split-decision result saw Afanasenko refuse to fall for Georgiev’s almost hypnotic tactics. The sheer volume of Afanasenko’s varied offence was simply too much for Georgiev to counter for the entire duration, the Ukrainian’s strikes would close the distance and break through his opponent’s guard, for the first time causing Gerogiev to struggle with takedown success until the later stages.

    Ukraine further surprised some of the odds on favorites at the inaugural Youth World Championships in August (pictured below), finishing second in the medal table. With elite senior amateurs maintaining Ukraine’s presence on the medal podium and national depth reaching the nation’s youth, Ukraine’s prominence should no longer come as a surprise. They are here to stay.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    National Team of The Year nominations include:

    Bahrain
    Russia
    • Kazakhstan
    • Ukraine
    Ireland

    For more information on award categories and nominates, click HERE.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Team of The Year Nominee: Ukraine (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    2019 Athletes & Nations for IMMAF | WMMAA Junior World Championships https://immaf.org/2019/10/08/2019-athletes-nations-for-immaf-wmmaa-junior-world-championships/ Tue, 08 Oct 2019 22:22:27 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31221

    The post 2019 Athletes & Nations for IMMAF | WMMAA Junior World Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Twenty-nine national junior teams will be heading to Bahrain to compete in the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Junior World Championships of Amateur MMA, which runs alongside the Senior Championships from 10 to 16 November. 

    The Junior tournament is for 18 to 20 year olds only, providing a competitive pathway with heightened opportunity for younger adults who have not yet peaked physically and whose experience does not yet match that of their maturer counterparts.

    Hosted by the Bahrain MMA Federation (BMMAF), under the auspices of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, the five-day tournament takes place at Khalifa Sports City. The action will be streamed live internationally at
    IMMAF.TV and audience entry to the arena is free.

    The Tournament Draw is scheduled for the 10 November with competition days running from the 11 to 14, and on 16 November starting at 11am (UTC +3) each day.

    All matches take place under Unified Amateur MMA Rules.

    See below for the full list of registered Junior Competitors listed A) by nation and B) by weight division, subject to medical and administrative clearance.

    BY NATION

    ALGERIA

    jacoub kassouri – Men’s Jr Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)

    AUSTRALIA

    Maximilian Flynn – Men’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)

    AZERBAIJAN

    Khayal Gahramanli – Men’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)

    BAHRAIN

    Shamil Alikhanov – Men’s Jr Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Murad Ibragimov – Men’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Ebrahim Darwish – Men’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Ali Yaqoob – Men’s Jr Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Yousif Sayyar – Men’s Jr Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Murad Guseinov – Men’s Jr Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)

    BELARUS

    Aliaksandr Sinkou – Men’s Jr Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)

    BULGARIA

    Ivan Zhelyazkov – Men’s Jr Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Nikolay Atanasov – Men’s Jr Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Denislav Ginov – Men’s Jr Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)

    COLOMBIA

    Laura Beltran Oquendo – Women’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)

    CZECH REPUBLIC

    Lucie Truhlarova – Women’s Jr Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Lukas Kaplan – Men’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Simon Bruknar – Men’s Jr Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Peter Gabal – Men’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Maxim Krepelka – Men’s Jr Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Matěj Hrkal – Men’s Jr Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Lukáš Piffko – Men’s Jr Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)

    FINLAND

    Jesse Renfors – Men’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Max Hynninen – Men’s Jr Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Miro Honkanen – Men’s Jr Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Naser Garban – Men’s Jr Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)

    FRANCE

    Djafri Mouhammad – Men’s Jr Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    SUAZE Rayane – Men’s Jr Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Seban Grégoire – Men’s Jr Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Karim El husseini – Men’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Jordan Zebo – Men’s Jr Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Glot Thomas – Men’s Jr Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)

    GERMANY

    Anna Gaul – Women’s Jr Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Nils Heinrich – Men’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)

    INDIA

    Arjun Pundir – Men’s Jr Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Akash Paulkar – Men’s Jr Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Khushi Gohel – Women’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)

    INDONESIA

    Iqbal Deri Putra – Men’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Toby Prasetya – Men’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)

    IRELAND

    Nadine Abbott bissett – Women’s Jr. Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)
    Megan Hamill – Women’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Gary Rooney – Men’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Sinéadh Ní Nualláin – Women’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Ger Harris – Men’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Jamie Abbott-bissett – Men’s Jr Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Lewis Byrne – Men’s Jr Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Frank Meagher – Men’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Ryan Keogh – Men’s Jr Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)

    ITALY

    Raphael Federico – Men’s Jr Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Fidel Gramiccia – Men’s Jr Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Francesco Lo Galbo – Men’s Jr Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Guido Possidente – Men’s Jr Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Leonardo Oliva – Men’s Jr Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Mehdi Taki – Men’s Jr Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)s)

    JAPAN

    Reo Yamaguchi – Men’s Jr Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)

    JORDAN

    Laith Kayyali – Men’s Jr Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Hazem Kayyali – Men’s Jr Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)

    KAZAKHSTAN

    Ukilay Akhmetualikyzy – Women’s Jr. Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)
    Yerulan Kabdulov – Men’s Jr Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Fariz Abdalov – Men’s Jr Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Aigerim Torekhanova – Women’s Jr Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Adilkhan Ayazbayev – Men’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Inas Ashirbek – Women’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Gani Adilserik – Men’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Tynyshtyk Zhanibek – Men’s Jr Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Gamlet Aslanov – Men’s Jr Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Eljan Gassanov – Men’s Jr Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Anvar Mamedov – Men’s Jr Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Yerkin Begenov – Men’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Talshyn Zhumatayeva – Women’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Aizhan Abdykadyr – Women’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Doszhan Kenzhebayev – Men’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Farkhat Kurmangaliyev – Men’s Jr Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Bogdan Pshebelskiy – Men’s Jr Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Ruslan Goncharov – Men’s Jr Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Ansar Kassymzhanov – Men’s Jr Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Maxim Semyonov – Men’s Jr Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Nurkhazhidin Nassirdinov – Men’s Jr Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    KYRGYZSTAN

    Bekbolot Urustamov – Men’s Jr Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Symbat Zhortbekova – Women’s Jr Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)

    LEBANON

    Bounader Anthonyo – Men’s Jr Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)

    MALAYSIA

    Jay Chong – Men’s Jr Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)

    MEXICO

    Nora Ochoa – Women’s Jr Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Christian Torres – Men’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Ismael Zamora – Men’s Jr Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Agustin Guzman – Men’s Jr Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Mauricio Rios – Men’s Jr Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Luis Castano – Men’s Jr Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Melissa Diaz – Women’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Alexis Navarro – Men’s Jr Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)

    NEW ZEALAND

    Tyla Watt – Men’s Jr Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Oliver Schmid – Men’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)

    NORTHERN IRELAND

    Dylan Doherty – Men’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Emmet Corr – Men’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)

    POLAND

    Magdalena Czaban – Women’s Jr. Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)
    Emil Piatek – Men’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Błażej Romanowski – Men’s Jr Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    RUSSIA

    Ramazan Gairbekov – Men’s Jr Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Kurban Omarov – Men’s Jr Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Shakhban Gapizov – Men’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Imam Rakhim Usmanov – Men’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Zalimkhan Zalimkhanov – Men’s Jr Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Sirazhudin Abdulaev – Men’s Jr Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Nikita Kulshin – Men’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Radjab Shamilov – Men’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Kamil Shaikhamatov – Men’s Jr Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Vanik Akopian – Men’s Jr Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Magomed Tuchalov – Men’s Jr Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Nabi Shamilov – Men’s Jr Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Gamzat Sirazhudinov – Men’s Jr Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Omar Aliev – Men’s Jr Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Zaurbek Magomedov – Men’s Jr Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)
    Rustam Ashurbekov – Men’s Jr Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    SOUTH AFRICA

    Sabelo Magudulela – Men’s Jr Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Cameron Coulson – Men’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Righard Burger – Men’s Jr Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Adei Volker – Men’s Jr Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)

    SPAIN

    ANTONI JOSEP MARTI SEGARRA – Men’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)

    UNITED KINGDOM

    Muhidin Abubakar – Men’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Milly Horkan – Women’s Jr Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Muhammad Mokaev – Men’s Jr Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Oliver Sarwa – Men’s Jr Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Izzy Mitchell – Women’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Liam McCracken – Men’s Jr Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Teddy Stringer – Men’s Jr Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Haider Khan – Men’s Jr Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lb

    BY WEIGHT CLASS

    WOMEN’S JR. ATOMWEIGHT 47.6 KG (105 LBS)

    Magdalena Czaban – Poland
    Nadine Abbott bissett – Ireland
    Ukilay Akhmetualikyzy – Kazakhstan

    MEN’S JR STRAWWEIGHT 52.2 KG (115 LBS)

    Akash Paulkar – India
    Arjun Pundir – India
    Bekbolot Urustamov – Kyrgyzstan
    Fariz Abdalov – Kazakhstan
    Ivan Zhelyazkov – Bulgaria
    Kurban Omarov – Russia
    Ramazan Gairbekov – Russia
    Shamil Alikhanov – Bahrain
    Yerulan Kabdulov – Kazakhstan

    WOMEN’S JR STRAWWEIGHT 52.2 KG (115 LBS)

    Aigerim Torekhanova – Kazakhstan
    Anna Gaul – Germany
    Lucie Truhlarova – Czech Republic
    Nora Ochoa – Mexico
    Symbat Zhortbekova – Kyrgyzstan

    MEN’S JR FLYWEIGHT 56.7 KG (125 LBS)

    Adilkhan Ayazbayev – Kazakhstan
    Christian Torres – Mexico
    Dylan Doherty – Northern Ireland
    Ebrahim Darwish – Bahrain
    Gani Adilserik – Kazakhstan
    Gary Rooney – Ireland
    Ger Harris – Ireland
    Imam Rakhim Usmanov – Russia
    Iqbal Deri Putra – Indonesia
    Jesse Renfors – Finland
    Khayal Gahramanli – Azerbaijan
    Lukas Kaplan – Czech Republic
    Muhidin Abubakar – United Kingdom
    Murad Ibragimov – Bahrain
    Shakhban Gapizov – Russia

    WOMEN’S JR FLYWEIGHT 56.7 KG (125 LBS)

    Inas Ashirbek – Kazakhstan
    Laura Beltran Oquendo – Colombia
    Megan Hamill – Ireland
    Milly Horkan – United Kingdom
    Sinéadh Ní Nualláin – Ireland

    MEN’S JR BANTAMWEIGHT 61.2 KG (135 LBS)

    Agustin Guzman – Mexico
    Ali Yaqoob – Bahrain
    Djafri Mouhammad – France
    Fidel Gramiccia – Italy
    Gamlet Aslanov – Kazakhstan
    Ismael Zamora – Mexico
    Jamie Abbott-bissett – Ireland
    Max Hynninen – Finland
    Muhammad Mokaev – United Kingdom
    Nikolay Atanasov – Bulgaria
    Raphael Federico – Italy
    Reo Yamaguchi – Japan
    Sabelo Magudulela – South Africa
    Simon Bruknar – Czech Republic
    Tynyshtyk Zhanibek – Kazakhstan
    Zalimkhan Zalimkhanov – Russia

    MEN’S JR FEATHERWEIGHT 65.8 KG (145 LBS)

    Anvar Mamedov – Kazakhstan
    Bounader Anthonyo – Lebanon
    Denislav Ginov – Bulgaria
    Eljan Gassanov – Kazakhstan
    Francesco Lo Galbo – Italy
    Lewis Byrne – Ireland
    Luis Castano – Mexico
    Mauricio Rios – Mexico
    Miro Honkanen – Finland
    Naser Garban – Finland
    Oliver Sarwa – United Kingdom
    SUAZE Rayane – France
    Seban Grégoire – France
    Sirazhudin Abdulaev – Russia
    Tyla Watt – New Zealand
    jacoub kassouri – Algeria

    WOMEN’S JR LIGHTWEIGHT 70.3 KG (155 LBS)

    Aizhan Abdykadyr – Kazakhstan
    Izzy Mitchell – United Kingdom
    Khushi Gohel – India
    Melissa Diaz – Mexico
    Talshyn Zhumatayeva – Kazakhstan

    MEN’S JR LIGHTWEIGHT 70.3 KG (155 LBS)

    ANTONI JOSEP MARTI SEGARRA – Spain
    Cameron Coulson – South Africa
    Doszhan Kenzhebayev – Kazakhstan
    Emil Piatek – Poland
    Emmet Corr – Northern Ireland
    Frank Meagher – Ireland
    Karim El husseini – France
    Liam McCracken – United Kingdom
    Maximilian Flynn – Australia
    Nikita Kulshin – Russia
    Nils Heinrich – Germany
    Oliver Schmid – New Zealand
    Peter Gabal – Czech Republic
    Radjab Shamilov – Russia
    Toby Prasetya – Indonesia
    Yerkin Begenov – Kazakhstan

    MEN’S JR WELTERWEIGHT 77.1 KG (170 LBS)

    Aliaksandr Sinkou – Belarus
    Bogdan Pshebelskiy – Kazakhstan
    Farkhat Kurmangaliyev – Kazakhstan
    Glot Thomas – France
    Guido Possidente – Italy
    Jordan Zebo – France
    Kamil Shaikhamatov – Russia
    Laith Kayyali – Jordan
    Leonardo Oliva – Italy
    Maxim Krepelka – Czech Republic
    Murad Guseinov – Bahrain
    Righard Burger – South Africa
    Ryan Keogh – Ireland
    Teddy Stringer – United Kingdom
    Vanik Akopian – Russia
    Yousif Sayyar – Bahrain

    MEN’S JR MIDDLEWEIGHT 83.9 KG (185 LBS)

    Adei Volker – South Africa
    Alexis Navarro – Mexico
    Ansar Kassymzhanov – Kazakhstan
    Jay Chong – Malaysia
    Lukáš Piffko – Czech Republic
    Magomed Tuchalov – Russia
    Matěj Hrkal – Czech Republic
    Mehdi Taki – Italy
    Nabi Shamilov – Russia
    Ruslan Goncharov – Kazakhstan

    MEN’S JR LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT 93 KG (205 LBS)

    Gamzat Sirazhudinov – Russia
    Haider Khan – United Kingdom
    Hazem Kayyali – Jordan
    Maxim Semyonov – Kazakhstan
    Omar Aliev – Russia

    MEN’S JR HEAVYWEIGHT 120.2 KG (265 LBS)

    Błażej Romanowski – Poland
    Nurkhazhidin Nassirdinov – Kazakhstan
    Rustam Ashurbekov – Russia
    Zaurbek Magomedov – Russia

    ]]>

    The post 2019 Athletes & Nations for IMMAF | WMMAA Junior World Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Team of The Year Nominee: Ireland (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) https://immaf.org/2019/10/07/team-of-the-year-nominee-ireland-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Mon, 07 Oct 2019 18:27:03 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31199

    The post Team of The Year Nominee: Ireland (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    While IMMAF and the Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association (IMMAA) campaigns for sport recognition within Ireland’s government, the nation’s home grown talent continued to legitimize Irish MMA at the international level.

    In 2018-2019 team Ireland exemplified MMA’s prominence within the Emerald Isle. After Conor McGregor rocketed the sport to pop culture prominence circa 2014, MMA’s roots have grown deep beyond the mainstream surface.

    This was showcased vividly in Rome at the 2019 European Open and Junior European Open Championships. Despite zero funding compared to a number of prominent rival teams with government support, the Irish showed up in numbers, boasting a squad of 30 athletes as the largest team of the championships among 34 competing nations.

    At the junior level (age 18-20), Ireland displayed its generational depth via the 2018 Unified World Championships, earning 5 medals with 3 athletes reaching the final of their respective divisions and Ger Harris (pictured above) earning gold in the men’s Jr. flyweight bracket. Ireland picked up a further 4 medals (2x silver, 2x bronze) at the Junior European Open.

    It was at the senior level (18+) where two of Ireland’s best and longest serving team members would shine at the premier level of amateur MMA and come of age in magnificent fashion.

    Lightweight standout Lee Hammond (above) was forced to withdraw from the 2017 World Championships due to a freak training accident in Portugal resulting in a ruptured bowel. The Dublin SBG product under John Kavanagh returned for the 2018 World Championships and hit sensational form, racking up four triumphs en route to capturing the gold medal in the men’s 155lb division at the age of 22, going viral in the process with the world’s first “Hammoplata” submission. Hammond also defeated gold medal favorite and reigning European gold medalist Pavel Senchenko (Ukraine) by way of split-decision in the semi-finals.

    Also securing the world title at the age of 22, heavyweight Ryan Spillane proved beyond all doubt that his 2018 European Open triumph was no fluke, solidifying himself as the world’s no.1 heavyweight contender on the international amateur platform.

    Pictured: Spillane (center), alongside Ireland coach Liam-Og Griffin (right) and fellow athlete Aeilish O Hanlon (left)

    Spillane had well and truly shaken off the underdog tag of past years. To date, the young Irishman may be the greatest example of a matured athlete under the IMMAF banner. Learning from experience and time served in the gym, he stepped out from the shadow of past greats such as Irman Smajic and Daniel Galabarov, emerging as a prospect of potentially greater promise, still at such a young age.

    At the 2018 World Championships, Spillane impressed with three successive first round stoppages, pitching in a pair of toe-hold submissions against rivals from Azerbaijan and Poland, plus a swift TKO on his feet against Ukraine. Spillane was awarded the gold medal upon Lebanon’s Chaddad Alexandre withdrawing from the final due to injury.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) host the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    National Team of The Year nominations include:

    Bahrain
    Russia
    • Kazakhstan
    Ukraine
    • Ireland

    For more information on award categories and nominates, click HERE.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Team of The Year Nominee: Ireland (2019 Amateur MMA Awards) appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Athletes & Nations for 2019 IMMAF |WMMAA Senior World Championships https://immaf.org/2019/10/07/athletes-nations-for-2019-immaf-wmmaa-senior-world-championships/ Mon, 07 Oct 2019 12:23:30 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31202

    The post Athletes & Nations for 2019 IMMAF |WMMAA Senior World Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Forty-nine nations will be going head-to-head in the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Senior World Championships of Amateur MMA, which takes place in Manama, Bahrain from 10 to 16 November.  

    Hosted by the Bahrain MMA Federation (BMMAF), under the auspices of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, the five-day tournament takes place at Khalifa Sports City. The action will be streamed live internationally at
    IMMAF.TV and audience entry to the arena is free.

    The Tournament Draw is scheduled for the 10 November with competition days running from the 11 to 14, and on 16 November starting at 11am (UTC +3) each day.

    All matches take place under Unified Amateur MMA Rules.

    See below for the full list of registered Senior Competitors listed A) by nation and B) by weight division, subject to medical and administrative clearance.

    BY NATION

    ALBANIA

    Marco Doda – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)

    AUSTRALIA

    Courtney Gray – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Troy Fumo – Men’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Olivia Ukmar – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Abdul Mahdawi – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    JEAN ALEXANDER ROMANO – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Jordan Thomas – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Corey Reeves – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Loni Doyle Filimoehala – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Patrick Best – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Dane Alchin – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    AZERBAIJAN

    Aliiskandar Aliyev – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Heydar Heydarov – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Elgun Yusifov – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    BAHRAIN

    Magomed Sheikhov – Men’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Aieza Ramos Bertolso – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Mansur Magomedov – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Beatriz Consuli Diniz – Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Elaine Cristina Lopez Pinheiro – Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Mohammed Almuamari – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Brena Soares Cardozo – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Magomed Idrisov – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Abdulla Mubarak – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Isa Alameeri – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Sabrina Laurentina De Sousa – Women’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Abdulmanap Magomedov – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Abbas Khan – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Magomed Magomedov – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Ramazan Gitinov – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Zagid Gaidarov – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Sultan Omarov – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Abdulrahman Alhasan – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Magomed Gadzhiiasulov – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Murtaza Talha Ali – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Shamil Gaziev – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)
    pasha kharkhachaev – Men’s Super Heavyweight 300 kg (661 lbs)

    BELARUS

    Antanina Kuliashova – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Stanislau Stashenka – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)

    BULGARIA

    Oktay Arif – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Denislav Hadzhiev – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Zdravko Dimitrov – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Deqn Galinov – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    iordan Marinov – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Rusi Minev – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Bozhidar Ivanov – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Stilian Ivanov – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)

    CAMEROON

    Ngono owonyebe Lionel victor – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Endom bikim Steve durant – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Mbong Rene – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Rengou Mefire simplice – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)

    CANADA

    Ramil Kamilov – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)

    CHINA

    HUIHUA NI – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    XIYAN ZHANG – Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    XIAOYU ZHOU – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    KUN ZHOU – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    GUANGMEI HAN – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    GUOJINGNAN JIN – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    YUNFENG LI – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    RIWA HU – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    JIANGSHAN LU – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)

    COLOMBIA

    Daniella Duque – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Alvaro Chaparro – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)

    CZECH REPUBLIC

    Miroslav Peroutka – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Gabriela Horakova – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Lucie Vacova – Women’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Tim Ha – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Pavla Kladivova – Women’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Jakub Tichota – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Tiep Cai Xuan – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Dominik Humburger – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Adam Karásek – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Martin Koubek – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Jindrich Krajca – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

    Eliezer Kubanza – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)

    DENMARK

    Tobias Zacho Storm – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Janus Olsen – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Nasih El arja – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    EGYPT

    Moustafa Abdelsalam – Men’s Super Heavyweight 300 kg (661 lbs)

    ESTONIA

    Ksenija Grabova – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Kaupo Kokamägi – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Sergei Strinža – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Ergo Reinvald – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Kimmo Meier – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    FINLAND

    Jenna Horto – Women’s Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)
    David Pajunen – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Janika Antinmaa Antinmaa – Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Toufan Ahmadi – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Karolina Hulkko – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Jenni Kivioja – Women’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Eemil Kurhela – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Marko Sarasjärvi – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Brayan Aspegren – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Rene Katajalaakso – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Kirill Andreev – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Tomi Jaakkola – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    FRANCE

    Cherfi Adil – Men’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Antony Fresno Eyssette – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    CHAMBEAU ROUSSEAU ESTELLE – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Pinto Lutumba Mickael – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    christophe przywara – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    siegel victor – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Cruau Marine – Women’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Haddi Mounir – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    QUENTIN PAPOUNAUD – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Abdou toure – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Axel Sola – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Mathis Chevalier – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    BEGAI Paulin – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Virgil AUGEN – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Jeremie Varela – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)
    Chaieb Rayan – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    GEORGIA

    Giorgi Chochishvili – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    GERMANY

    Clara Danssmann – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Julian Schickle – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Marc Zindler – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Julius Gebele – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    GHANA

    Solomon Donne Ametepey – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)

    HUNGARY

    Kugler András – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Bálint Ékes – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    INDIA

    Surbala Devi Laishram – Women’s Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)
    Mahboob Khan Mohammed – Men’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Dinesh Naorem – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Jishal Parmar – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Karan Nitin Chauhan – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Athul D Hotker – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Balakrishna Satyaprasad Patange – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Vaibhav Vaman Shetty – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)

    INDONESIA

    Budi Setiawan – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Rendi Anjar Kusuma – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Edi Erlangga – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)

    IRELAND

    Aeilish O Hanlon – Women’s Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)
    Jason Kearns – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Shauna Bannon – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Alexander OSullivan – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Nahom Alem – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Shannon Strawbridge – Women’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Josh Greene – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Colin Meagher – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Stephen Costello – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Eoin Sheridan – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Aaron McCormack – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Darragh Higgins – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Ryan Spillane – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    ITALY

    Martina Corradi – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Ilaria Norcia – Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Cristiano Ottaviani – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Oliviero Pennesi – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Nicolò Siena – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Jasmine Favero – Women’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Simone Valle – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Marcello Romano – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Emanuele Palumbo – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Dario Petrolo – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Giovanni Edoardo Rufino – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Adriano Livio Meneghetti – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)

    JAMAICA

    Imran Hall – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)

    JAPAN

    Kobayashi Daisuke – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Daisuke Murayama – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Daigo Aruga – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)

    JORDAN

    Fraih Al harahsha – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)

    KAZAKHSTAN

    Varvara Poltoranina – Women’s Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)
    Ayan Tursyn – Women’s Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)
    Sagyn Kazbek – Men’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Shynar Zhussipova – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Bagdat Zhubanysh – Men’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Nurzhamal Sadykova – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Yernaz Mussabek – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Dastan Zhakypbekov – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Tolkyn Daurenbekova – Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Dastan Amangeldy – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Olzhas Moldagaliyev – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Sora Rakhmonova – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Elaman Shalkimbekov – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Anatoliy Zolotykh – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Antonina Kotlyarevskaya – Women’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Neimat Assadov – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Mazhit Sardarov – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Saida Khassenova – Women’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Zhan Kenzhebayev – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Aidyn Tolepbayev – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Aleksandr Val – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Madi Dosmukhametov – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Zelemkhan Khumaidov – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Serik Abirov – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Mokhmad Suliymanov – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)
    Dmitriy Popov – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)
    Rassul Khatayev – Men’s Super Heavyweight 300 kg (661 lbs)

    KYRGYZSTAN

    Aidamir Magamatov – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Maksat Musabaev – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)
    BAKHTIIAR NAVRUZOV – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    LEBANON

    Houssein Raed – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Elias Dagher – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Joe Aouad – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Toni Bou rached – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Elie Zgheib – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Elie Mansour – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Chaddad Alexandre – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)
    Bachir Ricardo – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    MALAYSIA

    Brandon Tang – Men’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Colleen Augustin – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)

    MEXICO

    Nicole Geraldo – Women’s Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)
    Daniela Hernandez – Women’s Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)
    Nadia Vera – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Violeta Mendoza – Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Yessica Ortega – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Carlos Bravo – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Eduardo Arevalo – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Hector Granados – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Daniel Sanchez – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Jairo Carreon – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Jonathan Muamba – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Gerardo Bazaldua – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)

    NEW ZEALAND

    Hannah Dawson – Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Prashanth Guda – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Hadyn Beaven – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Michelle Montague – Women’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Jahnis Bowden – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Mel Webster – Women’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Talor Wetere – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Ezekiel Wetere – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Dafydd Sanders – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)

    NORTHERN IRELAND

    NATASHA Wolfe – Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Jack Corr – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Ciaran Breslin – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Emmet McCracken – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)

    PAKISTAN

    Zulqarnain Khan – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)

    PANAMA

    David Rivera – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    CARLOS GAMBOA – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)

    POLAND

    Paulina Giemza – Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Klaudia Syguła – Women’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Eryk Walecki – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Szymon Roicki – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)

    PORTUGAL

    Rui Morgado – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Alexandre Gil – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Abdul Rahim Shaikh – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)

    RUSSIA

    Bella Shakova – Women’s Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)
    Daria Nyrkova – Women’s Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)
    Farkhod Rakhmonaliev – Men’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Adam Khamkhoev – Men’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Ekaterina Blokhina – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Karina Ivanova – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Viktoriya Dudakova – Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Ruslan Satiev – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Ilyas Sadykov – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Zemfira Alieva – Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Gadzhimurad Zavaev – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Djamaludin Aliev – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Zuleikha Tolgurova – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Daria Tereshchenko – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Asad Datsilaev – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Anastasiia Glotova – Women’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Ahmed Gazimagomedov – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Tatiana Postarnakova – Women’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Olga Rusina – Women’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    OMARASKHAB YUSUPOV – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Murad Umachiev – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Islam Bagomedov – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Rustam Khadisgadzhiev – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    GAZIMURAD MAGOMEDOV – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Iusup Magomedov – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Magomed Shakhrudinov – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Aleksej Timoshishin – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Gadzhimurad Bagaudinov – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)
    Shamil Kuramagomedov – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)
    Shamsutdin Makhmudov – Men’s Super Heavyweight 300 kg (661 lbs)
    Hamzat Tajsumov – Men’s Super Heavyweight 300 kg (661 lbs)

    SAUDI ARABIA

    Abdulrahman Al harthey – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Inad baowaydhan – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)

    SOUTH AFRICA

    Ceileigh Niedermayr – Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Vuyo Jula – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Mzwa Dlamini – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Sam Homan – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Andrew Caruth – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Francois Meyer – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Nkosi Mpakati – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    PEACE NGUPHANE – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)

    SPAIN

    Rafael calderon coria – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    David Avila Moraga – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Alvaro Ucendo – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Enrique Hecher Sosa – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)

    SWEDEN

    Bezhan Mahmudi – Women’s Atomweight 47.6 kg (105 lbs)
    Nina Back – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Sebastian Gonzalez – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Millie Eriksson – Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Bianca Antman – Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Frida Vastamäki – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Kim Amprazis – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Jonny Touma – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Oskar Jaskari – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Janina Danes – Women’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Sofia Hedqvist – Women’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Daniyal Shamkhalov – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    alexander lööf – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Yrsa Sandin – Women’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Sandra Meneses – Women’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Elvin Hoxha – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Nermin Mehmedagic – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Christian Stigenberg – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Alexander Brodal – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Adis Saljevic – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Danijel Grbic – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Andreas Knutsson – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Daniel Petrus – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Salif Diop – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

    Lashawn Sladden – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)
    Jeremy Rodulfo – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)

    UKRAINE

    Anastasiya Svetkivska – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Eduard Kostrytsia – Men’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Daria Samchik – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Ata Atdayev – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Daryna Harbar – Women’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Vladyslav Dubkov – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Nadiia Honcharova – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Artem Afanasenko – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Tetiana Liashuk – Women’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Pavel Senchenko – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Ivan Kurelaru – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Dima Ruzhytskyi – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)

    UNITED KINGDOM

    Marie Spencer – Women’s Strawweight 52.2 kg (115 lbs)
    Jack Temple – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Megan Morris – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Lexi Rook – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Ashlee Harding – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Melissa Tonya Mullins – Women’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Jordan Little – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Kieran Williams – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Christian Leroy Duncan – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)
    Matthew Nicholson – Men’s Light Heavyweight 93 kg (205 lbs)

    UNITED STATES

    Israel Galvan – Men’s Flyweight 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
    Landen Farmer – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Nicole Henderson Nicole Henderson – Women’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Hector Javier Colon Miro – Men’s Bantamweight 61.2 kg (135 lbs)
    Ryan Kuse – Men’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Wesley Bailes – Men’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Devon Dixon – Men’s Welterweight 77.1 kg (170 lbs)
    Kevin Arnold – Men’s Heavyweight 120.2 kg (265 lbs)
    Jeremy Woolfolk – Men’s Super Heavyweight 300 kg (661 lbs)

    WALES

    Stephanie Paige Evans – Women’s Featherweight 65.8 kg (145 lbs)
    Kaycee Blake – Women’s Lightweight 70.3 kg (155 lbs)
    Alec Mead – Men’s Middleweight 83.9 kg (185 lbs)

    BY WEIGHT CLASS

    WOMEN’S ATOMWEIGHT 47.6 KG (105 LBS)

    Aeilish O Hanlon – Ireland
    Ayan Tursyn – Kazakhstan
    Bella Shakova – Russia
    Bezhan Mahmudi – Sweden
    Daniela Hernandez – Mexico
    Daria Nyrkova – Russia
    Jenna Horto – Finland
    Nicole Geraldo – Mexico
    Surbala Devi Laishram – India
    Varvara Poltoranina – Kazakhstan

    WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT 52.2 KG (115 LBS)

    Aieza Ramos Bertolso – Bahrain
    Anastasiya Svetkivska – Ukraine
    Antanina Kuliashova – Belarus
    Clara Danssmann – Germany
    Colleen Augustin – Malaysia
    Courtney Gray – Australia
    Daniella Duque – Colombia
    Daria Samchik – Ukraine
    Ekaterina Blokhina – Russia
    HUIHUA NI – China
    Karina Ivanova – Russia
    Ksenija Grabova – Estonia
    Marie Spencer – United Kingdom
    Martina Corradi – Italy
    Nadia Vera – Mexico
    Nina Back – Sweden
    Nurzhamal Sadykova – Kazakhstan
    Olivia Ukmar – Australia
    Shynar Zhussipova – Kazakhstan

    MEN’S STRAWWEIGHT 52.2 KG (115 LBS)

    Adam Khamkhoev – Russia
    Bagdat Zhubanysh – Kazakhstan
    Brandon Tang – Malaysia
    Cherfi Adil – France
    Eduard Kostrytsia – Ukraine
    Farkhod Rakhmonaliev – Russia
    Magomed Sheikhov – Bahrain
    Mahboob Khan Mohammed – India
    Sagyn Kazbek – Kazakhstan
    Troy Fumo – Australia

    WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT 56.7 KG (125 LBS)

    Beatriz Consuli Diniz – Bahrain
    Bianca Antman – Sweden
    Ceileigh Niedermayr – South Africa
    Daryna Harbar – Ukraine
    Elaine Cristina Lopez Pinheiro – Bahrain
    Hannah Dawson – New Zealand
    Ilaria Norcia – Italy
    Janika Antinmaa Antinmaa – Finland
    Millie Eriksson – Sweden
    NATASHA Wolfe – Northern Ireland
    Paulina Giemza – Poland
    Tolkyn Daurenbekova – Kazakhstan
    Viktoriya Dudakova – Russia
    Violeta Mendoza – Mexico
    XIYAN ZHANG – China
    Zemfira Alieva – Russia

    MEN’S FLYWEIGHT 56.7 KG (125 LBS)

    Abdulrahman Al harthey – Saudi Arabia
    Aidamir Magamatov – Kyrgyzstan
    Antony Fresno Eyssette – France
    Ata Atdayev – Ukraine
    Budi Setiawan – Indonesia
    Cristiano Ottaviani – Italy
    Dastan Zhakypbekov – Kazakhstan
    David Avila Moraga – Spain
    David Pajunen – Finland
    Dinesh Naorem – India
    Fraih Al harahsha – Jordan
    Ilyas Sadykov – Russia
    Israel Galvan – United States
    Jack Temple – United Kingdom
    Mansur Magomedov – Bahrain
    Mohammed Almuamari – Bahrain
    Ngono owonyebe Lionel victor – Cameroon
    Oktay Arif – Bulgaria
    Oliviero Pennesi – Italy
    Rafael calderon coria – Spain
    Rui Morgado – Portugal
    Ruslan Satiev – Russia
    Sebastian Gonzalez – Sweden
    Toufan Ahmadi – Finland
    Vuyo Jula – South Africa
    XIAOYU ZHOU – China
    Yernaz Mussabek – Kazakhstan

    MEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT 61.2 KG (135 LBS)

    Abdul Mahdawi – Australia
    Abdul Rahim Shaikh – Portugal
    Abdulla Mubarak – Bahrain
    Alexandre Gil – Portugal
    Alvaro Ucendo – Spain
    Carlos Bravo – Mexico
    Dastan Amangeldy – Kazakhstan
    David Rivera – Panama
    Denislav Hadzhiev – Bulgaria
    Djamaludin Aliev – Russia
    Edi Erlangga – Indonesia
    Elias Dagher – Lebanon
    Gadzhimurad Zavaev – Russia
    Hector Javier Colon Miro – United States
    Houssein Raed – Lebanon
    Jack Corr – Northern Ireland
    Jason Kearns – Ireland
    Jonny Touma – Sweden
    KUN ZHOU – China
    Kobayashi Daisuke – Japan
    Kugler András – Hungary
    Landen Farmer – United States
    Magomed Idrisov – Bahrain
    Miroslav Peroutka – Czech Republic
    Mzwa Dlamini – South Africa
    Nicolò Siena – Italy
    Olzhas Moldagaliyev – Kazakhstan
    Oskar Jaskari – Sweden
    Prashanth Guda – New Zealand
    Rendi Anjar Kusuma – Indonesia
    Sam Homan – South Africa
    Vladyslav Dubkov – Ukraine

    WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT 61.2 KG (135 LBS)

    Brena Soares Cardozo – Bahrain
    CHAMBEAU ROUSSEAU ESTELLE – France
    Daria Tereshchenko – Russia
    Frida Vastamäki – Sweden
    GUANGMEI HAN – China
    GUOJINGNAN JIN – China
    Gabriela Horakova – Czech Republic
    Jishal Parmar – India
    Karolina Hulkko – Finland
    Kim Amprazis – Sweden
    Lexi Rook – United Kingdom
    Megan Morris – United Kingdom
    Nadiia Honcharova – Ukraine
    Nicole Henderson Nicole Henderson – United States
    Shauna Bannon – Ireland
    Sora Rakhmonova – Kazakhstan
    Yessica Ortega – Mexico
    Zuleikha Tolgurova – Russia

    MEN’S FEATHERWEIGHT 65.8 KG (145 LBS)

    Abdulmanap Magomedov – Bahrain
    Ahmed Gazimagomedov – Russia
    Alexander OSullivan – Ireland
    Alvaro Chaparro – Colombia
    Anatoliy Zolotykh – Kazakhstan
    Andrew Caruth – South Africa
    Artem Afanasenko – Ukraine
    Asad Datsilaev – Russia
    Ashlee Harding – United Kingdom
    Ciaran Breslin – Northern Ireland
    Daisuke Murayama – Japan
    Daniyal Shamkhalov – Sweden
    Eduardo Arevalo – Mexico
    Elaman Shalkimbekov – Kazakhstan
    Emmet McCracken – Northern Ireland
    Enrique Hecher Sosa – Spain
    Hadyn Beaven – New Zealand
    Isa Alameeri – Bahrain
    JEAN ALEXANDER ROMANO – Australia
    Joe Aouad – Lebanon
    Karan Nitin Chauhan – India
    Marcello Romano – Italy
    Nahom Alem – Ireland
    Pinto Lutumba Mickael – France
    RIWA HU – China
    Ryan Kuse – United States
    Simone Valle – Italy
    Tim Ha – Czech Republic
    YUNFENG LI – China
    Zdravko Dimitrov – Bulgaria
    alexander lööf – Sweden
    christophe przywara – France

    WOMEN’S FEATHERWEIGHT 65.8 KG (145 LBS)

    Anastasiia Glotova – Russia
    Antonina Kotlyarevskaya – Kazakhstan
    Janina Danes – Sweden
    Jasmine Favero – Italy
    Jenni Kivioja – Finland
    Klaudia Syguła – Poland
    Lucie Vacova – Czech Republic
    Melissa Tonya Mullins – United Kingdom
    Pavla Kladivova – Czech Republic
    Sabrina Laurentina De Sousa – Bahrain
    Shannon Strawbridge – Ireland
    Sofia Hedqvist – Sweden
    Stephanie Paige Evans – Wales
    Tatiana Postarnakova – Russia
    Tetiana Liashuk – Ukraine

    MEN’S LIGHTWEIGHT 70.3 KG (155 LBS)

    Abbas Khan – Bahrain
    Athul D Hotker – India
    Deqn Galinov – Bulgaria
    Eemil Kurhela – Finland
    Elie Zgheib – Lebanon
    Elvin Hoxha – Sweden
    Emanuele Palumbo – Italy
    Endom bikim Steve durant – Cameroon
    Eryk Walecki – Poland
    Francois Meyer – South Africa
    Haddi Mounir – France
    Hector Granados – Mexico
    Imran Hall – Jamaica
    JIANGSHAN LU – China
    Jahnis Bowden – New Zealand
    Jakub Tichota – Czech Republic
    Jordan Thomas – Australia
    Kaupo Kokamägi – Estonia
    Magomed Magomedov – Bahrain
    Marko Sarasjärvi – Finland
    Mazhit Sardarov – Kazakhstan
    Mbong Rene – Cameroon
    Murad Umachiev – Russia
    Neimat Assadov – Kazakhstan
    Nermin Mehmedagic – Sweden
    OMARASKHAB YUSUPOV – Russia
    Pavel Senchenko – Ukraine
    Tobias Zacho Storm – Denmark
    Toni Bou rached – Lebanon
    Wesley Bailes – United States
    iordan Marinov – Bulgaria
    siegel victor – France

    WOMEN’S LIGHTWEIGHT 70.3 KG (155 LBS)

    Cruau Marine – France
    Kaycee Blake – Wales
    Mel Webster – New Zealand
    Michelle Montague – New Zealand
    Olga Rusina – Russia
    Saida Khassenova – Kazakhstan
    Sandra Meneses – Sweden
    Yrsa Sandin – Sweden

    MEN’S WELTERWEIGHT 77.1 KG (170 LBS)

    Abdou toure – France
    Aidyn Tolepbayev – Kazakhstan
    Alexander Brodal – Sweden
    Balakrishna Satyaprasad Patange – India
    Bozhidar Ivanov – Bulgaria
    Christian Stigenberg – Sweden
    Colin Meagher – Ireland
    Corey Reeves – Australia
    Daigo Aruga – Japan
    Daniel Sanchez – Mexico
    Dario Petrolo – Italy
    Devon Dixon – United States
    Elie Mansour – Lebanon
    Islam Bagomedov – Russia
    Ivan Kurelaru – Ukraine
    Jairo Carreon – Mexico
    Janus Olsen – Denmark
    Jordan Little – United Kingdom
    Josh Greene – Ireland
    Julian Schickle – Germany
    Kieran Williams – United Kingdom
    QUENTIN PAPOUNAUD – France
    Ramazan Gitinov – Bahrain
    Ramil Kamilov – Canada
    Rusi Minev – Bulgaria
    Rustam Khadisgadzhiev – Russia
    Sergei Strinža – Estonia
    Solomon Donne Ametepey – Ghana
    Talor Wetere – New Zealand
    Tiep Cai Xuan – Czech Republic
    Zagid Gaidarov – Bahrain
    Zhan Kenzhebayev – Kazakhstan

    MEN’S MIDDLEWEIGHT 83.9 KG (185 LBS)

    Abdulrahman Alhasan – Bahrain
    Adis Saljevic – Sweden
    Alec Mead – Wales
    Aleksandr Val – Kazakhstan
    Aliiskandar Aliyev – Azerbaijan
    Axel Sola – France
    Brayan Aspegren – Finland
    CARLOS GAMBOA – Panama
    Christian Leroy Duncan – United Kingdom
    Danijel Grbic – Sweden
    Dominik Humburger – Czech Republic
    Eliezer Kubanza – Democratic Republic Of The Congo
    Eoin Sheridan – Ireland
    Ergo Reinvald – Estonia
    Ezekiel Wetere – New Zealand
    GAZIMURAD MAGOMEDOV – Russia
    Giovanni Edoardo Rufino – Italy
    Iusup Magomedov – Russia
    Loni Doyle Filimoehala – Australia
    Madi Dosmukhametov – Kazakhstan
    Marco Doda – Albania
    Mathis Chevalier – France
    Nkosi Mpakati – South Africa
    PEACE NGUPHANE – South Africa
    Rene Katajalaakso – Finland
    Rengou Mefire simplice – Cameroon
    Stephen Costello – Ireland
    Sultan Omarov – Bahrain
    Szymon Roicki – Poland
    Vaibhav Vaman Shetty – India
    Zulqarnain Khan – Pakistan
    inad baowaydhan – Saudi Arabia

    MEN’S LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT 93 KG (205 LBS)

    Aaron McCormack – Ireland
    Adam Karásek – Czech Republic
    Adriano Livio Meneghetti – Italy
    Aleksej Timoshishin – Russia
    Andreas Knutsson – Sweden
    BEGAI Paulin – France
    Dafydd Sanders – New Zealand
    Daniel Petrus – Sweden
    Darragh Higgins – Ireland
    Dima Ruzhytskyi – Ukraine
    Gerardo Bazaldua – Mexico
    Heydar Heydarov – Azerbaijan
    Jonathan Muamba – Mexico
    Kirill Andreev – Finland
    Lashawn Sladden – Trinidad And Tobago
    Magomed Gadzhiiasulov – Bahrain
    Magomed Shakhrudinov – Russia
    Marc Zindler – Germany
    Martin Koubek – Czech Republic
    Matthew Nicholson – United Kingdom
    Murtaza Talha Ali – Bahrain
    Patrick Best – Australia
    Serik Abirov – Kazakhstan
    Stanislau Stashenka – Belarus
    Stilian Ivanov – Bulgaria
    Virgil AUGEN – France
    Zelemkhan Khumaidov – Kazakhstan

    MEN’S HEAVYWEIGHT 120.2 KG (265 LBS)

    BAKHTIIAR NAVRUZOV – Kyrgyzstan
    Bachir Ricardo – Lebanon
    Bálint Ékes – Hungary
    Chaddad Alexandre – Lebanon
    Chaieb Rayan – France
    Dane Alchin – Australia
    Dmitriy Popov – Kazakhstan
    Elgun Yusifov – Azerbaijan
    Gadzhimurad Bagaudinov – Russia
    Giorgi Chochishvili – Georgia
    Jeremie Varela – France
    Jeremy Rodulfo – Trinidad And Tobago
    Jindrich Krajca – Czech Republic
    Julius Gebele – Germany
    Kevin Arnold – United States
    Kimmo Meier – Estonia
    Maksat Musabaev – Kyrgyzstan
    Mokhmad Suliymanov – Kazakhstan
    Nasih El arja – Denmark
    Ryan Spillane – Ireland
    Salif Diop – Sweden
    Shamil Gaziev – Bahrain
    Shamil Kuramagomedov – Russia
    Tomi Jaakkola – Finland

    MEN’S SUPER HEAVYWEIGHT 300 KG (661 LBS)

    Hamzat Tajsumov – Russia
    Jeremy Woolfolk – United States
    Moustafa Abdelsalam – Egypt
    Rassul Khatayev – Kazakhstan
    Shamsutdin Makhmudov – Russia
    pasha kharkhachaev – Bahrain

    ]]>

    The post Athletes & Nations for 2019 IMMAF |WMMAA Senior World Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Technical Seminar Preview: Marc Goddard on 'The Importance of Regulation' https://immaf.org/2019/10/04/technical-seminar-preview-marc-goddard-on-the-importance-of-regulation/ Fri, 04 Oct 2019 12:16:36 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31189

    The post Technical Seminar Preview: Marc Goddard on 'The Importance of Regulation' appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Since first joining the IMMAF Regulatory Affairs and Technical Committee in 2012, Marc Goddard’s integral contribution to the drive for grass roots development and globally unified regulation of MMA has not ceased to evolve.

    While managing a schedule as one of MMA’s most well traveled referees under the UFC banner and other standout professional events, Marc leads the official IMMAF program for education, certification and experience development of up-and-coming officials, including referee and judges on the international IMMAF | WMMAA platform and throughout respective nations. In 2019 he formally joined the IMMAF administrative team as Director of Regulatory Affairs.

    This year, the world renowned official will feature for the first time at the IMMAF | WMMAA Technical Seminar Weekend. The 2019 gathering, exclusively for IMMAF | WMMAA members, marks an opportunity to attend the most informative and insightful weekend on the IMMAF | WMMAA calendar, bringing together global stakeholders of national MMA development alongside figureheads of the IMMAF | WMMAA leadership.

    The seminar schedule also includes: ‘The ABCs of Good Governance’ with IMMAF CEO Densign White, plus Andrew Moshanov (Sport Development Director): ‘Coaching: Is it Art or Science?’

    Marc Goddard’s featured seminar and discussion, ‘The Importance of Regulation’, focuses on the understanding of shared responsibilities for governing the sport and elemental aspects of thorough governance that are overlooked.

    The discussion is set to cover the following areas:

    1] The importance of regulation and why officials should no longer be an afterthought.
    2] Keeping officials trained, tested and vetted, and why this is important.
    3] Why regulation does not only cover fight day activities and duties.
    4] Collective responsibility between regulators and promoters
    5] Athlete safety, merging and managing regulation with medical protocol before, during and after competition.

    The 2019 Technical Seminar Weekend is hosted this month from October 18-20 in Antalya, Turkey, at the Papillion, Ayscha Resort.

    Click HERE for full details and information on how to book your place at the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Technical Seminar Weekend.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Technical Seminar Preview: Marc Goddard on 'The Importance of Regulation' appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    The Nominees for the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards https://immaf.org/2019/10/03/the-nominees-for-the-2019-amateur-mma-awards/ Thu, 03 Oct 2019 18:59:33 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31180

    The post The Nominees for the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) are pleased to announce the 2019 Amateur MMA Award Nominees for the following categories:

    • National Team of the Year
    • Male Athlete of the Year
    • Female Athlete of the Year
    • Junior Athlete of the Year (18 – 20 yrs)

    See the Award Nominees listed below: To learn more about them stay tuned to immaf.org over the next five weeks as IMMAF focuses on each category in turn.

    The winners are to be determined by member vote, and National Federations will be notified directly by IMMAF about how to take part.

    Nominees for the publicly voted award, Green Hill Performance of the Year, will be announced during the week commencing the 4 November, with voting taking place via social media.

    The ultimate awardees for all categories will be revealed at the invitation only, black-tie awards dinner on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships in Manama.

    Follow all Awards updates via IMMAF Social Media;

    AWARD NOMINEES (BLOCK A – MEMBER VOTE)


    Senior Female Athlete of the Year

    • Nina Back (Sweden)
    2018 World Championships: silver
    2019 European Open: silver

    Alish Smith (Australia)
    2019 Oceania Open: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold

    Gase Sanita (New Zealand)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    Alexandra Kovacs (Hungary)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    LaNeisha Vinson (USA)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    Senior Male Athlete of the Year

    • Sola Axel (France)
    2018 World Championships: Silver
    2019 Africa Open: silver
    2019 Pan American Open: gold
    2019 Oceania Open: gold
    2019 European Open: bronze

    • Pasha Kharkhachaev (Bahrain)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold
    2019 European Open: gold

    Bagdat Zhubanysh (Kazakhstan)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 Asian Open: gold

    Lee Hammond (Ireland)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    Delyan Georgiev (Bulgaria)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 European Open: bronze

    Junior Athlete of the Year

    Muhammad Mokaev (UK)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 European Open: gold

    • Shamsutdin Makhmudov (Russia)
    2018 World Championships: gold
    2019 European Open: gold

    • Reo Yamaguchi (Japan)
    2018 World Championships: silver
    2019 European Open: silver

    Megan Morris (UK)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    • Mahboob Khan Mohammed (India)
    2018 World Championships: gold

    National Team of the Year

    • Bahrain
    • Russia
    • Kazakhstan
    • Ukraine
    • Ireland

    ]]>

    The post The Nominees for the 2019 Amateur MMA Awards appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Technical Seminar Preview: 'The ABC's of Good Governance' With IMMAF CEO Densign White https://immaf.org/2019/10/02/technical-seminar-preview-the-abcs-of-good-governance-with-immaf-ceo-densign-white/ Wed, 02 Oct 2019 15:10:35 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31170

    The post Technical Seminar Preview: 'The ABC's of Good Governance' With IMMAF CEO Densign White appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    The International MMA Federation (IMMAF | WMMAA) hosts the 2019 Technical Seminar Weekend later this month, from October 18-20 in Antalya, Turkey, at the Papillion, Ayscha Resort.

    IMMAF Technical Seminar

    The Papillion, Ayscha Resort

    The gathering, exclusively for IMMAF | WMMAA members, marks an opportunity to attend the most informative and insightful weekend on the IMMAF | WMMAA calendar, bringing together global stakeholders of national MMA development alongside figureheads of the IMMAF | WMMAA leadership.

    The weekend presents an opportunity to participate in governance and technical seminars relating to MMA. Among them, IMMAF CEO Densign White (pictured) will present a talk on ‘The ABCs of Good Governance.’

    He explains, “In general terms governance is operating and managing our organisations in the right manner. My discussion will be asking the question: what is good governance and what does that cover, what does that mean practically?”

    Key features set to be covered in the ‘ABC’s of Good Governance’ include:

    1. Protecting the organisation’s reputation
    2. The role of the board and agreed delegated responsibilities between the staff and committees etc
    3. Holding regular minuted board meetings, annual AGM’s
    4. Management of conflicts of interest
    5. Financial management
    6. Strategic planning
    7. Keeping a risk register and identifying risk to the business

    Commenting on the undeniable need for good governance within MMA, and how unified governance is essential for MMA’s future within the community of recognized sports, the IMMAF CEO added, “The perception of MMA within authorities and regulatory bodies is not good. Because of that we are constantly having to try to change perceptions which also needs to be backed up with what we are doing in reality to alleviate those fears. Arguing, as some do, that because there is corruption in the world of sport that we should not have regulation or governance is completely irrational and makes no sense.”

    Click HERE for full details and information on how to book your place at the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Technical Seminar Weekend.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Technical Seminar Preview: 'The ABC's of Good Governance' With IMMAF CEO Densign White appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF Medalists Victorious Over Weekend at UFC and Bellator https://immaf.org/2019/09/30/immaf-medalists-victorious-over-weekend-at-ufc-and-bellator/ Mon, 30 Sep 2019 12:43:20 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31124

    The post IMMAF Medalists Victorious Over Weekend at UFC and Bellator appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    It was a prominent weekend for IMMAF alumni; 9 international bouts took place between Copenhagen, Dublin and Manchester.

    While several standouts continued in their professional careers, current amateur standout Muhammad Mokaev extended his profound dominance to a record of 17-0. The 19-year-old, who will represent England at the 2019 IMMAF World Championships in November, broadened his notoriety with a mauling over 25-year-old Mikey Boden, forcing a second round TKO.

    The reigning IMMAF – WMMAA junior world champion will next seek to retain his bantamweight crown as the 2019 Junior and Senior World Championships play out concurrently in Bahrain from November 10-16. Mokaev commented online, “Thank you for your support guys! I will be flying out to Bahrain in couple of weeks for the World IMMAF Championships representing country that gave me a lot of support from 2012.”

    Meanwhile, Welshman Jack Shore triumphed in his much anticipated UFC debut, at UFC Fight Night in Copenhagen, Denmark. The undefeated, former Cage Warriors champion and 2015 IMMAF European Open gold medalist, now at 12-0, pulled off a third round rear-naked-choke to submit Nohelin Hernandez, a product of the renowned AKA gym in California.

    It was disappointment for 2014 IMMAF world champion, Alessio Di Chirico. The Italian suffered a unanimous decision loss to Makhmud Muradov under the UFC banner. The bout marked Di Chirico’s 7th UFC outing.

    Former world champions, medalists and graduates of the IMMAA Republic of Ireland national team, alongside Northern Ireland’s Leah McCourt, kicked off the weekend’s action on Friday in Dublin where each would soar to victory at Bellator 227.

    Former European Open bronze medalist, Ciaran Clarke made a successful professional debut with a rear-naked-choke-submission over Northern Ireland’s George Courtney.

    Likewise, 2017 world silver medalist Danni Neilan completed her own pro debut with a unanimous decision win over Sweden’s Camila Rivarola.

    Former IMMAF world gold medalists, Frans Mlambo (2015) Leah McCourt (2016) each continued their professional tenures. Mlambo extended to 8-4 as a professional with a unanimous decision over highly touted Englishman Dominique Wooding. The blossoming professional prominence of McCourt saw her move to 3-1 with a third successive victory, submitting Britain’s Kerry Hughes with a rear-naked-choke.

    Former World Championships and European Open competitor, Kiefer Crosbie climbed to 7-1 as he continues to show promising development, he took a unanimous decision over Portugal’s Hugo Pereira. In addition, IMMAA youth team coach Philip Mulpeter also featured as “The Honeybadger” moved to 10-6 with a split-decision over countryman Keith McCabe.

    The event was capped off by 2015 World Championships veteran James Gallagher. The 22-year-old brought the roaring Irish crowd to its feet one final time with a career highlight guillotine choke submission at just 35 seconds into the opening round, countering the takedown of USA man Roman Salazar.

    Collectively, the aforementioned standouts have blazed a trail for future generations of competitors, with the likes of Shore, Clarke and McCourt crediting their professional successes to education and time served as active competitors, culminating with experience on the international IMMAF platform, the premier proving ground of amateur MMA.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF Medalists Victorious Over Weekend at UFC and Bellator appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Coaches Prepare for MMA's Legalisation in France https://immaf.org/2019/09/30/coaches-prepare-for-mma-recognition-in-france/ Mon, 30 Sep 2019 12:35:33 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31136

    The post Coaches Prepare for MMA's Legalisation in France appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    The IMMAF MMA Coaches Licensing Course took place at the Paris Racing Club in Paris, France, on Thursday 26 and Friday 27 September 2019, led by Director of Sport DevelopmentDr. Andrew Moshanov, and Commission Française de Mixed Martial Arts (CFMMA) President Bertrand Amoussou.

    The course took place in the same week that France’s various combat sports federations were expected to submit their bids to adopt MMA within their structures, as part of Sports Minister Roxana Mărăcineanu’s plan to fast-track the legalisation and regulation of the sport in the country. It was also this week that IMMAF President Kerrith Brown and CEO Densign White were in Paris for meetings with politicians, and also met with a couple of the bid applicants, the French Boxing Federation (FFB) and French Wrestling Federation (FFL).

    The aims of the IMMAF Coach Education and Certification program (CECP) are to set the standards for coaching practice in amateur MMA worldwide; to help coaches develop an appropriate level of competence; to regulate coaching practice; to ensure that continuous professional development is in place and that coaches remain informed of the latest trends in the sport. Education and licensing are key responsibilities and requirements for sports governing bodies.

    IMMAF’s programme was developed by Dr. Moshanov who was previously Head of Development for International Sambo Federation (2012 – 2017), Technical Director of the British Judo Association (2005 -2010) and Sports Director for Russian Judo (2000-2004) in charge of the national team for all major events. With a PhD from Moscow State University of Physical Education and Sport (2000), he also led the Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) National Judo team in their training for the XIII Asian and Olympic Games (1996- 2000).

    Thus, the MMA programme works well within the educational canon of recognised martial arts, which will chime well in France, where it is mandatory for sports clubs and gyms to be members of a federation and meet its licensing requirements.

    Speaking of the Paris course, Moshanov, said:

    “It has been a very productive couple of days. We presented twenty-six coaches with all aspects of teaching methodology and basic concepts of sports training. It will help them to work effectively, professionally and to take the sport of MMA to the next level”

    “There is great interest in and anticipation for MMA recognition in France. There’s six coaches here from Paris clubs, with the remaining 20 coaches coming from all over the country, from Lille, Brest, Marseille, Cannes …….all getting themselves ready for the new era of this sport in France.”

    ]]>

    The post Coaches Prepare for MMA's Legalisation in France appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Focus on MMA and Youth Development in Jamaica https://immaf.org/2019/09/27/focus-on-mma-and-youth-development-in-jamaica/ Fri, 27 Sep 2019 11:03:17 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31119

    The post Focus on MMA and Youth Development in Jamaica appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Upon joining the IMMAF in early 2019; the MMA Jamaica Sports Federation had taken the first steps towards realising some of its key goals and ambitions.

    Along with the nationwide development of the sport; including the safeguarding of participants and the promotion of MMA; the MMAJSF also have a desire to utilise the sport to help with youth social development for those in violent, inner city communities.

    IMMAF President Kerrith Brown (pictured, far right) recently paid a visit to the country to check in on progress and to learn of a notable new collaboration between the MMAJSF and international charity, ‘Fight For Peace’.

    With a focus on areas with sparse resources, Fight for Peace uses a combination of MMA and Boxing alongside education and personal development to help young people in communities affected by crime, violence and social exclusion to realise their potential.

    The IMMAF President explained, “Fight For Peace is an important cause and IMMAF fully believes that Jamaica should be concentrating its focus on youth development. This partnership is a fantastic way to do that.

    “If we can help lay those sustained foundations for growing the next generation of practitioners and competitors, then we’ll be helping the MMAJSF build toward achieving some of their key goals.”

    MMA Jamaica Sports Federation President Vice-President, Daniel Chacko-Wilmot (pictured, far left) said, “By using MMA lessons to assist children within violent communities in Kingston, we can teach them to cope with the stress of the harsh conditions in their communities while instilling key discipline and control.

    “MMA Jamaica will continue to focus on the development of the youth in MMA, teaching MMA techniques to the inner-city youth, but we will also be establishing competitions using the rules set by the IMMAF for teenage athletes living within these communities.”

    A separate ambition of the MMAJSF is to establish an MMA club within the Jamaica Military, along with a combat sports training facility at the main military camp in the country.

    Kerrith Brown added, “We recognise that Jamaica needs more support for the federation to reach its objectives. The team in Jamaica are dedicated and enthusiastic despite having some limitations. We are working on getting the right infrastructure in place.

    “The acquisition of an official training site would be a true milestone for MMA in the country and it would set them on their way to achieve Olympic Committee alignment along with much-needed recognition from the Ministry of Sport.”

    The IMMAF will be providing support with the donation of equipment to aid in grass roots development, in addition to implementing the IMMAF development program for coaches.

    The hope is that by 2028, Jamaica will be producing MMA athletes that can be added to the list of Jamaican sporting greats with the capabilities and talent to join the nation’s Olympic legacy alongside the likes of Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Chris Gayle, Veronica Campbell-Brown and Michael Holding.

    Main picture: Kerrith Brown and Daniel Chacko-Wilmot alongside Fight For Peace organisers.

    By Robert Horne

    ]]>

    The post Focus on MMA and Youth Development in Jamaica appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Muay Thai Champion Lucie Vacova Discusses Fast Start to MMA at IMMAF Worlds https://immaf.org/2019/09/24/muay-thai-champion-lucie-vacova-discusses-fast-start-to-mma-at-immaf-worlds/ Tue, 24 Sep 2019 13:03:50 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31086

    The post Muay Thai Champion Lucie Vacova Discusses Fast Start to MMA at IMMAF Worlds appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Lucie Vacova made her debut on the international amateur MMA stage in 2018, representing the Czech Republic national team at the IMMAF-WMMAA Unified World Championships.

    The decorated striking specialist discussed with IMMAF.org the crash course that was undertaken at the 2018 World Championships, as she took her mixed martial arts transition to the deep end of top flight amateur MMA following a successful debut at the national level.

    Vacova entered MMA as an accomplished amateur Muay Thai champion with international experience. Her striking skill set and familiarity of global scale events no doubt contributed to her fast start in MMA. This was showcased at the 2018 World Championships in Bahrain last November, in the women’s bantamweight quarter-finals.

    After finding her feet with a split-decision nod over Lebanon’s Lama Nassar, the charismatic newcomer faced the reigning European Open gold medalist, Sweden’s Frida Vastamäki, in the final 8.

    Despite being considered a BJJ specialist within the Swedish national team, Vastamäki produced thrilling knockout stoppages in claiming the European Open crown earlier that year. Vastamäki vs. Vacova produced the captivating match up of perhaps the division’s top striker taking on an evidently dynamic champion of MMA.

    “It’s so difficult, because you have to learn an all new technique of fighting,” Vacova explained, commenting on the challenges of transitioning from Muay Thai to MMA. “The first rule at Muay Thay is ‘watch 8 limbs,’ but this is not enough in MMA. I felt like a small child at its first day of school – totally confused.”


    Pictured: Vastamäki vs. Vacova

    Nevertheless, Vacova’s progress shined. The outcome against Vastamäki showed that even a proven talent of amateur MMA can be handed a lesson that betters their development, and the chances of this are considerably raised within the vastness of the IMMAF talent pool. Vacova faced down Vastamäki with seasoned composure, countering the aggressive Swede with precision strikes, frustrating her opponent enough to force an opening on the ground where the Czech hopeful secured a rear-naked-choke submission.

    Recalling her thoughts towards the bout, Vacova told IMMAF.org, “Frida is really good in her fighting stances and moving on the ground as well. I was nervous, but after coming to the cage I felt in a good mood and my head was totally empty, just focusing on the coming fight, not thinking about Frida’s triumphs. I had pure respect for the person who was in front of me at that moment.”

    However, the 2018 world title was not to be as Vacova was eliminated by eventual silver medalist, Romania’s Daniela Mihaela Bulgaru, who had shown her own stoppage prowess in the final 8, eliminating the UK’s Charlotte “Bomber” Brown.

    Vacova rejoins the Czech national team and is set to enter the women’s lightweight division (155lbs/65.8kg) of the 2019 World Championships, where she will be joined by the likes of exciting European and World silver medalist, Jenni Kivioja of Finland. The 2019 IMMAF-WMMAA World Championships take place from 11-16 November in Manama, Bahrain.

    Earning a bronze medal in 2018, Vacova established herself as one to watch as she progresses in MMA and returns to the IMMAF World Championships this November. A frustrating run of results following the 2018 Championships has lead the striking enthusiast and her team to further assess their tactics, recognizing that application of her main strengths require alteration in order to bring out her full capacity.

    “We have found some deficiencies. I have been working really hard for getting better in the last months and I am looking forward to going to the cage again, to show you what is in me.”

    By IMMAF.org lead writer, photographer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Muay Thai Champion Lucie Vacova Discusses Fast Start to MMA at IMMAF Worlds appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF CEO Speaks at First Middle East Sport Integrity Summit https://immaf.org/2019/09/22/immaf-ceo-speaks-at-first-middle-east-sport-integrity-summit/ Sun, 22 Sep 2019 21:52:46 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31099

    The post IMMAF CEO Speaks at First Middle East Sport Integrity Summit appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    SIGA

    On 16 September, IMMAF CEO Densign White spoke at the first Inter-Regional Summit in the Middle East focused on the issue of preserving integrity in sport.

    “The Middle East is a hotbed for investment in sports development. This summit provides a ripe opportunity to strengthen international collaboration with the region and to focus on the issue of integrity in sport in a local context, ” said White.

    Organised by the Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA), of which IMMAF is a member and its CEO a Council delegate, ‘Sport Integrity – The Power of Collective Action in the Middle East, Asia and Africa’, took place in Doha, Qatar, under the patronage of HE Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali, Minister of Culture and Sport of Qatar.

    The event was co-hosted by the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) and Qatar Airways, with whom the IMMAF CEO met to discuss sponsorship opportunities with IMMAF.

    The SIGA Inter-Regional Summit is an independent platform to address key matters of regional significance, bringing together thought leaders and international experts from the world of sport, international organisations, governments, global business and civil society.

    During the Summit, a series of high-level panels sessions and speeches explored critical issues, such as:

    • Collective Action and The Global Push for Sport Integrity
    • Qatar: Host Nation of The First Mega Sporting Events in The Region
    • Major Sports: What is Being Done to Ensure the Highest Integrity?
    • The Power of Clean Sport and Its Role in Our Regions
    • Championing Sport Integrity on The Field of Play
    • Sport Integrity: A Catalyst for Development, Legacy and Peace
    • Sport Integrity and Global Business
    • Global Challenges, Regional Approaches and International Cooperation

    On the sidelines of the event the Qatar Stars League (QSL) became the first professional league in Asia to sign an agreement with an international organisation committed to sport integrity, as it signed with SIGA. The agreement aims at exchanging experience, joint tasks, presenting the best practices, exchanging information, methods, ideas and activities by establishing the concepts of integrity and transparency in football.

    HE Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports for the State of Qatar stated that hosting the SIGA Inter-Regional Summit reflected Qatar’s proactive role and the country’s efforts to safeguard ethics and promote sports for good for the world’s communities.

    He said: “It is significant to consider both regional and global factors in realizing these goals and work on strengthening the cooperation with stakeholders and federations as well as UN organisations and NGOs.”

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF CEO Speaks at First Middle East Sport Integrity Summit appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF Welcomes the Hong Kong MMA Federation https://immaf.org/2019/09/21/immaf-welcomes-the-hong-kong-mma-federation/ Sat, 21 Sep 2019 14:22:23 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31088

    The post IMMAF Welcomes the Hong Kong MMA Federation appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Hong Kong MMA

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) welcomes the Hong Kong MMA Federation (HKMMAF) as its newest member.

    IMMAF’s national representative in Hong Kong is magnifying MMA as a sport, with an aim to become a National Sports Association under the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China. It is also supported by JUST MMA, Hong Kong’s leading professional MMA promotor.

    HKMMAF President and JUST MMA Chairman, Andrew Chan [pictured], said:

    “Hong Kong has a rich history in martial arts, and its international status has attracted an unbelievable variety of offerings. The introduction of amateur MMA, being a common platform for competition, will be the most exciting development for all athletes.”

    “Having organised 5 professional events in Hong Kong, Macau and China in the past two years, we were amazed by the level of participation from both athletes and spectators. We are certain that the sport will grow dramatically in coming years. And with a quality supply of coaches and training facilities, Hong Kong will generate a good number of professional and amateur athletes.”

    “HKMMAF is formed as a platform to help the MMA community to promote and grow the sport in a safe and fair manner. We rely on every member of the community to contribute and to take ownership in being part of the exciting MMA development in Hong Kong.”

    The Hong Kong Federation is composed of officials, coaches, athletes, and professionals from the fields of medicine, law, media and finance. It will initially focus on building a structure for amateur competition under the IMMAF framework – rules, officiation, medical support…etc. This will be followed by introducing the IMMAF certification program for coaches, referees and cutman.

    Representing one of the most accessible cities in the region, the HKMMAF is well placed to organise events across the region and its aim is to support the promotion of MMA across Asia.

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF Welcomes the Hong Kong MMA Federation appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF CEO: Members Not Permitted to Take Part in Other MMA Federation Events https://immaf.org/2019/09/17/immaf-ceo-members-not-permitted-to-take-part-in-other-mma-federation-events/ Tue, 17 Sep 2019 10:48:00 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31077

    The post IMMAF CEO: Members Not Permitted to Take Part in Other MMA Federation Events appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    The IMMAF CEO, Densign White, has today issued the following letter to IMMAF | WMMAA members:

    Dear Members,

    As IMMAF recognises just one national governing body for MMA per country, IMMAF members are likewise committed to recognising IMMAF (or IMMAF | WMMAA) as the sole international governing body for mixed martial arts.

    IMMAF is the only International Federation representing MMA globally that meets the criteria set out by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to be a recognised member.

    I am, therefore, reminding you of your obligations to IMMAF as outlined in our Code of Ethics:

    3.13 Membership to other international Mixed Martial Arts federations We will be a member of the IMMAF | WMMAA and no other one international mixed martial arts federation and will not engage in MMA related activities with these organizations.

    3.14 National team competitors competing in non-sanctioned events National team members are barred from competing in non-sanctioned events or mixed martial arts events held by another international federation. Noncompliance can lead to barring from participation in future events held by the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation.

    I would like to thank you for your continued support.

    Yours in sport,


    Densign White CEO

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF CEO: Members Not Permitted to Take Part in Other MMA Federation Events appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Eliezer Kubanza, Africa's Highest Ranked Amateur MMA Talent Aims to Make All Africa Proud at 2019 World Championships https://immaf.org/2019/09/16/eliezer-kubanza-africas-highest-ranked-amateur-mma-talent-aims-to-make-all-africa-proud-at-2019-world-championships/ Mon, 16 Sep 2019 17:04:01 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31064

    The post Eliezer Kubanza, Africa's Highest Ranked Amateur MMA Talent Aims to Make All Africa Proud at 2019 World Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    In 1957 Kwame Nkrumah led the nation of Ghana to independence as the country’s first Prime Minister. He famously stated: “I am not African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me.”

    Nkrumah was an outspoken advocate for the liberation and union of Africa as a whole. While his movement was unsuccessful, ending with a military coup in 1966, many share the perspective that when you are born in Africa you a part of an unbounded culture and community.

    In contrast to Europe, Asia or the Americas, these sentiments are noticeably embodied within the people of Africa and often amplified by the sporting heroes of African nations. At the 2019 IMMAF – WMMAA World Championships, 22-year-old amateur MMA standout, Eliezer Kubanza looks to following in their footsteps.

    above: Kubanza receives his 2019 Africa Open gold medal

    Hailing from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kubanza is Africa’s highest ranked amateur MMA contender and two-time IMMAF Africa Open gold medalist, winning the continental title in 2017 and again in 2019. He occupies 8th place in the senior middleweight rankings and 29th in the pound-for-pound standings featuring over 750 senior level men and women.

    13 African nations are currently represented as members of IMMAF – WMMAA with South Africa leading as the continent’s most decorated national team and serving as regular hosts of the Africa Open Championships since 2017. South Africa has won three gold medals at the IMMAF World Championships, but not since 2016 when the last to do so was men’s lightweight challenger, “Relentless” Roedie Roets.

    Alongside Team South Africa, athletes from Algeria, Cameroon, Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, the Seychelles and Tunisia are set to compete on the world’s premier and most inclusive platform for amateur MMA.

    Looking ahead to the 2019 IMMAF – WMMAA World Championships, taking place in Bahrain from 11-16 November, Africa’s top medal prospect is not only committed to stepping on the world championships podium as the first Congolese athlete to make it, but to claim the gold medal and pave the way for future generations of African hopefuls in the sport of MMA.

    “We are trying to make our continent proud and bring it up like other professionals from Africa are doing, to be number-one and make all Africa proud,” Kubanza told IMMAF.org.

    With a current amateur record of 7-2, Kubanza has established himself as a dangerous knockout artist with great athletic potential. Holding a 100% KO ratio in his winning performances, Kubanza has forced 6 knockout stoppages to date alongside a single triangle choke submission.

    In addition to Kubanza, the Democratic Republic of Congo MMA Federation aims to dispatch a quartet of representatives incuding 2019 Africa Open bronze medalist, Chadrack Lomboto (men’s lightweight), Joslin Nkuni (men’s featherweight) and Kasese Muntamba (light-heavyweight).

    “Training is going 100% good and I’m better than before,” Kubanza added, “my ground game and BJJ is getting better as well, I think I will be 100% ready for this World Championships .”

    By IMMAF.org lead writer, photographer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Eliezer Kubanza, Africa's Highest Ranked Amateur MMA Talent Aims to Make All Africa Proud at 2019 World Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    New Algerian Member Expands IMMAF's Footprint in Africa https://immaf.org/2019/09/12/new-algerian-member-expands-immafs-footprint-in-africa/ Thu, 12 Sep 2019 18:32:16 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31052

    The post New Algerian Member Expands IMMAF's Footprint in Africa appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    MMA Algeria


    IMMAF welcomes the Algerian Federation of Kickboxing, MMA and Similar Sports as its sole recognised governing body for MMA in Algeria and its 13th member from the African continent

    The National Federation is recognised by its Ministry of Sport, and is working to develop MMA with the goal of creating an independent MMA federation in the future. The organisation represents the majority of the MMA community in Algeria and is the only one licensed to run MMA competitions nationally.

    The Algerian Federation’s board consists of elected members with a background in MMA and combat sports, who are also professionals in fields such as medicine and finance. Its membership is composed of officials and experienced athletes, with a range of organisational and technical expertise. Each MMA club practices at least three times a week and undergoes annual technical tests.

    The federation is working to expand through its member athletes, coaches and staff and aims to develop children’s pathways, refereeing and technical courses as the first steps in creating a solid curriculum. Work is underway to organise national championships to select the Algerian team that will compete at the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA World Championships.

    The Algerian Federation has additionally partnered with professional teams and MMA fighters both inside and outside of Algeria.

    President of the Algerian MMA Committee, Hocine Mesboua, said:

    ” We look forward to working with IMMAF and thank the international federation for working on the development of MMA on a global scale.”

    ]]>

    The post New Algerian Member Expands IMMAF's Footprint in Africa appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Ukraine Team Reflects on Youth MMA World Championships Success https://immaf.org/2019/09/12/ukraine-team-reflects-on-youth-mma-world-championships-success/ Thu, 12 Sep 2019 14:57:05 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=31032

    The post Ukraine Team Reflects on Youth MMA World Championships Success appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    There was a sense of anticipation and mystery heading into the inaugural IMMAF -WMMAA Youth MMA World Championships, hosted last month in the city of Rome.

    The first event of its kind on a major international scale, 26 member nations of IMMAF – WMMAA came together in the Italian capital, represented by over 250 young athletes spanning three age/rule categories: Youth C (12-13), Youth B (14-15) and Youth A (16-17).

    It was uncertain as to which nations would emerge as leaders of the youth championships. With amateur MMA at the senior level not wholly reflective of the professional scene with regards to national prominence, the spectrum of global talent among U18s was yet to be mapped out; surprises were anticipated.

    It was, however, the USA who lived up to the expectation of being the undisputed hotbed of mainstream mixed martial arts, showcasing how the sport’s prominence has filtered to younger generations. The U.S. team, headed by the USFL, dispatched 34 athletes as the championship’s biggest team and excelled atop the medal table with 28 total podium positions and 16 golds (read more on USFL at Youth Worlds HERE).


    Early predictions for standout achievers included the likes of Russia, England and Ireland. However, it was Ukraine who claimed second place in the medal table.

    At the forefront of MMA, Ukraine remains somewhat under the radar of MMA’s wider audience, the few exceptions to reach the sport’s mainstream audience being the likes of heavyweight MMA legend, Igor Vovchanchyn and current UFC light-heavyweight Nikita Krylov.

    However, at the domestic and amateur level, Ukraine enjoys a flourishing and progressive MMA scene, keen to engage with unified sport development. It was this progressive mindset, initiated by the Ukraine MMA Federation and its president Oleg Rozhkevich, that served as the catalyst for the nation’s breakout success at the Youth World Championships, Ukraine edged second place over Russia (3rd) in the gold count, claiming 7 youth world titles.

    “As soon as we knew the rules for the under-18’s world championships, we had them translated and given to our coaches,” Anton Blank revealed, Executive Director of the Ukraine MMA Federation.

    “The coaches had enough time and information to prepare. Also we had Ukrainian Championships in the beginning of March so only the best U18 athletes from all Ukraine were taken to the national team and could compete in the world championships. I think after such a good result MMA will become much more popular among the parents of Ukrainian kids and they will bring their children to the sport of MMA.”

    (Above) Ukraine’s youth athletes and coaches ready for action at the Youth World Championships.

    Ukraine’s foresight for preparation and willingness to endorse unified standards provides great optimism for continued progress. Not only in the competitive realm, the national federation has recently welcomed head of regulatory affairs, Marc Goddard, to deliver the IMMAF certification course for referees and judges, spreading practice and understanding of the unified amateur rule set.

    Success at the Youth World Championships gives the sign that processes are in place to ensure development of home grown talent for years to come. Ukraine’s biggest success to date under IMMAF-WMMAA comes following steady success for the past two years at the senior level, with Ukrainian athletes consistently achieving titles and podium positions at the World Championships and European Open. Ukraine occupies 6th place in the current world team rankings.

    Blank added, “Ukrainian people like sports. As You know, Ukraine has one of the best boxing schools in the world with such athletes like Klitschko, Lomachenko, Usyk. The problem is with the economic situation. A lot of talented sportsmen stop their sport careers after they become 18, because they don’t have money for living, and start working. If the athlete does not have a sponsor of some kind, they cannot become a big star in sports.”

    As Blank suggests, the future is not always clear for promising young athletes approaching adulthood and with professional aspirations after crafting an efficient skill set as amateurs. Like many hotbeds of MMA and Olympic amateur sport, the future of would-be prospects can hinge on sustainability, on the economic landscape and extent of continued opportunity and pathways in sport.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer, photographer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Ukraine Team Reflects on Youth MMA World Championships Success appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Murtaza Returns, Former Gold Medalist Back to Reclaim World Title in 2019 https://immaf.org/2019/09/09/murtaza-returns-former-gold-medalist-back-to-reclaim-world-title-in-2019/ Mon, 09 Sep 2019 12:42:58 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=30978

    The post Murtaza Returns, Former Gold Medalist Back to Reclaim World Title in 2019 appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    While no man was able to derail the momentum of light-heavyweight juggernaut, Murtaza Talha Ali, it was a hand injury requiring surgery that forced the undefeated 23-year-old out of action for over a year.

    Since he charged to gold medals for Bahrain at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships and 2018 European Open, much has changed in the 205lb division, in the absence of its former ruler.

    “My hand is good now,” he told IMMAF.org, “I did good rehabilitation in Bahrain with our team doctors. I’m punching, doing wrestling 100% now and starting my camp for Worlds.”

    Following the amalgamation of the International MMA Federation (IMMAF) and World MMA Association (WMMAA), the first Unified Word Championships took place in 2018 with Murtaza forced to watch on as Russia dominated across the board.

    “I think after WMMAA became part of us (IMMAF) it’s more competitive now, I think it’s very good for our sport,” Murtaza commented.

    Magomed Shakhrudinov (pictured above) took dominance of the division to a new level at the 2018 Worlds, with three first round stoppages (1 TKO, 2 submissions) en route to the final where he bested team mate Ruslan Shidakov with a second round rear-naked-choke, as Russia took both the gold and silver medals at 205lbs.

    Murtaza’s return drew closer, but was not soon enough for the 2019 European Open, taking place last June. Hosted in Rome, it was Russia’s 2018 junior world champion, Igor Glazkov, who transitioned flawlessly to the senior ranks, destroying all comers as he captured the continental title. Murtaza’s hold on the division was now fully broken.

    In the latest Russian nationals and qualifying for the 2019 senior world championships, Shakhrudinov defeated Glazkov in the light-heavyweight final and thus will be Russia’s leading man at 205lbs once again.


    In May, Murtaza watched on as Bahrain topped the 2019 Asian Open medal table.

    While starved of competition for over a year, Bahrain’s top light-heavyweight product has seen the nation achieve retain place in the world team rankings following this year’s European open in Rome. Now, his contribution to the team will be reignited.

    “I’m very hungry for fighting,” he stated. “I miss that feeling, to be inside cage. I Cannot wait.” The 2019 IMMAF – WMMAA World Championships take place from 11-16 November and are expected to once again to break records and further raise the bar for premier level amateur competition.

    Murtaza’s heavy overhand-right and anvil-like top control brought great frustration to rivals across his 8-0 run from 2017-2018. Now, Murtaza’s greatest challenge to date awaits him upon returning to the IMMAF-WMMAA World Championships in November, where the division has further deepened and every triumph will count in the coveted national team rankings, where Bahrain sit in first place, hotly followed by a hellbent Team Russia, currently in second.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer, photographer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Murtaza Returns, Former Gold Medalist Back to Reclaim World Title in 2019 appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF WMMAA Amateur MMA Awards Return to Bahrain this November https://immaf.org/2019/09/05/%ef%bb%bfimmaf-wmmaa-amateur-mma-awards-return-to-bahrain-this-november/ Thu, 05 Sep 2019 13:38:51 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=30953

    The post IMMAF WMMAA Amateur MMA Awards Return to Bahrain this November appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) proudly announce the return of the Amateur MMA Awards to Bahrain.

    The second iteration of the annual ceremony will take place on Thursday 14 November during the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Unified World Championships. 

    The prestigious occasion will celebrate the achievements over the past year of amateur mixed martial artists, National Federations and those working to develop MMA as a globally recognised sport of excellence.

    The invitation only, black-tie awards dinner is exclusively for IMMAF delegates, National Federation presidents, award nominees and special guests. 

    Awards fall into three categories – those up for Member Vote, IMMAF / Partner Awards and those open for Public Vote.  Information is to follow on how MMA fans can cast their vote for the ‘Green Hill Performance of the Year’ and ‘SAFEJAWZ Golden Mouthguard’ awards, using social media. Nominees for Member Vote Awards are to be announced shortly.

    AWARD CATEGORIES

    Block A – Member Vote

    To be voted on by IMMAF-WMMAA members in attendance at the 2019 World Championships during registration. Each nation will have ONE vote.

    • Best Female Athlete
    • Best Male Athlete
    • Best Junior Athlete of the Year
    • National Team of the Year

    Block B – IMMAF / IMMAF Partner Awards

    As elected by IMMAF and its committees, except where marked.

    • Official of the Year 
    • Cutperson of the Year 
    • Host Federation of the Year 
    • Most Proactive Federation in Coach Education and Training
    • Most Proactive Federation in Implementing the “Technical Progression Scheme”
    • MyNextMatch Award of Excellence (elected by MyNextMatch)

    Block C – Public vote via Social Media

    • Green Hill Performance of the Year (for best performance in a single bout)
    • SafeJawz Golden Mouthguard Award

     

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF WMMAA Amateur MMA Awards Return to Bahrain this November appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Will Norway Follow European Momentum Towards MMA Regulation? https://immaf.org/2019/09/02/will-norway-follow-european-momentum-towards-mma-regulation/ Mon, 02 Sep 2019 09:32:20 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=30940

    The post Will Norway Follow European Momentum Towards MMA Regulation? appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Jack Hermansson

    A SPOTLIGHT ON THE RECOGNITION OF MMA IN EUROPE

    By lead writer Jorden Curran

    While the French Sports Minister’s plans to legalise MMA this year has been watched with keen interest, France is not the only country in which the sport’s ban is being upturned.

    It was the breakthrough of a lifetime for Norway’s MMA community back in April, when the Norwegian MMA Federation (NMMAF) confirmed recognition for Amateur MMA under the Norwegian Sports Federation.

    “This is great news for the sport of MMA, both as a recreational sport and for the athletes,” NMMAF President Henning Svendsen commented, earlier this year. “This will make it much more efficient to manage and evolve the sport in a solid and secure way.”   

    For years, Norway remained a universal holdout on the legalization of popular combat sport. MMA itself was not a targeted victim, with a blanket “knockout law” for all combat sport spanning four decades in addition to outright prohibition of professional boxing.

    After a campaign fronted by undefeated pro boxing world champion and Norwegian sports icon, Cecilia Brækhus, Norway’s restrictive knockout law can now be lifted on a case-by-case basis, as of 2016 by the “knockout committee,” who may grant dispensation of the KO law.

    With potential acceptance of MMA events on the horizon, the NMMAF attended parliament hearings that saw welcome changes to legislation that paved the way for boxing. However, the parliament process showed less consideration towards MMA. Instead, NMMAF turned to the National Sports Federation and overcame the umbrella body’s skepticism by laying out the clear divide between professional and amateur MMA.  

    “We focused on MMA as a recreational and amateur sport, and that NMMAF primarily represented the vast majority of recreational athletes and amateurs,” NMMAF vice-president, Thomas Rye Eriksen explained. “This was a better tune for the sports federation which primarily was opposed to the commercialization and “demoralization” of MMA, and did not think this was compatible with Norwegian sports values.”

    The strategy was successful; NMMAF had taken amateur MMA to official recognition and is now entitled to apply for KO law dispensation. Sports which have already secured exemption include karate, sanshou, taekwondo, and boxing, pro boxing and kickboxing. NMMAF is set to apply on behalf of sanctioned amateur MMA once standards can be agreed that are in line with the international IMMAF – WMMAA unified amateur rule set.  

    Today, a considerable job remains if Norway is to green-light the sport of MMA at the professional level, with minimum fight restrictions still imposed that prevent bouts taking place under standard professional rules. This includes the maximum length of a round being set at no more than 3 minutes, and while this poses no hindrance to boxing or amateur MMA, the widely used standard for a professional MMA round is 5 minutes. Knee and elbow strikes have also been prohibited for other sports, and so further parliament discussion is required with pro MMA still in the dark.  

    However, similar to pro boxer Brækhus, surging UFC contender Jack Hermansson (pictured) may unknowingly find himself as the face who captures the attention of Norway’s government, as Eriksen explains.

    “As Jack Hermansson, among others, are climbing the ranks in the UFC, professional MMA has received renewed attention in media and in the last 6 months we have been contacted by several politicians who want to front legalization of professional MMA. It seems like the political landscape has changed over the few last years and it is conceivable that we may see politicians call for full regulation of MMA in Norway.”

    The UFC itself has a storied history of fighting for the acceptance of MMA in the United States, overcoming political interests and serving education to state leaders, one by one, until “Thank You NY State Legislature!” was tweeted by former UFC chairman and CEO, Lorenzo Fertitta in 2016, marking complete legalization of MMA across the USA. 

    “We would welcome MMA as part of the political agenda,” Eriksen added. “We see the Swedish model of regulation as a pioneering model of how regulation should work. It is important that NMMAF does not turn into a voice of the pro sport. Although we are here to facilitate amateur sport and recreational development for the vast majority, at the same time we strongly feel that potential future regulation of pro-MMA should not be done outside the sports federation, but within.” 

    Norway’s Scandinavian neighbors, Sweden narrowly avoided MMA being outlawed in 2006 upon concerns within the Swedish government, but of which resulted in sanctioning powers being granted to the Swedish MMA Federation (SMMAF). Similarly, France has made headlines in 2019 as the political blockade of MMA by influential figures was brought to an end by sports minister Roxana Mărăcineanu, who has mandated full regulation and acceptance of the sport:  A tender process is currently underway by which other national combat sports federations may bid for the opportunity to house MMA, in order to speed up the process of regulation and therefore legalisation. An announcement is expected from France in the coming months as to which federation will be mandated with the caretaker role for MMA

    Norway’s progressiveness has shown a light to MMA at the national level, the country has set out on a path towards proper regulation of a legitimate sport which echoes its American evolution, and closer to home within European counterparts where safety, education and liberation of athlete rights have prevailed

    These developments look set to render Iceland as the sole, last, European nation in which MMA competition remains banned.

    ]]>

    The post Will Norway Follow European Momentum Towards MMA Regulation? appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF Introduces New Cutman Licensing System for MMA https://immaf.org/2019/08/30/immaf-introduces-new-cutman-licensing-system-for-mma/ Fri, 30 Aug 2019 15:02:47 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=30930

    The post IMMAF Introduces New Cutman Licensing System for MMA appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Cutman

    Over the past few years the MMA governing body has trained more than one-hundred-and-twenty cutman and cutwomen across its member nations, who are now working successfully at national and international level MMA events across the globe.

    Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is critical to maintaining a high standard of a cutman’s work at MMA competitions, with a direct impact on athlete safety and wellbeing. Now IMMAF has introduced a requirement for revalidation in order to monitor and evaluate the work of its licensed cutpersons. This requirement will provide a mechanism for “quality control” that is common across sports. Every specialist after successfully passing the revalidation test will be issued a renewed licence to practice, as current and legitimate proof of their competency. Every cutperson who refreshes their training at an official IMMAF Cutman Course has the opportunity to progress him or herself from National Level (B) to International Level (A).

    IMMAF’s Director of Development, Andrew Moshanov, said:

    “The International Mixed Martials Arts Federation (IMMAF) carries out due diligence for its participants and wants to ensure that they’re provided with the best possible service.  All IMMAF accredited and certified specialists are required to refresh their training, to upskill themselves and to revalidate their licenses every 2 years. This includes coaches and cutmen”

    The criteria for revalidation is currently under development by the IMMAF Cutman Working Group.

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF Introduces New Cutman Licensing System for MMA appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF CEO Update On MMA's Bid for Sport Recognition https://immaf.org/2019/08/30/immaf-ceo-update-on-mmas-bid-for-sport-recognition/ Fri, 30 Aug 2019 14:07:50 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=30919

    The post IMMAF CEO Update On MMA's Bid for Sport Recognition appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    CEO Densign White wrote to IMMAF | WMMAA members yesterday (30 August 2019) with an update on the MMA governing body’s bid for sport recognition by GAISF and the status of its legal case against WADA. See his letter published below:

     

    Dear Members,

    I wanted to write to make you aware of our progress with our WADA application to become a signatory of the WADA code and the application to the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF).

    We applied to GAISF and WADA as far back as 2016 and we learnt very quickly that it was the politics within these organisations that was going to be the determining factor rather than the merits of the application.

    Our WADA application was the first to be rejected in early 2017 because WADA did not receive the backing from GAISF that they say they are obliged to have.

    Later that year we were invited to a GAISF membership meeting in Lausanne, where it was explained to us that whilst there was ‘rivalry’ between our federation and WMMAA there would be no possibility for us to be considered for membership.

    It is true that the GAISF statutes do not permit membership if there is rivalry with an existing member. GAISF however argued that they could not decide which of the two international MMA federations was the legitimate one (between IMMAF and WMMAA), and therefore they were putting the ball back into our court. It is of particular interest to note that none of the existing combat sports that are members of GAISF have made a rivalry claim against our application. However, this does not mean that these concerns are not being expressed behind closed doors and we know that they are.

    Thanks to you the members we were able by July of 2018 to have a fully executed agreement with WMMAA to merge as one global MMA community.

    In the meantime, we had also launched a lawsuit in the Swiss civil courts against WADA. This is because we believe WADA to have made a political decision rather than one based on the merit of our application, as well as one not made independently of GAISF. Indeed, WADA had previously written to us to confirm that our anti-doping programme was compliant with the WADA code. Their decision has also put them on the wrong side of other Swiss laws, too many to mention here but included in our submission to the court.

    During this time, GAISF had also undergone a process of restructure and change. They had a new President and had introduced an ‘Observation Status’ application for those sports wishing to be full members but which did not yet meet all the prerequisites.

    We decided that since our full membership application had made no progress, and with Observation Status providing a lower bar for us to reach, we would be afforded a greater chance of success. However, this also proved not to be the case as our application for Observer Status was refused without reason in February 2019.

    We did manage after several requests to elicit an explanation for why the application was refused, as outlined below:

    1. Rivalry, but it was not stated with whom. The only rivalry GAISF has ever made us aware of was that between IMMAF and WMMAA which we have resolved.
    2. Concerns about athlete welfare. We believe that we can rightfully boast the gold standard for athlete welfare and one which is certainly higher than in any other combat sport. All our medical statistics and reports dating back to 2014 have been provided and there is not anything contained in that data to cause concern.
    3. Our commercial relationships. They were not specific either on this point and nor do we believe that any of our sponsors and partners should raise any concern because they are legal and respected business entities.

    After receiving this reply from GAISF we met with them during the SportAccord Congress on the Gold Coast in Australia in May. We tried to drill down into the real reasons for the blockages to our application since the ones provided are in our view disingenuous. The GAISF team was not able to enlighten us any further.

    Subsequently, the court case against WADA picked up pace and a date was given by the Swiss court of September 4th 2019.

    WADA then reached out to us to request a meeting, which took place of August 5th in Lausanne. WADA has given assurances to us that they are working hard to address issues we have raised, but to achieve this they need to change their current policies which prevent them from making decisions independently of their sports stakeholders, including GAISF and IOC.

    They asked for more time and requested the postponement of the court case by 4 months. The IMMAF Board of Directors, acting in good faith, has agreed to the postponement. The courts have been notified and have confirmed a new date for January, when the case will resume should WADA fail to deliver.

    Also, while in Lausanne, we met with GAISF. The conversations were much more constructive than previously, and we were informed that our application may be reconsidered in October. The recent positive developments in France and Norway had clearly impacted their decision making, and it is IMMAF members who have been at the forefront of these changes at a local level.

    It is worth mentioning also that should our Observation Status application be successful in October, WADA will automatically give IMMAF signatory status. Should that happen we will be in a position to apply for full GAISF membership in 2020.

    Only IMMAF meets the high bar to be considered for GAISF membership. We have under our belts now the required five years of General Assemblies, five years of Audited accounts and a WADA Code compliant anti-doping programme. We have a detailed five-year plan for sport development which includes youth development, coach education, referee and judging training, as well as our Continental and World Championships which provide a competitive development platform for a range of age groups. And to top it all, we have achieved the required forty national federations recognised either by their National Olympic Committee or Government ministry.

    IMMAF will be hosting its second technical conference in Antalya, Turkey, from 18th to 20th October 2019. Places are limited so please do apply early to avoid disappointment. IMMAF will cover the cost of one night of accommodation for the first fifty members to apply.

    I hope that this brief update has been useful and, as always, I am available to you all at any time should you have questions about any IMMAF matters that concern you.

    I will close by wishing you all every success at the forthcoming World Championships in Bahrain, and I hope you can all attend the IMMAF Ordinary General Assembly where you will elect the new board to take this incredible organisation forward to 2027.

    Densign White.
    IMMAF CEO

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF CEO Update On MMA's Bid for Sport Recognition appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF Agrees to Postpone Legal Action with WADA https://immaf.org/2019/08/29/%ef%bb%bfimmaf-agrees-to-postpone-legal-action-with-wada/ Thu, 29 Aug 2019 21:04:51 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=30849

    The post IMMAF Agrees to Postpone Legal Action with WADA appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    The World Governing Body for the sport of amateur Mixed Martial Arts, IMMAF, has agreed to postpone its court hearing with the World Anti-Doping Agency, which had been scheduled for the Tribunal d’Arrondissement in Lausanne on 4th September 2019.

    IMMAF CEO Densign White, said: “After a unanimous decision of the IMMAF Board, we have agreed to a postponement, of approximately 4 months, to allow WADA time to review the current procedure for a sport organisation to become a signatory.”

    “While IMMAF will continue to monitor the situation closely, we have acted in good faith to press pause on legal action while WADA reviews these procedures. We want to work in partnership with key stakeholders in sport.

    “We would like to thank WADA for the open and fair approach and underline our commitment to Clean Sport as a code compliant sport. Without being a WADA signatory, IMMAF’s sanctions are easily bypassed with a resulting detrimental impact on our athletes, their safety and the sport of MMA.” said White.

    IMMAF first implemented an anti-doping policy based on the World Anti-Doping Code and Standards in 2015. In-competition testing was introduced at its international Amateur MMA tournaments, commencing with the 2015 IMMAF World Championships. IMMAF works with the internationally renowned expert consultancy, Sporting Integrity Ltd, headed by Michele Verroken, to develop its anti-doping policy and programme. However, IMMAF’s application to WADA for signatory status was rejected, which led to IMMAF challenging the decision in the ordinary Swiss Courts.

    “IMMAF’s application to WADA marks an important step in its work to see the sport of MMA become recognised by the Sport Movement. The Anti-doping programme that IMMAF already implements is an important part of ensuring athlete safety and fairness in our sport. Signing up to WADA is part of our ongoing efforts to secure official recognition as a sport. This is a crucial milestone to promote development, open access to funding, professional services and our authority to safeguard participants,” said White. “Our drive for recognition is a number one priority for the good of our sport, our federations and our athletes.”

    Pictured: IMMAF CEO Densign White with IMMAF medallists. WADA compliant drug testing is carried out at all IMMAF competitions

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF Agrees to Postpone Legal Action with WADA appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Prize Money Announced for Medallists of 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Senior World Championships https://immaf.org/2019/08/29/prize-money-announced-for-medallists-of-2019-immaf-wmmaa-senior-world-championships/ Thu, 29 Aug 2019 09:00:54 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=30831

    The post Prize Money Announced for Medallists of 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Senior World Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF World Championships


    AT BRAVE INTERNATIONAL COMBAT WEEK

    ·       10 – 16 NOVEMBER 2019, MANAMA

    ·       WATCH LIVE ON IMMAF.TV

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation has announced prize money for medallists at the 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA World Championships which takes place from 10 to 16 November 2019 in Manama, Bahrain.

    IMMAF will be awarding $1000 to each Senior Gold Medallist, $500 to Senior Silver Medallists and $250 to Senior Bronze Medallists across the tournaments’ 16 weight categories.

    IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

    “IMMAF’s focus is on the athletic development of MMA talent in the amateur divisions based on the Olympic model, and the prize money is to support the training of our World Championship medallists.

    “As a sport governing body, IMMAF is committed to evolving the best, effective training pathways for MMA participants based on cutting edge sports science, and to providing a rigorous, international competition circuit to facilitate their progression:  Our World Championships and larger continental tournaments will see athletes compete up to 5 times in 5 days, and they may participate in 20+ matches a year on the international platform alone. This sees them outstrip many of their professional counterparts in experience and has led to IMMAF veterans being scouted by renowned promotions globally that include UFC, Bellator, KSW, M1, EFC, Invicta and Cage Warriors, to name a few.  We hope to offer more prize money also at future events, in order to support our athletes’ training over longer amateur careers and greater time for their evolution into the world’s absolute best. 

    “I thank H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad and the Bahrain Federation for their backing of the IMMAF visionin their hosting of a third World Championships and their investment into grassroots and amateur MMA.”

    In welcoming IMMAF athletes to Bahrain, His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa (First Deputy President of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports and President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee), commented on the significance of the World Championships for the host nation:

    “The Kingdom of Bahrain is gearing up to host the biggest MMA event in Asia, 2019 Brave International Combat Week, from 10-16 November. The event will feature the sixth Amateur World MMA Championships. Holding this prestigious event for the third time confirms Bahrain’s great capabilities…that will contribute to making this event a tremendous success building on Bahrain’s previous successes in organizing top sports events.”

    “Organizing the 2019 Brave International Combat Week implements the directives of HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain, to maintain the efforts to make Bahrain a prominent destination for various sports activities as well as to mirror its development in sports and the achievements it has accomplished in this area.”  

    Elite amateur athletes wishing to compete should contact their IMMAF affiliated National Federation for information on how to apply.  

    ]]>

    The post Prize Money Announced for Medallists of 2019 IMMAF | WMMAA Senior World Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    He's Back: Former European Gold Medalist Senchenko Returns From Injury, Targets World Championships https://immaf.org/2019/08/28/hes-back-former-european-gold-medalist-senchenko-returns-from-injury-targets-world-championships/ Wed, 28 Aug 2019 17:57:38 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=30835

    The post He's Back: Former European Gold Medalist Senchenko Returns From Injury, Targets World Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    One of amateur MMA’s most dominant forces of 2018 returned to action this month. Pavel Senchenko successfully reemerged on the Ukrainian national scene following a long stint on the sidelines due to injury.

    The much anticipated return of Senchenko featured in the main event of an open-air amateur MMA showcase on August 17 in the city of Kharkov. The 22-year-old veteran of 20+ bouts took on Ukrainian National Cup winner, Ivan Zinchenko, a tall and tricky southpaw.

    Senchenko faced off against his national rival and avenged a previous loss to Zinchenko, taking victory in the return bout via a Darce Choke submission in the second round.

    In 2018 Senchenko earned a bronze medal at the Ukraine National Championships before representing his country on the international IMMAF-WMMAA platform at the 2018 European Open in Bucharest, Romania. It was there that Senchenko announced himself as one the most formidable talents in the men’s lightweight division and showcased the depth of Ukraine’s amateur talent, winning the gold medal with four successive, dominating triumphs.

    The 2018 European champion stormed into last year’s Unified World Championships as the hot favorite at 155lbs. The stone-faced standout blasted through his opening two opponents via TKO and submission, respectively, in a combined total of just 84 seconds. In what was a knife-edge quarter-final, Senchenko battled Ireland’s Lee Hammond to a split-decision, falling in favor of the Irishman, who tapped into sensational form to go on and claim the 2018 world title.

    Due to injury, Senchenko remained out of action ever since the 2018 World Championships, which took place last November. Having undergone surgery and rehab, Senchenko’s return to the premier international amateur platform in 2019 was uncertain, as recently as the 2019 European Championships in June where he was unable to defend the continental crown. In his absence, it was Russia’s Salamat Isbulaev who earned the 2019 gold medal.

    Senchenko’s latest victory over a prominent world level counterpart is a strong statement en route to this year’s IMMAF-WMMAA World Championships, taking place from 11-16 November in Manama, Bahrain, where Hammond – the Irish BJJ whizz – occupies the throne of the men’s lightweight division.

    “The return was nice. As we can see, he is in shape and continues his preparation for the World Championships this year,” Anton Blank commented, Executive Director of the Ukraine MMA Federation.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer, photographer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post He's Back: Former European Gold Medalist Senchenko Returns From Injury, Targets World Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Reigning World Champion Bagdat Zhubanysh Joins Team Kazakhstan for International Cup in Russia https://immaf.org/2019/08/26/reigning-world-champion-bagdat-zhubanysh-joins-team-kazakhstan-for-international-cup-in-russia/ Mon, 26 Aug 2019 07:44:04 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=30814

    The post Reigning World Champion Bagdat Zhubanysh Joins Team Kazakhstan for International Cup in Russia appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Four athletes of the Kazakhstan national MMA team will take on a final competitive outing in preperation for the 2019 Amateur MMA World Championships.

    The Russian MMA Union Men’s International MMA Cup takes place in Khanty – Mansiysk from 16-21 September and will be broadcast live via IMMAF.TV.

    2018 World Championships gold medalist, Bagdat Zhubanysh (pictured) will be the figurehead of the Kazakh quartet. The 22-year-old IMMAF – WMMAA World and Asian Open men’s strawweight champion will be joined by current Kazakh national champions Darkhan Umirbekov and Alexander Val, plus Tynyshtbek Zhanibek, a national bronze medalist and newcomer to the national squad.

    The Russian MMA Union recently issued global invitation to members of IMMAF – WMMAA to the annual International Cup. Team Kazakhstan, the world’s number-3 ranked nation under IMMAF-WMMAA, answers the call and takes the opportunity for an early taste of number-2 ranked Russia, with the 2019 World Championships slated for 11-16 November in Manama, Bahrain.

    In a team statement, the Kazakhstan National Public Union of Mixed Martial Arts commented:

    “First and foremost our guys will gain valuable amateur experience. This is a very prestigious international event which pits experienced athletes against each other, no way we can miss out on this challenge. We did not have any specific training camp for this tournament, but we still count on good results. We see Zhubanysh as the favorite to win in his weight division. Umirbekov can definitely challenge for the medals. The next stop after this trip to Russia for Zhubanysh, Umirbekov and Val will be Bahrain, so it’s great they can test their skills and psychological readiness now.”

    By IMMAF.org lead writer, photographer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post Reigning World Champion Bagdat Zhubanysh Joins Team Kazakhstan for International Cup in Russia appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    More Than Gold: The story behind the U.S. Youth Worlds win https://immaf.org/2019/08/23/more-than-gold-the-story-behind-the-u-s-youth-worlds-win/ Fri, 23 Aug 2019 10:06:22 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=30790

    The post More Than Gold: The story behind the U.S. Youth Worlds win appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Nations that competed at the inaugural IMMAF-WMMAA Youth MMA World Championships made history earlier this month. Having taken place from 3-4 August in Rome, Team USA secured first place in the medal table and were exemplified in particular by the nation’s unbeaten female talent. Dane McGuire (IMMAF.org U.S. Correspondent) looks back on the nation’s accomplishments with some of the figureheads that made it happen.

    The United States Fight League (USFL,) youth affiliate of the national team, was founded in 2002. Originating as a series of open mat events held on military bases, the focus eventually shifted to the development of youth as athletes and upstanding people.

    The mainstream popularity boom of modern MMA and the UFC was still a few years away, and so, getting youth involved in a misunderstood sport brought its share of controversy.

    USFL President Jon Frank told ESPN.com in 2012, “When we first started [about a decade ago], people were saying we needed to be put in jail and the parents needed to be prosecuted for child abuse. But I feel we’ve come a long way.”

    Eight years have passed and the above statement still rings true. Despite falling short of fundraising goals, the USFL brought 34 competitors to the first IMMAF Youth Worlds and were the largest team to compete. They won 28 medals overall, 16 of them gold.

    Frank told IMMAF.org, “We set the bar high and it’s going to be difficult to repeat this level of success unless we continue to forge forward. Our kids and coaches must treat this world championships as the end of their season and understand that only the same process of hard training with rigorous competition will get similar results in the future.”

    While all did well, highlights of the event were overall sportsmanship and the success of female athletes in a mostly male-dominated sport. Lea Bivins (main image, right) voluntarily took a silver medal rather than fight her teammate Shaniyah Carlson (main image, left) in the finals of their Youth A (age 16-17) strawweight bracket.

    USFL East founder and promoter Ruben Saldaña said, “The USA youth females, without‌ ‌doubt, set the example for the entire world by going undefeated with 13 wins all by submission. The next day our only female [USFL East] competitor, Alana Delva became the first athlete to win gold in two different divisions (followed by Italy’s Asia Martari in the women’s Youth B category.)”

    Two-weight youth world champion, Alana Delva (youth C)

    Delva, who competed in the -125lbs and +125lbs Youth C (age 12-13) divisions, took up the sport after experiencing bullying. Cementing her place in history as the first IMMAF-WMMAA youth ‘champ-champ’ gives her a global platform to spread a message of empowerment.

    Delva said, “I think that in Rome we [girls] showed not just our opponents that we are capable of more than just dancing and cooking. Not all of us were made or born to be beauty icons. Some of us were born to be killer butterflies.”

    For Saldaña, the character displayed by his athletes in victory validates not only his coaching methods but his own experiences and mentoring efforts. He left behind a criminal past after 19 years in prison and finding faith in God.

    Jon Frank, a former Marine and law enforcement veteran, brought on the former gang leader because of that background. Saldaña uses martial arts to reach those in Miami, Florida who might be making mistakes he once did.

    Saldaña said post-event, “The magnitude of this show will encourage so many other youths who didn’t have a chance to showcase their talent and deserve to more of a reason to develop their character, stay out of crime and keep competing to qualify for the 2020 World Championship.”

    Before training comes spiritual enrichment. This is followed by training outside in the absence of a home gym. He finishes with character development which emphasizes respect and responsibility. This approach has now created champions in more ways than one.

    “Fighting helped me find joy, happiness, friends, but most importantly it helped me love myself the way I am,” Delva said. “Now I fight for me and to show those who are like me that we don’t have to be shy. We don’t have to hide or be afraid to be different.”

    Dane McGuire, IMMAF.org U.S. Correspondent

    ]]>

    The post More Than Gold: The story behind the U.S. Youth Worlds win appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Russian Union Men’s International MMA Cup to Stream Live on IMMAF.TV https://immaf.org/2019/08/22/russian-union-mens-international-mma-cup-to-stream-live-on-immaf-tv%ef%bb%bf/ Thu, 22 Aug 2019 09:40:26 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=30777

    The post Russian Union Men’s International MMA Cup to Stream Live on IMMAF.TV appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    ·        KHANTY-MANSIYSK, RUSSIA,  16 – 21 SEPTEMBER

    ·        16 TOP WORLD-RANKED ATHLETES IN 10 WEIGHT CATEGORIES

    ·        $2000 USD PRIZE MONEY FOR GOLD, $1000 FOR SILVER AND $500 FOR BRONZE MEDALLISTS

    WATCH PREVIOUS RUSSIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS HIGHLIGHTS NOW FOR FREE AT IMMAF.TV

    The Russian MMA Union Men’s International MMA Cup will be broadcast live from Khanty – Mansiysk at IMMAF.TV from 16 – 21 September.

    Nations are starting to sign up for the prize money tournament in preparation for November’s crowning IMMAF | WMMAA World Championships, which provides the opportunity to gain valuable competition experience inside one of world’s greatest talent hotbeds for MMA. Russia currently ranks #2 in the World Amateur MMA Rankings.

    $40,000 USD will be divided among the winners across 10 senior male weight divisions (spanning Strawweight to Super Heavyweight), and presents the opportunity for all gold, silver and bronze medallists to win $2000 (Gold), $1000 (Silver) and $500 (Bronze), respectively.

    The competition will take place under IMMAF Amateur MMA Rules and Regulations.

    Russian MMA Union Chairman, Fedor Emelianenko, said:

    “As of 2019 over 60.000 athletes practice Mixed Martial Arts at an amateur level in Russia. Only a chosen few are able to make it to the National Team and represent Russia at IMMAF-WMMAA championships, which is why we decided to upgrade the status of our domestic event to an international one. Any foreign amateur athlete is welcome to come. Here he will be able to gain valuable experience without having to face the best of the best. We promise to show hospitality of the highest degree.

    “Khanty-Mansiysk is one of the sports capitals of Russia. As part of sports development, over 300 various sports events are held there on an annual basis. Our upcoming event is undoubtedly one of the major events among them.

    “UgraMegaSport and Russian MMA Union are ready to hold the International MMA Cup to the highest level possible. We will show the true spirit of Mixed Martial Arts not only from Moscow but from every corner of our country.”

    IMMAF Director of Development Andrew Moshanov said:

    This type of event forms an integral part of the competition system in Eastern European countries, which are known for their depth of talent in both youth and adult sports.  In addition to the tough and multi-step process of selection of the country’s best athletes to the national team, events like this provide additional pathways for talent scouting and creation of a special national “reserve” team comprising talented athletes who missed out on selection to the first team for various reasons. These events also provide great opportunity for athletes to upgrade their competitive experience on an international platform.”

    The Russian MMA Union Men’s International MMA Cup tournament will be broadcast live internationally on IMMAF TV and other platforms.

    Amateurs interested in competing should contact their IMMAF – WMMAA affiliated National MMA federation for further information about how to apply

    All international enquiries to mikhail.mazur@gmail.com


    ]]>

    The post Russian Union Men’s International MMA Cup to Stream Live on IMMAF.TV appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    Malaysian Amateur MMA Star Colleen Augustin Sets Sights on 2019 IMMAF-WMMAA World Championships https://immaf.org/2019/08/21/malaysian-amateur-mma-star-colleen-augustin-sets-sights-on-2019-immaf-wmmaa-world-championships/ Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:51:55 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=30761

    The post Malaysian Amateur MMA Star Colleen Augustin Sets Sights on 2019 IMMAF-WMMAA World Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    21-year-old prodigy Colleen Augustin has set her sights on the 2019 Amateur MMA World Championships, following her gold medal winning showcase for the Malaysian national team at the Asian Open in May.

    The 2019 IMMAF – WMMAA World Championships and concurrent Junior World Championships are set to take place from 11-16 November in Manama, Bahrain.

    In a televised interview alongside Malaysian MMA Association president, Rashid Salleh, the emerging amateur star discussed the experience of competing on IMMAF’s international platform and gaining her latest victories at this year’s Asian Open in Bangkok where she bagged a pair of highlight TKO victories, putting her durability and adaptive, rounded talents on display against proven opposition to grab the gold medal in the women’s strawweight (115lbs) division.

    In the Asian Open final Augustin overcame the troubling precision hands of Kazakh standout Nurzhamal Sadykova, to secure the Thai clinch (pictured above) and deliver an abundance of knees to the body before stopping her rival via TKO with strikes on the ground.

    “It was amazing to be there,” she recalled, “to be part of something so grand and to be able to see other countries and so many MMA athletes around the world participating.”

    “I’ll be going to Bahrain in November for the IMMAF – WMMAA World Championships, representing Malaysia. Of course, the goal is the same: to go there and become a world champion,” she expressed with confidence. Watch the full interview below.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    https://youtu.be/pefltULh7FM
    ]]>

    The post Malaysian Amateur MMA Star Colleen Augustin Sets Sights on 2019 IMMAF-WMMAA World Championships appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF Judges Certification Seminar Comes to The UK in September https://immaf.org/2019/08/20/immaf-judges-certification-seminar-comes-to-the-uk-in-september/ Tue, 20 Aug 2019 14:44:33 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=30757

    The post IMMAF Judges Certification Seminar Comes to The UK in September appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    The IMMAF International Judging Seminar & Certification Course comes to London on September 15, taking place the Sydenham Prep School.

    Attendees of all levels are invited to join Marc Goddard for the official IMMAF seminar for judges seeking certification and progression under the world governing body. Learn the official judging criteria, utilizing the 10 point must correctly, breaking down misconceptions, scoring breakdowns, technique review, practical assessment and scoring evaluation. Successful candidates will be awarded and registered with an international IMMAF certificate of competency.

    The International Judging Seminar & Certification Course also heads to Rumble Sports in Copenhagen, Denmark on September 29.

    Spaces are limited. Applicants are able to sign up and register via MyNextMatch.com or contact Goddard@immaf.org for more information.

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF Judges Certification Seminar Comes to The UK in September appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF International Judging Seminar & Certification Course: Copenhagen https://immaf.org/2019/08/19/immaf-international-judging-seminar-certification-course-copenhagen/ Mon, 19 Aug 2019 12:00:09 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=30829

    The post IMMAF International Judging Seminar & Certification Course: Copenhagen appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    On September 29 the IMMAF International Judging Seminar & Certification Course will be hosted at Rumble Sports in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    Attendees of all levels are invited to join Marc Goddard for the official IMMAF seminar for judges seeking certification and progression under the world governing body. Learn the official judging criteria, utilizing the 10 point must correctly, breaking down misconceptions, scoring breakdowns, technique review, practical assessment and scoring evaluation. Successful candidates will be awarded and registered with an international IMMAF certificate of competency.

    Spaces are limited. Applicants are able to sign up and register via MyNextMatch.com or contact Goddard@immaf.org for more information.

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF International Judging Seminar & Certification Course: Copenhagen appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    World Championships at Brave Combat Week Returns to Bahrain this November https://immaf.org/2019/08/18/world-championships-at-brave-combat-week-returns-to-bahrain-this-november/ Sun, 18 Aug 2019 11:37:20 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=30744

    The post World Championships at Brave Combat Week Returns to Bahrain this November appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    ·        SENIOR & JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS

    ·        MANAMA, 11 – 16 NOVEMBER 2019

    ·        5 DAYS OF ELITE AMATEUR MMA ACTION

    ·        WATCH LIVE ON IMMAF.TV

    The IMMAF | WMMAA World Amateur MMA Championships return to Manama this November from 11 to 16, as part of BRAVE International Combat Week, for the third year running.

    The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s 2019 Senior and Junior World Championship tournaments will take place at Khalifa Sport City over five days, hosted by the Bahrain Mixed Martial Arts Federation under the Bahrain Olympic Committee. Commencing on Sunday 10 November with the Tournament Draw and Opening Ceremony, the competitions will play out from Monday 11 to Thursday 14 with the Finals on Saturday 16. Bahraini promotion BRAVE will host a professional MMA night on Friday 15 at the same arena.

    Last year’s world championships featured 285 athletes from 51 competing nations, and the unification of international governing bodies WMMAA and IMMAF saw a shake-up of the World Amateur MMA Rankings as Team Russia ascended to top nation. Continued growth and global expansion by IMMAF through 2019 foretells record-breaking numbers at this year’s crown event.

    IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

    “I would like to thank His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al Khalifa, who as Youth and Sports Minister and national Olympic Committee President in Bahrain, has been the driving force behind the development of MMA in the region. We look forward to working again with the Bahrain MMA Federation and BRAVE to deliver another incomparable World Championship event for our athletes. Bahrain has exceeded expectations for two years running, and I urge MMA amateurs to apply for the opportunity to participate in this extraordinary, world-class, sporting experience.”

    MMA amateurs wishing to participate should contact their national IMMAF or WMMAA affiliated national federation for information.

    ]]>

    The post World Championships at Brave Combat Week Returns to Bahrain this November appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>
    IMMAF Veteran Rostem Akman Gets Second UFC Outing After Impressive Debut https://immaf.org/2019/08/16/immaf-veteran-rostem-akman-gets-second-ufc-outing-after-impressive-debut/ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 12:48:33 +0000 https://immaf.org/?p=30737

    The post IMMAF Veteran Rostem Akman Gets Second UFC Outing After Impressive Debut appeared first on IMMAF.

    ]]>

    Former international amateur standout Rostem Akman (6-1) will return to the UFC Octagon at the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne on Oct. 6, set to take on Australia’s own Jake Matthews (14-4) at UFC 243.

    During his two-year amateur tenure from 2014 to 2016, Akman was a staple of the SMMAF Swedish national team and a global front-runner in the IMMAF middleweight rankings, winning IMMAF World Championships bronze during UFC Fight Week at Las Vegas 2016, and back-to-back IMMAF European Open gold medals in Birmingham 2015 and Prague 2016.

    Akman’s pro debut saw an experienced and highly mature amateur veteran transition with ferocity, trading in his strong yet reserved tournament based style for an aggressive showcase that spanned 6 consecutive pro wins via stoppage.

    At 6-0 Akman received a short notice call to step in against Russia’s Sergey Khandozokho, a veteran of 30 pro bouts. The June 1 clash in Akman’s home town of Stockholm saw Khandozokho take the contentious unanimous decision win while Akman’s performance received international plaudits for what was a thrilling UFC debut.

    In contrast, Matthews continues his 6-year UFC run following a successful debut in 2014. 7-4 in the UFC (14-4 overall), Matthews was defeated in his last outing via submission (anaconda choke) at the hands of Anthony Rocco Martin.

    The UFC middleweight titles will be decided in the main event of UFC 243 as Australia’s defending champion, Robert Whittaker faces interim champion Israel Adesanya in a potential fight of the year collision.

    By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran

    ]]>

    The post IMMAF Veteran Roste