The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has together with the Swedish MMA Federation (SMMAF) produced an introductory film on the workings of SMMAF as a regulatory body. The purpose of the film is to educate decision makers, the sports community, media and the general public on the work of a national federation in the role as regulator for professional MMA events, explaining safety procedures, medical checks, rules and so forth. The film will be available to all IMMAF members and other organizations around the world in their work to promote and develop MMA in their respective countries.
In most countries there is no proper governance of MMA, neither for the sport in general nor for the sanctioning of professional events. The state athletic commissions of the USA are a rarity, and so is the government licence that the Swedish MMA Federation has to govern both amateur and professional MMA. I most parts of the world MMA is un-regulated with no standards to follow and no common guidelines on safety, refereeing, athletes insurance and so forth. This kind of situation can worst case lead to risky practices and athletes being taken advantage of. There are also countries where MMA is semi-regulated by other sports commissions, which sometimes functions smoothly and in the best interest of MMA, but not always.
The IMMAF is currently working on establishing national federations around the world, thus ensuring safe governance of both amateur and professional MMA in whatever form that suits each individual country. The Swedish MMA Federation serves as a good example of a democratic national federation established in the roots of the sport community, developing and governing the sport backed by a state licence.
“Eight years ago MMA faced a ban in Sweden. Since then we’ve come very far and the UFC event in Stockholm on April 14th 2012 was a milestone for us.” says George Sallfeldt, President of the SMMAF. “We made this film as a short documentary on the inner workings of a national federation governing professional MMA. We hope that it will help the general public understand MMA better as well as serve as an educational tool for our fellow IMMAF members in their work of establishing safe practices in their respective countries.”
The film is 10 minutes long and can be viewed below:
Erika Mattson, Director of Communications