Each year IMMAF’s international mixed martial arts family continues to grow and welcome new members. At this’s year’s Asian Open championships, taking place from from 12-16 June in Singapore, 3 new member nations will send competition teams for the first time to an international IMMAF championship event.
Last month IMMAF.org previewed the top prospects of team Singapore, the host nation, who will be represented by the undefeated duo of Charles Lew and Lim Zhen Teng. Competing at featherweight and bantamweight respectively as products of Evolve MMA, the young representatives of Singapore’s grass roots MMA each embody the long standing ideals of amateur sport.
The Mixed Martial Arts Federation of Singapore (MMAFS) was announced last April as an IMMAF member, first established in 2013. MMAFS is the leading governing body for the sport of MMA in Singapore. The foundations of a national team are now being set with Lew and Teng paving the way for future generations to expand the national squad soon after.
Another nation making its debut with huge potential for the future is China; first welcomed as an IMMAF member nation last November.
The CIMMAF was established by NGO, the China Yunnan International Cultural Exchange Foundation, which has been in operation since 1986. The China Yunnan International Cultural Exchange Foundation is fully supportive of the sport development of MMA for the Greater China market. The project has full provincial governmental support, plus backing from the Directors of WUJIE (Beijing) Sports and Development Company Limited, with whom the federation will be working in partnership to develop regulation, education and the promotion of and about MMA.
The initial trio of young, grass roots athletes set for the Asian Open Championships, all fighting out of Chinese Taipei, include 20-year-old featherweight Lin Ho Shun, 19-year-old featherweight grappling specialist Katsuaki Aoyagi and 22-year-old middleweight Liao Hsiang.
On the edge of Eastern European, Belarus is the latest nation nation to join the IMMAF family, represented by the Belarusian Federation of Pankration and Martial Arts. Accompanied by national team coach Alexey Antsypovich, team Belarus will consist of 25-year-old welterweight Vadim Huk, 24-year-old light-heavyweight Pavel Pahomenko and 21-year-old welterweight Alex Sadovski.
Like Belarus, the Korea MMA Federation saw its IMMAF membership accepted just in time for the 2017 Asian Open. The KMMAF joins IMMAF as one of the world’s best established regulatory bodies, founded in 2008 and based in Seoul, the KMMAF is registered with the Korea Olympic Committee (KOC) on which the federation’s President Kim Dae Ryeong sits as a representative. The organisation oversees over 600 MMA clubs and gyms nationwide including the Korean National Police MMA association. It organises Amateur MMA competitions 2-3 times a month and the professional ALL FC, quarterly, which is broadcast nationally via SBS TV.
The first athletes to represent South Korea on the IMMAF platform will be 21-year-old flyweight Heo Nam Gun, 23-year-old featherweight Hyung Woo Hyun and the youngest, 19-year-old lightweight Kim Jin Jae.
The 2017 IMMAF Asian Open Championships in Singapore will be held in partnership with the UFC, the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation. The Championships form part of UFC Fight Night Singapore’s week long fan activities leading up to its highly anticipated live event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Saturday June 17 2017.
The Asian Open will take place from June 12 -16 at Marina Bay Sands hotel as IMMAF’s first championship in Asia supported by the UFC’s on-going commitment to developing MMA in the region.
For live team developments and results visit MyNextMatch.com.