AIMMAA President Discusses Event Sanctioning in India

The All India Mixed Martial Arts Association (AIMMAA) has had the backing of India’s government since 2004, and for over a decade has sanctioned and supervised national events in addition welcoming competitive athletes from across the globe.

AIMMAA is one of IMMAF’s most intricate members with a significant task force, now present in 22 states and union territories as a democratic sports organization with a structure led by district , state and regional heads.

India and AIMMAA became a member of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) in November of 2014, and currently operates under the leadership of President Jitendra Jain, who detailed the national body’s mission objective to provide a complete a positive environment for MMA competition across the country.

“To organise a Mixed Martial Arts event in India, or for that matter anywhere in the world, it is important to ensure that the event is legal, fighters’ safety and health should always be a priority and supervised under the highest sporting/MMA authority of the country. AIMMAA has been registered with the government of India since 2004 and we ensure that intricate details of the above three points are covered.”

AIMMAA most recently sanctioned the return of India’s most prominent MMA promotion, Super Fight League (SFL), to New Delhi – click HERE for the full “SFL 43: Capital Collision” event report. Jain referenced the sanctioning process and relationship between AIMMAA and the event promoter, from grass roots to professional.

“The SFL is the biggest pro MMA organization in India and all SFL shows have been sanctioned by AIMMAA. Typically, within an AIMMAA sanctioning package, we provide all of the above. The sanction process requires a promoter to complete an application form and comply with various pre-requisites which then classifies the event as an amateur or pro show. AIMMAA sanctions all levels of MMA competitions in India starting from inter-club fights to big budget televised pro shows. This helps the Indian MMA scene to have a monitored database of amateur and pro fighters, and also helps promoters understand which fighters and officials are best suited for their shows.

“The pro MMA shows currently being sanctioned under AIMMAA are Super Fight League, BodyForce MMA, and BodyPower MMA. Many other newer promoters have applied for sanctions and are being reviewed. We have updated our online news section (http://www.ammai.in/news.html) and detailed reports of all upcoming AIMMAA sanctioned amateur and pro events will be featured there.”

Jain explained how the well run and productive AIMMAA machine is the product of a fruitful journey, focussed of positivity, but held together with strict rules.

“We have been working at all levels of the sport in India for the last eleven years now. It’s been a fairly long journey and a tough but fruitful one. The journey itself has been our teacher and the process of sanctioning a pro MMA event in India is now part of a well structured system. However, we do have strict rules and the application process for the sanction must begin well in advance, sometimes up to 3-4 months prior to the event. The AIMMAA national board of state chief delegates (http://www.ammai.in/members.html) are well versed in the sanctioning process and they are the ones who ensure everything is tune with the protocol.”

With support of the Indian government, AIMMAA’s influence is not limited by the boundaries of events under its umbrella. The sanctioning body actively pursues illegally staged events with enthusiasm for eradicating unsafe, non-sanctioned shows with an aim to keep the national MMA scene fully unified.

“We cant deny the existence of non-sanctioned MMA events in the country, there are a few illegal shows being held by promoters who do not want to comply with health and safety and sport regulations. We have sent notices to all such promoters warning them that continuing such illegal activities will result in them being shut down by the authorities. AIMMAA is now on a mission to help educate MMA enthusiasts and promoters about the importance of these sanctions and how it can only help bring value and credibility to their events.”