Image: HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad reaches an agreement with IMMAF heads, Kerrith Brown and Densign White
HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad: “We look forward to Bahrain being the destination for the 2017 IMMAF World Championships”
The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has officially granted the Kingdom of Bahrain the right to host the fourth edition of the IMMAF World Championships of Amateur MMA, which will be held in November this year.
Bahrain will be the first Asian or Arab country to host an IMMAF World Championship, and indeed the first country to host the event outside of the USA. The award of the hosting rights serves as an accolade to development of MMA by the Kingdom of Bahrain, both nationally and on a global level in a record amount of time.
An agreement was first made during a meeting between HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Mr. Kerrith Brown ( IMMAF President) and Mr. Densign White, (IMMAF CEO), during the 2015 IMMAF World Championships at UFC International Fight Week in Las Vegas in July 2015.
Negotiations continued during the second edition of the IMMAF European Open Championships in the Czech capital of Prague in November 2016. The President of the Bahrain Mixed Martial Arts Assocation, Mr. Khalid Abdulaziz Al Khayat and Director of the Media Office of His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Mr. Omar Abdulaziz Bu Kamal, held a preparatory meeting with the IMMAF President, Mr. Kerrith Brown, and IMMAF CEO, Mr. Densign White. It was these meetings that preceded the IMMAF’s final decision to grant Bahrain the right to host and organise the 2017 IMMAF World Championships, this coming November.
The news was issued today by the Media Office of His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The HHSK release included the following statement:
“This decision translates the efforts of His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, First Deputy President of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, Honourary President of Bahrain Mixed Martial Arts Association, Founder of Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa Mixed Martial Arts Organization (KHK MMA), to strengthen the Kingdom of Bahrain’s position in this sport, globally.”
“For his part, HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa expressed his joy with the IMMAF for the trust given to Bahrain to host this international event, stressing that the Kingdom has managed to pave its way to success in this sport, through the support and care given by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, ruler of the country, May God Protect Him; the wise government led by His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister; His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, in implementing vital plans that support the infrastructure of this sector, as well as the efforts of His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, representative of His Majesty the King for Charity Works and Youth Affairs, Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, President of Bahrain Olympic Committee, through implementing development programmes and plans aimed to enhance Bahraini sports, and which have enabled Bahrain to successfully attain permission to host the event.”
“HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa stressed that Bahrain is capable of hosting a successful event, thanks to its excellence in hosting various world championships, citing the successful events, championships and occasions held in the Kingdom, most notably the annual Formula One race since 2004 which turned the Kingdom into a popular destination for athletes and tourism, and has had a positive impact on the national economy.”
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:
“I am very happy to finally be able to officially confirm that the Kingdom of Bahrain is to play host to the 2017 IMMAF World Championships of Amateur MMA. An initial agreement was reached in 2015, and since then the Bahrain MMA Federation, with the support of His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, has been an active agent both at IMMAF events and in the wider development of the sport of MMA. IMMAF’s relationship with the BMMAF has blossomed over ongoing discussions and negotiations that have led to this moment. I would like to thank HH Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa for his committed support of IMMAF and the sport of MMA, and we very much look forward to working with the BMMAF and HHSK administration to prepare for a flagship world championship event at the close of the year.”