Pictured: At the 2016 Australian National Championships, from left to right – IMMAFA Director William Fagan, IMMAFA President Joe Minehan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, IMMAF President Kerrith Brown, IMMAFA Vice-President Cameron Quinn.
By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran
Host nation Australia is set to kick off the international IMMAF events circuit for 2018. The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation of Australia (IMMAFA) hosts the inaugural Oceania Open Championships in the nation’s sports capital, Melbourne. The competition is slated for 16 to 18 March at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.
The nation vs nation Amateur MMA tournament takes place in association with the Arnold Sports Festival – Australia’s biggest multi-sport event and regular hosts of the IMMAFA national amateur championships. The Oceania Open will also see the debut of two additional weight divisions: Women’s Atomweight (47.6kg/105 lb) and Men’s Strawweight (52.2 kg/ 115 lbs).
Registration for all IMMAF member nations officially opened on January 9 with personal invites also being sent by IMMAFA President, Joe Minehan.
According to the IMMAFA President, a diverse selection of IMMAF nations have already expressed their intent to compete at the first stop of the 2018 calendar, with others pending national qualification events in the coming weeks.
The Australian Federation anticipates to welcome: New Zealand, India, USA, China, Japan, Panama and Kazakhstan, with more expected.
In June of 2017, 15 national teams competed at the inaugural Asian Open Championships in Singapore, including Australia who picked up 4 medals: 3 bronze and 1 silver. National representatives will return to action for the first time this year following the record breaking 48 nations and 250 athletes who competed at the 2017 IMMAF World Championships in Bahrain.
For IMMAF 2018 is anticipated to be the biggest year to date for breakthroughs in international regulation of MMA, in addition to providing more opportunities than ever before on the international competition platform.
IMMAF 2018 events schedule:
2018 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships
16 – 18 March, Melbourne – Australia
2018 IMMAF European Championships
PLUS IMMAF Junior European Open Championships (age 18 -21)
17 – 23 June, Bucharest – Romania
2018 IMMAF Africa Open Championships
24 – 26 May, Johannesburg – South Africa
2018 IMMAF Asian Open Championships
PLUS IMMAF Junior MMA World Championships (age 18 -21)
3 – 8 September, Beijing – China
2018 IMMAF World Championships
November, Manama – Bahrain
To apply athletes must contact their National MMA Federation by Friday 16 February. See contact information here.
See Amateur eligibility criteria here: http://www.immaf.org/
See IMMAF Amateur MMA Rules here: http://www.immaf.org/about/
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