Canadian national tryouts

Posted on March 20, 2014 at 03:25

Tryouts for the Canadian national team will be organised by the Canadian Combat Alliance. The CCA was approved on March 18th 2014 for observation membership status and have been given the task of ensuring that MMA athletes are able to compete for a spot in the national team. Being the home of many successful MMA athletes over the years, Canada should prove a strong contender at the World Championships in Las Vegas, tapping from a wide pool of talent across the large country.

The CCA membership follows upon a couple of months of turbulence in the Canadian MMA community. The IMMAF has regrettably been forced to disaffiliate the two previous members – first the CAMMAF and recently the CNMMAF – which has negatively affected the situation for the Canadian athletes.

The IMMAF membership comes with requirements to be met and one of the most important requirements is majority representation. This stems from MMA being a young sport; what is happening now all around the world is that people are coming together to form the basic fabric needed to support the development of the sport. Established sports already rely on a structure; clubs, gyms and athletes are affiliated to one national federation and the federation has a nation-wide mandate to represent the sport. When there is no established entity in place something needs to be formed, and in order to do that with credibility and voluntary support the entire MMA community must take part. One group can’t dominate the others, trust needs to be established and democracy must rule.

Dedicated individuals within the CAMMAF, the CNMMAF and other groups across the country are currently working hard for the sport of MMA and that deserves recognition and respect. The IMMAF has however failed in our repeated attempts to bring the two major groups together in cooperation. With constellations and partnerships breaking down, people moving in and out of the groups and there being a general mistrust among peers the IMMAF regrettably has little hard fact to go on in assessing the degree to which requirements are met. For now the decision must therefore be to not engage either party. The IMMAF is deeply committed to supporting and enabling democratic, non-profit representation for the Canadian MMA community and will continue to encourage cooperation and engage key groups in dialogue. The IMMAF board decided on affiliating the CCA with the explicit task of working out a long-term solution that engages all parties.

The CCA is an experienced and well established organization currently developing and promoting MMA, grappling, BJJ and pankration in Canada. They have been tasked to represent the IMMAF in this period of transition; hosting the tryouts, facilitating dialogue with all key parties of the MMA community and thus laying the ground-work for the establishment of a national federation solely for MMA that has wide national and provincial representation. IMMAF headquarters will resume active work of facilitating a permanent solution for Canada after the summer and until then invites all parties to engage with the CCA and put aside differences for the greater good.

The tryouts for the Canadian national team will take place in the City of Georgetown, Ontario, on April 19th, 2014, under the auspices of the Ontario Grappling Association (OGA), a subsidiary of the CCA. Athletes are invited to register at http://www.grapplingontario.com/register/canmma14/index.asp. For questions regarding the Canadian tryouts please contact the CCA at info@canadiancombat.com or email worldchampionships@immaf.org. For questions or suggestions regarding the representation of MMA in Canada please contact info@immaf.org.

The Seychelles joins IMMAF global family

Posted on January 20, 2014 at 01:13

Mixed Martial Arts is growing faster than ever and today the IMMAF is proud to present a young, dedicated federation that just gained membership in our global family – The Seychelles Mixed Martial Arts Association.

The Seychelles Mixed Martial Arts Association (MMAS) was officially registered as a federation on July 23rd 2013. Initially, a few individuals who all at different points in time had trained MMA in the UK decided to form an MMA club in the Seychelles. However, when initial enquiries were made as to how one should go about setting up an MMA club it was quickly discovered that there was no real platform allowing individuals to form their own clubs whilst being registered as members of a single federation or association. It was then that these individuals, through assistance from representatives of the National Sports Council of Seychelles and the Seychelles National Olympic Committee went about setting up a system that would allow MMA clubs from all over the country to be represented by a single independent governing body.

During the process of setting up the Federation we were introduced to the IMMAF whose staff provided the us with all the necessary information and advice” says Mr. Adrian Nanty, MMAS board member and the person responsible for coordinating with the IMMAF. “After months of preparation such as the drafting of a constitution with objectives that were in line with requirements of the IMMAF, we submitted a formal application that then resulted in approval for observation membership.”

Today, MMAS continues to see stable growth as more and more people in the Seychelles become aware of the sport. So far, MMAS has been fortunate enough to receive a substantial amount of support from the general public and other organizations. The federation is committed to over the coming years develop future MMA champions, referees, judges, regulators and fans.

The Seychelles Mixed Martial Arts Association (MMAS) is recognized by the National Sports Council pending their full affiliation membership status. The Association, though young, is proving to be a very serious and energetic Association and the members are taking their responsibilities very seriously.  The NSC will be most pleased to welcome the MMAS as a full member in due course” says Ms. Giovanna Rousseau, CEO of the Seychelles National Sports Council.

I think the Seychelles is a good example of how MMA can get a successful and stable start in a new market” says IMMAF Director of Communications Erika Mattsson. “The founders of the MMAS were meticulous in consulting key players in the sport as well as enquiring what formal demands are posed on a national federation, not just by the IMMAF but also more importantly by the authorities in their country. Engaging with the government and having an open policy from the start is a very good way to demonstrate to those in power what MMA is really about and the value of proper governance of the sport from within the MMA community itself.”

 

Jordan joins the IMMAF

Posted on January 14, 2014 at 11:35

The IMMAF is proud to announce its first member from the Middle East region, the Jordan Mixed Martial Arts Federation. Joining the IMMAF just before the new year, the JOMMAF is  formally approved by the Jordan Olympic Committee and is dedicated to develop MMA in the region and aid its neighboring MMA federations in joining the IMMAF.

The Jordan Mixed Martial Arts Federation was formally established in 2013 after having first been founded in 2009 as a committee under the umbrella of the Jordanian Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation. They have established a positive relationship with the authorities and were recently, after a mandated two year trial period, deemed eligible for full-fledged federation status and approval by the Jordanian Olympic Committee.

The Jordan MMA Federation is honored to join the IMMAF family. The sport of MMA has been going through a meteoric rise in the MENA region and the efforts of the Jordanian MMA federation is a solid example to be followed in the region” says His Highness Prince Hussein Mirza, Chairman of the JOMMAF.

Over the past years the JOMMAF has been one of the most active federations in the MENA region in promoting and hosting MMA events. With membership issued in December 2013, the Jordan MMA Federation becomes the first Arab nation to join the IMMAF, where the total number of members now have reached 30.

We are very pleased to welcome the Jordan MMA Federation and are impressed with the professionalism of such a young federation in a country where MMA is quite new “says IMMAF President Mr. Bertrand Amoussou. “The language barrier has proven it sometimes difficult for us to present the IMMAF in the Arab region and widely carry out the message of how crucial a non-profit, democratic structure is for the future and safety of the sport. Now with a member in the region dedicated to help out with translations and introductions we are confident that our work of creating a safe environment for the Arab MMA communities will move at a quicker pace.”

It is with pride that we accept this observation membership and we look forward to serving the sport of MMA in Jordan as well as the MENA region to a more professional and better regulated sporting environment” says the General Secretary of JOMMAF, Mr. Zaid Shurdom.

 

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Contact information:

press@immaf.org

IMMAF on the move – progress report from Norway

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 06:56

The International MMA Federation has worked diligently since February 2012 to develop the sport of MMA worldwide. Part of that task is securing safe governance and representation of MMA through the foundation of national federations. Earlier this year the first World Championships in Amateur MMA was announced and will take place in conjunction with the UFC expo in Las Vegas July 2014. In a series of interviews we have talked to some of the national federations to hear about their progress this past year and what preparations are made for getting a national team in place to compete in Las Vegas. This week we turn our heads towards Norway and NMMAF President Henning Svendsen.

The Norwegian MMA Federation (NMMAF) was elected as a member of the IMMAF in April 2012. What have been your main achievements over the first year?

First of all, thanks for giving us this opportunity to introduce the NMMAF to the MMA world. The NMMAF was established in 2011 and we were elected to the IMMAF as the second full member. The NMMAF is independent and has no funding, hence all the work is carried out in our spare time. The first year was mostly spent creating a solid foundation for the NMMAF as an organization as well as reaching out to as many MMA gyms as possible. In Norway, combat sports involving knock-outs are more or less illegal, so in reality you can only train in MMA. If you want to compete, even on an amateur level, you have to travel abroad. During 2012 the NMMAF established the “Merkekamper” concept which in short is competition that involves sparring-fights with strict rules concerning how hard a fighter is allowed to strike. The competition is made to be as close to an ordinary professional competition as possible, and “Merkekamper” are being held by gyms throughout Norway. For examples on what a “Merkekamper” event looks like, here is a link for pictures: https://www.facebook.com/nmmaf/photos_albums

The underlying idea is to give both new and advanced fighters a place to compete in Norway. All fights go to a decision which secures both participants plenty of ring-time and thus experience. Another goal is to get gyms more directly involved, to give them competence in arranging events as well as getting the feeling of cooperation between everyone working at the event properly established and of course to give the gyms a great boost locally.

Another of our achievements this year was in the area of political lobbying. We had the opportunity to bring  two representatives from the Norwegian parliament to attend a seminar on how MMA has been successfully regulated in Sweden and then afterwards attend the UFC Stockholm event. We managed to get two representatives, one pro and one against MMA to come, and both expressed openly afterwards that this was an educational and positive experience. This was made possible through a collaborative effort between the NMMAF and George Sallfeldt (SMMAF President) and Erika Mattsson (IMMAF Director of Communications).

You have already held your tryouts for the national team that will represent Norway in Las Vegas 2014. How did they turn out?

The tryouts were a great success. It took place at Frontline Academy in Oslo, we had almost 50 fighters from all over the country competing to be on the national team. The team’s coach, Jakob “the Striking Viking” Løvstad and his crew had a hard time picking the team. On October 5th we added a couple of qualifying matches to the Merkekamp-event in Sarpsborg, and now we have a national team with two representatives in most weight classes. I am very pleased with the athletes and it will be exciting to follow them the coming year(s).

What are the next steps for the team?

We are really excited to be able to be a part of the first real MMA World Championships. This is great for Norwegian amateur MMA and we hope it will revolutionize the MMA scene worldwide. As for our team we are just starting out and we have a lot of work ahead of us. What the future brings is up to us. The ambition of the NMMAF is to further our cause and expand even more, our long term goal is to have an outstanding national team in amateur MMA. But even so, we like to approach this in a process-oriented manner. This means that the process should be rewarding in and of itself, not just measured in the immediate results we get. In the bigger picture, our overall goal is to both get MMA legalized in Norway, as well as to establish a Federation that really works for the athletes and always look to expand and make the sport bigger, better and as safe as MMA possibly can be.

How big is MMA in Norway? How many gyms and promotions?

There are 49 MMA gyms in Norway which are members of the NMMAF, that translates to about 4500 individual practitioners. This means that in Norway MMA is bigger than both boxing and wrestling. Even though most gyms are members there certainly are a few gyms that are not yet members, but we hope they will join shortly. There are also new gyms popping up all over the country which is great to see. Due to regulations there are no MMA promotions since combat sports involving knockouts are sanctioned with extreme restriction.

What have been some of the biggest challenges and obstacles in the first year?

The NMMAF is created on will and nothing else. We have worked very hard, paid what has been needed to be paid from our own pockets and tried to get help and involve others as well. On the other hand, the things that we did expect to be great challenges have not been too hard to get pass. However, the biggest obstacle is of course to get MMA legalized in Norway. That fight is yet ahead of us but we are quite confident that we will prevail, especially with the great support from SMMAF and IMMAF internationally, along with great support domestically.

What is your strategy in working against the ban on MMA?

We have been working towards the parliament and will continue to do so. Being able to bring two parliament members over to UFC Sweden really opened doors and that single initiative proved invaluable to our work. The seminars were great, educational and laid the perfect backdrop for the event itself. Afterwards we got quite a bit of media coverage and it was especially beneficial for us to have a parliamentarian representing a party that supports the ban on MMA come out and talk about this experience as a positive one.

When you compare your achievements to your original goals since the NMMAF was founded, how do they match-up? Are there any areas in which you had to change direction and what were the causes? What surprised you the most?

I do think we have accomplished more than we set out to accomplish during these years. Some goals are of course long term goals, thus it is more difficult to measure how close we are to attaining them. However, it certainly feels like we’re doing something right. Also, in a small MMA community such as Norway it is not just the NMMAF that’s doing everything. Without the trust, help and participation of the gyms in Norway we would be nothing. So, when I say we, I like to think of Norway as a whole. Everyone matters, when we do our best to evolve and reach the next level. As Genki Sudo stated: We are all one! Personally, what surprised me the most is the cooperation I have seen. The will to put politics aside and try to find some common ground has been great. I truly respect that. I do hope this will continue and that the NMMAF can be a Federation that unites MMA in Norway and that united we can further our cause, both at home and internationally.

Who are the key people in the NMMAF and how long will you hold these positions?

The NMMAF has a board consisting of three members: Thomas Rye Eriksen (Communication), Thomas Rønning Formo (Web design) and myself, Henning Svendsen (President). We also have Chris Dat Ngo as an observational member and Jakob Løvstad is the national team coach. We have not yet set the date for the first election.

What are you working on at the moment and what are your current goals and projects?

We are, as always, doing ground work to evolve and expand. This means a lot of administration which, I guess, most people would not associate with MMA. We want to give MMA athletes in Norway a safe way to start a career through the Merkekamper-concept, a concept we are still working on evolving. Besides our lobbying work in the political arena we have also initiated the work of getting MMA formally accepted in the Norwegian sports community. This might NOT be the easiest task as the Norwegian Confederation of Sports (NIF) reportedly just stated that they do not want to include more combat sports. Recently the power in parliament changed hands, which in the matter of the KO regulation was in our favor, and this has meant that a discussion on weather this ban should be kept or not has surfaced. In the light of this discussion the NIF has been vocal in the media, painting a strange picture of MMA in general. Strange meaning not just anti-MMA sentiments but a lot statements lacking in any factual base. I guess we all have heard them before; i.e. MMA has no rules, in MMA you can hit someone defenceless on the ground, MMA is more dangerous than boxing, MMA is human cockfighting. Sounds familiar? Even though this feels a bit like being dragged back to the “dark middle ages”, we are confident that reason, education, science and knowledge will prevail, though this may take some time.

In the meantime, we defend ourselves in the media, and as already mentioned; we make the administrative side even stronger, we expand and grow. We will have some meetings set up with the government officials and the Norwegian Martial Arts Confederation (sorting under NIF). We also focus on getting our national team some fight experience before it’s time to go to Las Vegas.

Finally, let me again stress that we are very fortunate to receive help from both within and outside of Norway. The Norwegian MMA community has been great and we all continue to work towards the same goals on different levels. The help and support of George Sallfeldt and Erika Mattson has made a great impact on the NMMAF. We are proud to have such good friends, and we are humble for all the help we have received and the chance for the world to get to know the NMMAF.

President Amoussou at Peace and Sport Forum

Posted on November 6, 2013 at 12:08

Today marks the first day of the 2013 Forum hosted by Peace and Sport. An international initiative at the service of peace, Peace and Sport intervenes in areas made vulnerable by extreme poverty, recent conflict or lack of social cohesion. In cooperation with international sports federations they promote the practice of structured sport and sporting values to educate young generations and help foster social stability, reconciliation and dialogue between communities.

The IMMAF is represented at the forum by President Mr. Bertrand Amoussou to mark the dedication of the IMMAF to establish the sport of MMA as a powerful tool to reach out and help disadvantaged youth around the world.

The IMMAF has the pleasure of representing the fastest growing sport in the world and with that comes responsibility. We first came into contact with Peace and Sport six months ago and are currently investigating the possibility of cooperating in a select number of social projects, using the power of MMA to help young people who for some reason need support” says President Amoussou. “I’m excited to be at the forum and have the opportunity to listen to talented speakers and absorb ideas and inspiration for our future work. MMA has an important role to play in society and the IMMAF will make sure that it reaches its potential.”

IMMAF on the move – progress report from Ireland

Posted on October 26, 2013 at 12:10

The International MMA Federation has worked diligently since February 2012 to develop the sport of MMA worldwide. Part of that task is securing safe governance and representation of MMA through the foundation of national federations. Earlier this year the first World Championships in Amateur MMA was announced and will take place in Las Vegas July 2014. In a series of interviews we have talked to some of the national federations to hear about their progress this past year and what preparations are made for getting a national team in place to compete in Las Vegas. This week we turn our heads towards Ireland and MMAFI Director Danny Corr.

The Mixed Martial Arts Federation of Ireland (MMAFI) was one of the first national MMA federations to gain full political support when on 13th of March an unprecedented meeting took place between representatives of the MMAFI and the Minister in charge of sport, Carál Ní Chuilín. What happens now? And what does it mean in practical terms for the sport in Ireland?

We were very proud and excited by the fact that Carál Ní Chuilín, Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure agreed to meet us to discuss the future of Amateur MMA in Ireland. However we were encouraged and even surprised that the Minister was so educated and up to date on what our sport is and more importantly what it has to offer. The Minister spoke first hand of her own child’s positive experience within martial arts and how it was a fantastic sport to develop self-confidence, social interaction and more importantly how it was a sport that was blind to race, colour or creed, something the Minister is keen to promote. In practical terms this means that as MMAFI works intensely to build clubs, coach education and grassroots development, knowing that the Minister and her department will give us as much support as required to see this massive job through.

Can you tell us a bit about the journey behind that meeting with the Minister?

The journey was made easier by the fact that the MMAFI were able to gain the support of Belfast City Councillor Stephen Corr. Stephen has an open mind and a great vision for where sports and organisations like ours can become strong community entities. Stephen does not just take the stereotypical view that is often labelled to martial arts and particularly to MMA; he can see the benefit it has on our young people, who can relate to such an exciting sport. As a man who works tirelessly with community groups he knew that our intentions were honourable and as such he helped us engage the highest political support in meeting the Minister. I can tell you that the work in the background is difficult and often very time consuming. The core team consists of a few people who all work full-time, have families and run their own martial arts gyms, and sometimes you wonder is it all worth it. However that thought disappears when you see the amazing unified support there is in Ireland for the MMAFI. I am sure there is no other country who can say that every MMA coach in the country is behind the venture, and we can. Our initial goals were to gain that support; and with the help of some very experienced and well respected coaches and officials that support came quickly. I really would like to name every coach in Ireland here but that would take up the rest of the interview! However I would like to personally thank the Irish MMA community for coming together so easily and genuinely, something other sports and bodies in this country can only dream of.

Since gaining IMMAF membership in June 2012 what have been your other goals over your first year?

Some of our goals in the first year included sourcing out courses and qualifications that will clean up MMA, courses that we can offer to genuine coaches to assist in building a safer sport. The basics are often by-passed in this sport, so as an example we have developed alongside qualified paramedics a unique First Aid for Martial Arts Course. We have already rolled out the first of these courses qualifying some 20 plus individuals and we are about to embark on a second course over the next week to qualify another 20 individuals.  Gaining governing body status from the government is perhaps the most difficult aspect as it is a bit of a chicken and egg scenario but we are well on our way down that road and hope to have all our requirements in place very soon.

How big is MMA in Ireland?

MMA is huge in Ireland and gaining momentum weekly. This is both a blessing and a curse. Of course we want the sport to grow and flourish and we want to see more Conor McGregors and Norman Parkes flourish in the biggest events in the world. However, we want to ensure that MMA at grassroots level is safe, regulated and recognised. At the moment anyone can open a gym without recourse, although we encourage development and if a new or existing club wants to develop we will be there to help. We will provide access to training and development but equally if a club refuses the help or is not acting safely and responsibly then we will have the backing of the Irish MMA community to take appropriate action. Safety is our priority.

How many gyms and promotions are there? 

There are probably upwards of 80-100 gyms at the minute and we are in the process of sanctioning those gyms, through recognition of grades, experience, health and safety etc. Promotions wise we have currently recognised a number of promotions, namely Clan Wars, Battlezone, Chaos and Rumble in Rush. We have also sanctioned the following individuals as MMAFI sanctioned officials: Dave Jones, Peter Lavery, Dec Larkin, Jonny Shiels and Aidan Marron. We have also taken the unique step in sanctioning a Cuts Team for all events in Joe Clifford and his team. All of this will promote safety and a better arena for Irish MMA.

How was your creation and subsequent affiliation with the IMMAF received by the MMA gyms and promotions?

Of course at the start the natural reaction is, “Here we go… another so called governing body just here to make things difficult.” However, over time I hope and believe that feeling has disappeared. Certainly the growing support the body is receiving suggests that. We have still a long, long way to go but I am encouraged that we are well ahead of the game and in a good place to move forward.

What have been some of the biggest challenges and obstacles in the first year?

That’s simple …Time. As I mentioned earlier, none of us are doing this as our sole project. The work put in is in between our commitments of family, work and club. So although we have moved a long way since its inception, getting the time to do everything is the biggest hurdle. However I believe the Irish MMA community recognises that the MMAFI is a necessity now, so the time will be found, for sure. Who needs sleep anyway?!

When you compare your achievements to your original goals for the first year, how do they match-up?

The progress we have seen in a very short space of time is astounding. At the outset I wasn’t even sure that a body like this was going to be accepted, but where we are now is amazing. The support, offers of support and the shear momentum has been fantastic.

Are there any areas in which you had to change direction and what were the causes?

Without a doubt this is a very fluid undertaking and compromise is key. We are all fairly new to this, so we have had to move in different directions throughout the process. Probably the announcement of the World Championships was a game changer for us, but a good game changer and one we have grasped with both hands. However, as you will see we moved very fast and as a result, with the amazing partner Clan Wars, we will be hosting the first ever Ulster Championships on the 24th of November to crown the Ulster Champion in each weight category. These champions will then go on to face the champions from Munster, Leinster and Connacht to crown the first ever Irish Champions. These Champions will form a very strong team for the World Championships in Las Vegas.

What are you working on at the moment and what are your current goals and projects?

All of the above. Our main goal is to get to a stage where a Governing Body is rubber stamped by the sports councils in Ireland and this is no mean task. However no-one can argue with the unified voice of Irish MMA and that is what we have. Our goals include recognising and providing appropriate training to all willing coaches. No-one will be excluded from such training but willingness is key! Holding our first regulated elections for officers is our next goal,  defining roles and responsibilities and developing a new constitution that will be our source of assistance and regulation.

Welcome Romania

Posted on September 30, 2013 at 08:25

Another member country joins the IMMAF, this time we send a warm welcome to Romania. Heading up the establishment of a new federation and legal non-profit entity under the Ministry of Youth and Sport is the board of the MMA organization AGON backed by a broad representation of the Romanian MMA community.

Since the representatives of AGON first applied to the IMMAF they have worked to join the MMA community that currently consists of approximately 20 pure MMA clubs and non-profit MMA organizations around the country. With majority of the organizations on board and willing to join a new Romanian MMA Federation the work now continues with formal registration at the Ministry of Youth and Sport.

Mixed martial arts has become extremely popular in Romania over the past few years and we believe that the establishment of the IMMAF represents a great achievement for the growing sport, here as well as around the world” says George Stanciu, President of AGON. “We are excited for the chance to take the responsibility of creating the new Romanian Mixed Martial Arts Federation (RMMAF) with full assistance and support from the IMMAF. We started with 12 local and regional legally established organizations of MMA enthusiasts and now we have the chance to put our entire effort in establishing a federation that protects and serves this sport both from a legal and an athletic perspective.”

Also a member of the AGON board, Mihail Mihailovici is highly involved in the work and has assumed the role of contact person for the new federation. “We are confident that RMMAF with IMMAF assistance will significantly accelerate the development of MMA in Romania” he says. “Very soon a substantial number of new members will join us and in not too long we will organize the first official Romanian amateur MMA Championship.”

The Romanian championship will take place in the first quarter of 2014, more information to follow in the coming weeks. The IMMAF has mandated the board of AGON to seek cooperation with all MMA clubs and organizations in the country, and we welcome everyone to contact our new representatives to discuss how to get affiliated and/or help out in the work going forward. You will find contact information under the section Members.

Italian MMA community united

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 07:14

Last Saturday 21st September, representatives from Italy’s Mixed Martial Arts community gathered together for its first National MMA Summit in Bologna.

Representatives from 18 organizations that attended the meeting agreed to join together to form the Italian MMA Federation (ITMMAF) as a national federation and supporting body for the IMMAF. Votes were cast on board membership, federation statutes and IMMAF registration. Hot on the agenda was the building of the national team to compete in the IMMAF World Championships of Amateur MMA in Las Vegas next year. It was agreed that the first stage would be to arrange an Italian Championship to use as a selection process for the national team; the second stage would be to plan for participation in the World Championships. The conversation is to be progressed at a follow up meeting within the fortnight.

Among the many Italian national representatives was Fabio Ciolli of FIGMMA, the National Olympic Federation that is currently sanctioned to oversee MMA in Italy. FIGMMA not only joined the ITMMAF but is also now represented on the board, which comprises 9 delegates from 9 different organizations as a result of democratic election at the summit.

The newly elected board members are as follows:

President:   Emiliano Lanci  (Kombat League)

Vice-President: Samuele Sanna (Legionarivs League)

Secretary: Cristiano Radicchi (WKA/WTKA)

Fabio Ciolli  (FIGMMA)

Filippo Leone  (ADCC/MMA Shooto Italy)

Patrizio Maggiori  (MMA Network)

P. Marion Loi  (ASA 2000)

Massimo Ottolino (F.I.W.S.)

Salim Hafid (Ital Maroc Fighters)

 

General membership will be opened up to the wider Italian MMA community in the run up to the ITMMAF’s first National Assembly, scheduled to be held sometime during next year. At the National Assembly a new board will be elected according to the democratic principles of the ITMMAF statutes that will be drafted in the coming months.

The Summit was hosted by the IMMAF and lead by IMMAF President August Wallén and Tom Madsen, IMMAF board member and Chairman of the National Federations Establishment Committee.

It was a pleasure to meet so many Italian MMA enthusiasts in one meeting. Many thanks to the organizers who did a fantastic job in bringing together representatives from all corners of Italy and for the first time ever, under one roof” says Madsen. “The group seemed fragmented upon our arrival, but after some productive hours of conversation and mutual exchange of ideas and opinions, the organisations agreed to merge into one federation in order to unite the MMA community in Italy and prepare the ground for greater tasks. It is wonderful to see how initial fronts fade when people find common goals in order to achieve greater good together. Just as the national federations work together in the IMMAF, so the various MMA organisations in Italy have made their first steps to cooperate as one large united and representative organisation. I am very happy to see another country engaged because I believe that through the implementation of the IMMAF’s values and goals we are paving the way for the future growth of the sport.”

Italian MMA history in the making

Posted on September 21, 2013 at 11:00

Today representatives from all over the Italian MMA community gathered at the IMMAF Italian Summit in Bologna to agree on key objectives for the future and lay the foundation of an Italian MMA Federation. Leading the summit was President August Wallén and board member Tom Madsen.

The foundation of a true national federation is according to international standards non-profit and relies on a democratic structure where the sports community, the grass-roots, are members and hence owners of the organization. The IMMAF has worked for a year and a half now to establish and affiliate national federations in countries all over the world in order to provide MMA with the same structure and opportunities for governance, growth, safety and fair play that all other major sports have.

Since April 2012 the IMMAF has been fortunate to receive a number of good applications from Italy and have during this time researched the MMA community in the country carefully. One of the key requirements for membership is to have majority representation of the MMA community, but in a country with deep roots in the martial arts and many eligible groups this requirement has proven difficult to meet. Since no current existing group has clear majority representation the IMMAF therefore sets out to create a new organization that everyone can take part in from day one.

-“We have invited all of the Italian MMA community that we are aware of and also asked them to extend the invitation. I’m excited to see that the attendance list consist of almost 40 people and we’re looking forward to a productive day.” said President August Wallén before the event, Wallen who on October 1st is stepping down as President and assuming a board position. “This is a time for everyone to come together for the sake of the future of Italian MMA. I’m very pleased to be spending my last days of the Presidency working on our core task of ensuring wide representation of the MMA community from within the MMA community.”

Reports from the Italian Summit will follow in the coming days.

World championships sanctioned by US Federation

Posted on August 7, 2013 at 07:55

The preparations for the IMMAF world championships in Las Vegas 2014 are going on full steam. IMMAF headquarters are busy chiselling out the practicalities of the tournament meanwhile the member federations prepare for their national try-outs. On the ground in the USA a lot of the work is being done by the US Federation headed up by President Frank Babcock.

We are excited to be able to welcome all fellow IMMAF members to our country and hope to see a great turnout of athletes. Currently our main focus is working with the Nevada State Athletic Commission to get the proper legal set-up for the championships, and also plan our own national try-outs which will be announced momentarily.” says Babcock.

The IMMAF world championships will be formally sanctioned by the UMMAF as they have a state license from the Nevada State Athletic Commission to act as a sanctioning body for amateur MMA.

One of the reasons we picked the USA as the host nation for the first world championships was that it is one of the few countries in the world with a tried and tested legal sanctioning system for MMA. This is of course what we aim to achieve everywhere – for MMA to be properly sanctioned in some form, weather that be through state commissions or through national MMA federations with state licenses to self-regulate and sanction the sport.” says IMMAF President August Wallén.

For more information on the world championships visit www.immaf.org/worldchampionships