The United Kingdom Mixed Martial Arts Federation (UKMMAF) is pleased to announce that it will be shadow sanctioning the internationally broadcast BAMMA 17 at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester (UK) on 6th December 2014.
There is no legal requirement for MMA promotions to be regulated in the UK and the UKMMAF is evolving voluntary regulation processes, with which the British promotion has agreed to work. This follows the UKMMAF’s shadow sanctioning of Amateur promotion, Fight UK, earlier this year.
BAMMA has for several years been at the forefront of UK MMA, ensuring they provide and deliver a professional set-up for all involved. They were a founding party of Safe MMA, which is referred to by the UKMMAF as its independent medical advisory. They also pride themselves on using officials who they consider to be the most qualified from backstage commissioners to referees, from judges to medics. It is this attention to detail that makes a possible future working relationship between UKMMAF and BAMMA a very positive prospect.
Shadow sanctioning by the UKMMAF is the first step for a promotion wishing to work with the organisation towards full independent sanctioning. It involves working in partnership to evolve best practice both for the promoter and governing body. Shadow sanctioning allows any promotion interested in being involved in a working relationship with the UKMMAF the opportunity to be shadowed and their event processes reviewed at no expense to them. This is followed by professional and meaningful follow-up report and ongoing support towards sanctioning. The UKMMAF role is to simply legitimise many of the excellent processes already followed by the leading promotions and to assist others to raise their standards, to improve safety, lower risk and enable the sport to become recognised and supported in the manner so many other sports are.
The UKMMAF is working in conjunction with other recognised combat sports governing bodies towards recognition under Sport England and governing body status, so that it may provide all those involved in MMA the opportunity for official regulatory backing.
UKMMAF Board representative, Leon Roberts said:
“The number of shows now in contact with UKMMAF is an illustration that promotions are now seeing and understanding the importance of moving away from self-governance to be governed by a legitimate and recognised body that simply strives to give MMA the professional status it deserves.
“Having independent regulation from a recognised body is key to providing essential validity to a genuine sport, ensuring competitors are treated, recognised and respected as athletes, and making sure all the necessary measures are in place. This certainly isn’t to say that without the UKMMAF none of this can happen on mindful shows, but the UKMMAF is a dedicated group of professional, knowledgeable, impartial and like-minded individuals who can guarantee everything is done to ensure MMA is viewed and accepted in the professional manner it warrants, and in doing so helps to silence the detractors who unfortunately still display a lack of understanding into the true essence of MMA.”
BAMMA referee and UKMMAF Regulatory Committee representative, Mark Woodard, said:
“I think it’s awesome that we are now in a position to be able to start pressure testing the protocols that we have worked so hard to create. Shadow sanctioning on a show like BAMMA will give us the feedback that is necessary to make sure that everything is in place to support and help promotions run a smooth, safe, professional promotion.
“In my opinion it’s the little things that can make or break a show and hopefully we have got these covered. Over the last few months things like finalising the Amateur rule set and gloves that are fit for purpose within that rule set have all been debated. Personally I am honoured and proud to have been in some small way a part of this body and feel its a massive step towards legitimising Mixed Martial Arts in the UK.
“It’s great to know that Promotions such as BAMMA see the value in what we have been working towards. We now have athletes who are making a living from competing in MMA and this is the time to get a regulating body in place. The UKMMAF are here to provide a solid framework to help the growth of the sport and its fantastic to see a promotion the size of BAMMA getting behind us.”