India’s AIMMAA National Amateur MMA Championships produced a stunning showcase of competition in the city of Bangalore, within the South Western state Karnataka.
Taking place at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor stadium from September 30 to October 2, India’s largest and oldest MMA association and IMMAF affiliate, the All India Mixed Martial Arts Association (AIMMAA), closed out this year’s phenomenal circuit of events with the AIMMAA nationals, the third of three major amateur championships of the year, welcoming over 200 participants. The Indian National Championships took place on the road to the 2016 IMMAF European Open Championships in Prague, Czech Republic.
AIMMA provided full details for a report of the historic National Championships:
The championships were organised by an AIMMAA Affiliated state – Association of Mixed Martial Arts Karnataka (AMMAK), in association with FitPro – an AIMMAA recognized training centre in India. Event commission members comprised of Core AIMMAA Committee – Alan Fenandes, Prasad Gaitonde, Sharif Bapu and Samuel Lalrozâma Hmar, three of whom have served as Technical Officials at the IMMAF World Championships.
The AIMMAA nationals witnessed 200+ participants from 26 states and union territories, including four debut states which indicates the significant and continuous growth of MMA in India.
The magnitude of 26 states and UTs coming together was history in itself, as a feat that it rarely replicated in the country. The level of participation gave an example of the equal opportunity for all with a number of state teams travelling from remote areas, taking 3-4 days of travel by train. The Karnataka State Association and FitPro sponsored six athletes by covering fees and travel expenses.
Safety of the event was a major priority. As per AIMMAA standards, all the athletes had submitted their pre-fight medical report. On the day of the event, the medical team comprised of an Orthopedician, a sports injury specialist and General Physician along with paramedic staff and life support ambulance on-site. As the sport is growing overwhelmingly in the country, more and more trained officials need to be made. So, to prepare new officials and refresh the old ones with their skills, a referee and judges seminar was held prior to the event, led by two of the nation’s most experienced technical officials. New officials were given a chance in the event under the guidance of seniors. No serious causalities were reported beyond minor cuts and KO stoppages which were seen to immediately by the attending medical experts (scroll down for more).
Results (see below for for full medal tables)
Medals were awarded, as per IMMAF norms to the top 4 athletes (1 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 bronze) in each category and total of 13 categories we drawn. Special trophies were awarded to the champion state, best team and the best fighter. All affiliated and non-affiliated States, including many clubs across India were invited to the tournament. The quality of athletes was much improved and this event saw some emerging talents who dominated the trailing champions. The host state, Karnataka, was the leading state in overall medal tally. There was an overwhelming response from the crowd and the stadium was jam packed. The event was covered by news channels and most of the state newspapers, making AIMMAA Nationals the talk of the town.
India has both volume and value based talent. With the talent it has, AIMMAA is confident of grabbing a medal soon at the IMMAF World Championships and the development is resulting in sponsors who are slowly coming up, bringing huge benefit to athletes as they look to cover their costs. Even for this event, food supplement company Corebolics and equipment company USI came forward. At the 2016 IMMAF African Open, an Indian athlete brought a tough fight against a member of IMMAF’s no. 1 ranked team, Sweden, and this was just the beginning. India has around 100+ known MMA training centres, many of which are sourcing trainers from abroad. Good training – the main purpose for which people use to travel abroad, is now made available in India. As an association AIMMAA is backing the sports to get recognition. With the pace and development happening in India the days are not far when Indian MMA will make a place at landmark at world level.
The 2016 IMMAF European Open Championships welcomes Amateur MMA competitors from member countries as selected by their national, IMMAF affiliated federation. 210 athletes competed at the recent 2016 IMMAF World Championships at UFC International Fight Week in Las Vegas; and with its dynamic European membership, the IMMAF European Open is expected to at least match the World Championships in numbers. The tournament will see IMMAF Worlds medal winners of 2016 looking to maintain a successful year, and European Open medallists from 2015 returning to defend or surpass last year’s accolades.