Northern Ireland’s Ulster Amateur MMA Association (UAMMAA) capped off a sensational 2015 campaign with special recognition from BBC Sports Personality of the Year who acknowledged the youth and community work of Ulster MMA Director, Danny Corr.
British comedy icon Eddie Izzard, a patron of sports charity Join In, paid tribute to Corr who was a nominee for BBC Get Inspired’s Unsung Hero award. Click HERE to watch the full clip.
IMMAF spoke with Danny Corr today, to get his thoughts on the year’s success and his hopes for 2016:
“The Amateur competitors in the north of Ireland have been the backbone of our sport for many years, however they have never been given the respect or opportunities they have rightly deserved. Ulster MMA wants to put this right and has a clear vision of how we will remedy this, and how we can ensure every amateur has the opportunity to reach their full potential in conjunction with IMMAF.
“We are developing a grassroots program which we hope will make our sport easily accessible to all. Over the last year we have worked extremely hard to gain recognition of our sport and as we end the year we have placed ourselves in a prime position for 2016. My hopes for the new year are that every young person who thinks of MMA in Northern Ireland thinks of Ulster MMA and when they walk into a club they know that they are entering a safe, recognised, and life changing sport.”
It’s been a non-stop year for the UAMMAA who have seen continuous developments and mainstream advancement with both the media and local government, in addition to competitive success under the IMMAF banner. Recap some highlights of the past 12 months below.
December 24th, 2014 – IMMAF announced late last year that the Northern Ireland governing body was to receive the backing of local government ahead of the Ulster Amateur MMA Association launch scheduled for 31st January, 2015, headed by President Tom Lamont and Danny Corr as head of Coach Education and Junior Development.
February 28th, 2015 – The UAMMAA lead the way for development of Northern Ireland’s grass roots talent with the launch of novice tournaments. Competiting in a friendly, entry level environment; over 80 competitors ranged from juniors to seniors at the Belfast Leisure Complex in Andersonstown, Belfast.
May 14th, 2015 – The UAMMAA announced the national amateur MMA team of Northern Ireland who went on to represent the country at the 2015 IMMAF World Championships of Amateur MMA in Las Vegas. The national squad consisted of Mark McGlinchey, Carl McNally, Ross McCorriston, Steven Moore, Glenn Irvine, Denis Perry and Ciaran Breslin.
July 9th, 2015 – The 2015 IMMAF World Championship of Amateur MMA concluded with Northern Ireland claiming two medals as Carl McNally earned Bronze in the Men’s 135lb bantamweight division and Denis Perry earned Bronze in the Men’s 155lb Lightweight division.
August 3rd, 2015 – The UAMMAA informed IMMAF of a historic development for MMA in Northern Ireland. Mainstream government acknowledged the benefits that Mixed Martial Arts can bring to youths, and as a result, a pilot summer camp was funded.
October 29th, 2015 – After almost two years of work, the Belfast City Council chose to fund a Youth MMA Centre of Excellence with £70,000 from the Local Investment Fund put forward to develop a purpose built facility.
November 22nd, 2015 – The inaugural IMMAF European Open Championships took place from November 19 – 22nd in Walsall, England. Team Northern Ireland surpassed their medal tally from Las Vegas as Ross McCorriston earned Silver in the Men’s 145lb featherweight division, and Leah McCourt won Gold as she topped the Women’s 155lb lightweight division, and with televised recognition from BBC Northern Ireland.