By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran.
The 2018 Amateur MMA World Championships mark the first unified coming together of the International MMA Federation (IMMAF) and World MMA Association (WMMAA), following the historic amalgamation announcement in April of this year that aligned the sport’s vision for progression and recognition.
Officially dubbed ‘The IMMAF-WMMAA Unified World Championships’, taking place from 11-18 November, the premier competition for amateur MMA returns to Bahrain following last year’s IMMAF World Championships and is set to welcome a total of over 370 athletes from 55 affiliated nations and their national teams.
Of the anticipated 372 total participants across respective Senior and Junior World Championships, 106 WMMAA veterans will compete alongside their IMMAF counterparts.
From October 11-14, the WMMAA hosted its final European Championships prior to the Unified Worlds. Among the challengers, 2017 IMMAF welterweight world silver medalist and reigning European Open champion, Axel Sola stepped up in weight to contest the WMMAA European middleweight bracket in Guadalajara, Spain. The Frenchman returns to this year’s World Championships as the top welterweight contender.
“I am truly grateful,” stated WMMAA and M-1 Global president, Vadim Finkelchtein, “to all the WMMAA members that attended the Europeans in Guadalajara and have been putting in hard work for years for the development of amateur MMA, building from zero in some countries and improving the sport in others. We are all about to make a huge step forward and be part of the Unified World Championships. This will be the greatest event in the history of amateur MMA with record numbers of participating countries and a competitive spirit that is true to sport. I am very much looking forward to this!”