In late 2020 the IMMAF board of directors confirmed individual and observational membership to a further four national governing bodies who have joined the fast growing IMMAF global membership. This included the highly promising Israel MMA Federation (ISR – MMAF), which has recently gained the spotlight of extensive Israeli national sport coverage.
The first official MMA association now established in Israel as an IMMAF Member has an impressive leadership team and some clearly defined and ambitious plans.
AT A GLANCE: ISR – MMAF GOALS
- Promote amateur MMA as a sport to represent Israel
- Increase the number of athletes and coaches
- Support amateur athletes
- Build a vast youth development infrastructure
An extensive team of experts, headed by businessman Gilad Har Oz as chairman, will guide the organisation, with MMA coach and former competitor Ido Pariente acting as CEO, Itzik Rubinov as competition manager and digital director, and Erez Elroy joining the board alongside board member/CFO Ziv Hashi. Furthermore, COO Almog Maimon contributes a decade of grass roots sport development commitments at the community level, working with local authorities, schools and at-risk youth groups.
“It’s about time the sport of MMA gets recognition from the state of Israel, and by securing IMMAF membership, this goal is now possible,” said CEO, Ido Pariente. “We can help develop and support MMA gyms throughout the country. We aim to support and guide the new athletes and coaches whilst developing a national team to represent the country in international events. ISR-MMAF will create a sport league in Israel that provides a safe and educational environment for athletes as young as 8 years old.”
The fast-growing reputation of MMA has been well recognised in Israel for the need to govern and develop the sport thoroughly, with aims to bring MMA recognition to the attention of government with an ambitious and “open-minded” vision, featuring a two-year plan to develop the nation’s best performing men and women to represent Israel on the international IMMAF platform.
A national amateur championships circuit will span five events per year with a commitment towards seeing all Israeli MMA clubs integrate their direction within the organisation. The group boasts a proven track record with partners such as Itsik Rubinov having managed the Israeli BJJ league. “We are very happy to be the ones to lead this project and make MMA grow in Israel,” says COO Almog Maimon
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said: “We are delighted to welcome Israel to the ever expanding list of IMMAF Members. ISR-MMAF’s leadership team includes business experts, former elite level MMA competitors and educators. They all share IMMAF’s vision of creating the best environment for both competitive and recreational athletes with a particular focus on youth. We look forward to working closely with ISR-MMAF.”