By Caoilte de Barra
Since debuting at the 2017 IMMAF European Open, Mexico has come a long way as a nation. Jonathan Ortega was the representative who had the honour of creating history and won the nation’s debut in IMMAF. Fast forward to the 2019 IMMAF-WMMAA World Championships and Mexico walked away with 2 senior medals and 3 junior medals.
The first quarter of 2021 has seen some of the 2019 IMMAF-WMMAA competitors turn to the pro ranks. World bronze medalists Christian Torres and Daniela Hernandez were amongst those that turned pro. Both made their professional bow on a regional show called Naciones MMA 1, each scoring a submission victory to kickstart their pro career.
Ahead of a big 2021 on the amateur circuit, newly appointed president Ubaldo El Zorro Marroquin has high ambitions for the federation. The promotion of the sport amongst youths and adults along with the health benefits a focal point.
He told IMMAF.org: “To promote and spread the practice of mixed martial arts as a way of training and discipline for children, young people and adults and to make known in our country the physical and mental benefits that come with the practice of mixed martial arts, so that families have the confidence that their children can practice it since our sport is a regulated sport and has the necessary safety measures for proper practice.”
Marroquin also highlighted that they have a project which will open in schools and gym to assist these goals.
“Our initial project will be the opening of schools in the community and municipal gyms so that our sport can reach people with scarce resources and in this way promote mixed martial arts and encourage healthy living, keeping them away from vices and drugs.”
National recognition of MMA federations by the government and the NOC is a vital part of the development of the sport to IMMAF. The Mexican Federation is succeeding in this area, being recognised by the highest national governing body. The federation is looking ahead as they hope to receive recognition from the Olympic Committee in the future.
“Currently our federation is recognised by the highest governing body of sport in Mexico, the National Commission of Physical Culture and Sport (CONADE) and we also have the Unique Sport Registry (RUD) No. 1156FAB5FCFCFBD which accredits us as the highest technical body of mixed martial arts in Mexico and in the near future we will begin the process of recognition by the National Olympic Committee (NOC).”
The previously mentioned success of the nation has been rapid and will hopefully continue this year and the return of the IMMAF competitions in 2021 is something that the Mexican federation is prepared for according to Marroqui. Plans are already in place to hold events across the country so that the best talent represents the nation at the upcoming championships.
“We are ready for Mexico to participate in the next international events, so we will be starting with a series of state, regional and National Championship selective events to form a selection with the best of our country, which will represent us in the international championships.”