By Jake Smith
Mauricio Delgado Cartaya, the President of the Federación Venezolana de Artes Marciales Mixtas, has expressed his delight at Venezuela becoming a fully fledged IMMAF member federation.
Venezuela has been in and around the global MMA scene for many years, President Delgado explained how their affiliation with IMMAF came about and why he believes IMMAF are the leading organisation when it comes to amateur mixed martial arts. He said:
“After joining WMMAA we were directed to apply to IMMAF after their merger and from that moment our vision towards MMA changed completely. We found a well structured organization, which demonstrates within its statutes very important details for the correct governance of the sport.”
Not only were the statues and unified structure a primary part of the decision, he also explained how health and safety being paramount at all IMMAF events was also a big pulling factor.
“A splendid regulation divided into categories that protects the physical and mental integrity of athletes, promoting their development in a systematic way within the corresponding progression.”
Following a period as an observational member, FEVAMM is one of the latest batch of federations to become a full member of IMMAF; an achievement President Delgado is extremely proud of. South America has been a hotbed for combat sports talent throughout the years and he sees the step as a further statement of intent for the nation to compete at the highest level of amateur MMA whilst working on their continual development as a nation as they look to forge out their own MMA path.
“Being a full member within IMMAF shows that we are part of a democratic organization. It is a great surprise and excellent news to know that IMMAF values our effort to be better people and better leaders every day.
“Institutionality there is a necessary protocol in every sport that guides its actions based on statutes and code of ethics.
“We hope to continue adding achievements and have the necessary conditions to represent our flag in the next world championships.”
Mixed martial arts is not the first combat sport President Delgado has helped develop in the South American nation, having previously been involved with the growth and development of both boxing and kickboxing in the region. Comparing the growth of MMA to other combat sports in Venezuela, he said: “the development of MMA in Venezuela has occurred in a way that can be measured empirically.
“Before the launch of the Liga Amateur Alianza MMA Venezuela, the activities were carried out on an invitational basis by different groups. There was no open national body who could manage to concentrate the national enrollment in the same scenario.
“That work has been arduous and without rest, but the fruits harvested already far exceed the effort and perseverance invested. Much work remains to be done and we are willing to accomplish every step to become the world’s largest exporter of mixed martial artists.”