The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation invites its top 8 ranked national teams to enter athletes for the 2021 IMMAF World Championships, when priority online registration opens on Monday 28 November.
Hosted by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and MMA Federation, with backing from the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and in partnership with Palms Sports, IMMAF’s annual flagship tournament is to take place at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Zayed Sports City, near UFC Fight Island (Yas Island). IMMAF’s Worlds in 2019 attracted around 450 athletes from 49 nations, before COVID-19 put a stop to competition in 2020, making this IMMAF’s first Worlds in two years. Returning medallists and new rising stars made their mark this year at the European Championships and World Cup Prague, establishing compelling rivalries expected to play out at a highly competitive World Championships, which will be broadcast globally.
To enable equitable, international representation, IMMAF is operating a more phased registration process this year, as outlined below.
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:
“IMMAF’s World Championships typically allows priority registration for the top 32 ranked nations, their being 32 spaces in the tournament brackets. This to set elite performance as the bar for entry to our premier event. However, with the pandemic shutting down competition in 2019 and 2020 there are continents that have not seen competitive opportunities in two years, and those for whom travel has remained restricted. The registration system in place this year aims to both acknowledge the achievements of the nations that excelled in Europe this year, whilst not excluding burgeoning talent from other regions, to ensure that the event is a true and representative World Championships.”
With IMMAF continental tournaments now closed to athletes from outside the host continent, the World Championships will be IMMAF’s sole premier tier event open to seniors and juniors from all around the world in 2022.
This Senior and Junior World Championships is open to all IMMAF Member Federations. There is a limit of 32 participants for each weight category and each federation can enter a maximum of 2 entries per weight category, subject to the following criteria.
- Phase 1 – 1st Entry for Top 8: Priority registration opens for the top 8 ranked countries (in the IMMAF World ranking list) to enter one (1) athlete in each weight division before the cut-off date of Monday 6 December 2021
- Phase 2 – 1st Entry for Remaining Nations: From Tuesday 7 December 2021, the brackets will open to all national teams ranked outside the top 8 to enter one (1) athlete in each weight division (that has available spaces) by Tuesday 14 December 2021
- Phase 3 – IMMAF Wild Card Entry: IMMAF places 2 wild card athletes in each weight class on Wednesday 15 December 2021
- Phase 4 – 2nd Entry for Top 8: Entry opens for top 8 ranked teams to enter a 2nd competitor from Friday 17 December 2021 to Saturday 18 December 2021
- Phase 5 – 2nd Entry for Remaining Nations: On Sunday 19 December 2021, registration opens for teams ranked 9 and below to enter a 2nd competitor on a first-come, first-served basis if any spaces remain available.
- Final deadline for registration: Thursday 23 December 2021
Following online registration, all registered athletes must be medically precleared and vetted regarding their pro/ am eligibility by IMMAF to confirm their place. Competitor entry is finalised following pre-bout weigh-ins and medical examinations onsite at the event prior to submission into the tournament draw.