As the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation prepares for its rescheduled 2021 World Championships set for Abu Dhabi in January, MMA’s world governing body has appointed senior sports journalist Simon Head as mentor for its Young Journalist competition winners at the event.
In July, Erik Uebelacker (USA) and Daniyal Nasir (Pakistan) were announced as winners of IMMAF’s inaugural Young MMA Journalists Competition, established to help develop MMA’s journalists of the future. Erik and Daniyal have won the opportunity to receive training and mentorship while reporting live on the World Championships. Their coverage of the six-day tournament will feature across official IMMAF platforms.
Simon Head is an established writer and editor with twenty-three years’ experience in sports journalism at a national and international level.
With a an early background in local radio; in editorial for the English Premier League’s first official stats yearbook; as content manager for the world’s biggest online bookmaker in the early 2000s; and in the communications department for The Football Association, Simon’s career turned to MMA in 2011.
As Sports Production Editor for the Daily Mirror newspaper, Simon campaigned for and established dedicated MMA pages at the Mirror Online. During this time, he also coordinated the Mirror’s digital coverage of the London 2012 Olympic Games and worked integrally as part of the Mirror Football editorial team. In 2015, Simon was headhunted to become the only full-time MMA reporter in the UK national press with The Sun. He moved onto join the digital production team at BT Sport in 2013 to lead the broadcasters’ digital coverage of the UFC and MotoGP. Simon remains a freelance MMA reporter today for BBC Sport and a digital manager for Fighters Only.
Simon’s work has additionally featured nationally and internationally at MMA Junkie, Fighters Only, RT Sport, USA Today, The National UAE, BBC Radio Five Live, TalkSport and CNN. As former host of MMA Junkie/USA Today’s weekly MMA talk show, “Spinning Back Clique”, Simon continues to-the-present to host, “The Brit Pack MMA Podcast”.
Commenting on his appointment, Simon Head said:
“It’s an honour to be invited by IMMAF to take on the role of Journalist Mentor, and I’m really looking forward to helping two talented young journalists cover the next generation of mixed martial artists as they go for gold at the IMMAF World Championships in Abu Dhabi. Hopefully, after covering the fighters’ journeys at the IMMAF World Championships, the young journalists will progress their own careers and get the chance to follow some of those same fighters all the way to the top of the pro ranks in the years ahead.”
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:
“IMMAF is all about building the future of the sport, and good journalism has an important role to play in that. I can think of no one better to assume the mentor role than Simon, not only due to his extensive experience but also his long track record of supporting local and grassroots MMA. We are privileged to have him on board.”
You can follow Simon at