IMMAF President Kerrith Brown thanked IMMAF’s UAE partners for their tremendous support that has saved IMMAF’s flagship annual event, the 2021 edition of the IMMAF World Championships.
Originally scheduled to be held in Kazakhstan last year, the nations MMA tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic situation in Nur-Sultan. At the same time, the IMMAF President was finalising a three-year deal for the Youth World Championships with the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and MMA Federation, supported by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and in partnership with Palms Sports.
Brown commented, “We are extremely grateful that the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and MMA Federation, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Palms Sports agreed to step in and rescue the World Championships at such short notice. Our hosts are well used to hosting the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Championships which can number around 4000 athletes, with National Sports Authority support, while Palms Sports is the company behind UAE Warriors, so we are lucky to be in the best hands.”
The UAE had indeed hosted the Jiu Jitsu Worlds in the Autumn with a strictly regulated Covid bubble in place, but the Omicron had not yet gained significance. The new Covid variant has led to a number of changes in both travel and health protocols, to which IMMAF, the event organisers and participants will have had to adapt.
Brown continued: “The UAE Jiu-Jitsu and MMA Federation, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Palms Sports have been phenomenal in their commitment to ensuring that this event can go ahead in an extremely challenging landscape that has impacted logistics, financials and staffing on many levels. They are really pulling out the stops to deliver the best Championships and it is exciting being on the ground to see all the elements come together. We all really look forward to welcoming our National Federations, coaches and athletes here in a couple of days’ time, for our first World Championships in two years, and as a family pulling together to create an excellent and memorable event.”
Brown also thanked His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces; His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council; His Excellency Abdulmunem Al Hashmi, President of the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Federation; His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council; His Excellency Mohamed Dalmouj Al Dhaheri, Chairman of the UAE MMA Committee; and the Department of Culture and Tourism for their invaluable support, without which the Championships would not be possible.