For the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), we are committed to developing the sport around the world. Recently while on a trip to Singapore during the fight week of UFC 275, a dinner meeting was held to discuss the development of the sport in Asia.
At the meeting, I joined delegates from the UFC, and Gordon Tang, Vice President of the Olympic Committee of Asia.
The week itself saw the UFC further delve into the region, hosting a PPV alongside a series of Road to UFC events in the lead-up to the event. Their dedication to developing the sport in the region is evident, and they want to continue to grow there. One of the main topics of discussion surrounded the establishment of a national federation in Singapore.
IMMAF currently has twenty member federations across Asia that promote the sport and have either received government recognition or are striving on the path to obtaining recognition. As things stand, there is no IMMAF-affiliated federation in Singapore, and it is a nation that we want to see on board.
How we support the performance centre in China was another area of focus. The performance centre already has one athlete that has come directly from an amateur background, and we would like to see that number grow significantly. To do that, we spoke about developing the competition structure in Asia and China to support the evolution of athletes from the very beginning.
Outside of the competitive focus, the progression of the sport as a whole is key. This includes introducing the youth development work that we do and promoting the curriculum we have in place. We would also like to further expand our educational courses in the region to upskill referees, judges and coaches so that sport is at the highest standard at every level.
The support from the UFC to help further the sport in Asia and generally is always appreciated. They understand the vision and what IMMAF wants to achieve for the sport on a grand scale; Olympic recognition and regulation of the sport to a high standard.
Our work in Asia is ongoing, and we look forward to playing a role in advancing the sport in the region and showcasing the athletes at the upcoming Asian Championships.