By Caoilte de Barra
In April, the IMMAF board approved the membership of the Netherlands Mixed Martial Arts Federation (NLMMAF).
The NLMMAF are committed to developing the sport in the Netherlands at all levels, and since their approval, they have been working hard to grow the federations and are in line to debut at the 2022 Youth World Championships. A major stride for the federation in such a short amount of time.
The first athlete to represent the federation is Duhan Dingol, who will compete in the Youth CC 44 kg division and coaching him will be Rodney Van Der Vlugt.
Duhan is a 12-year-old mixed martial artist training out of KO fighting fitness in The Hague. The Netherlands is renowned for kickboxing, and it is where he began his martial arts journey when he was six years of age.
He is no stranger to competing internationally, having won two European and World Championships in kickboxing. Not to mention the multiple BJJ medals when competing internationally. For the past two years, Duhan has ventured into mixed martial arts and is currently working through the IMMAF grading system.
His perseverance, dedication and hard work over the past two years earned him a spot in the Dutch National Team.
Ahead of the 2022 Youth World Championships, NLMMAF president Mikhail Mazur gave an insight into the work behind the scenes to get to where they are.
“Right after getting membership status granted by IMMAF, we have been working non-stop to get things going in the Netherlands, making steps necessary for the strategic development of the sport. Being able to send an athlete to the Youth Worlds is not just a huge chance but also a big responsibility. It concerns not just the athlete’s preparation taken care of by his coach but all the needed paperwork and medical tests as IMMAF adheres to the highest standards, which we as a Federation are happy about.
“We look forward to this first event with the Netherlands participating and will be doing our best to bring more athletes for all subsequent events under IMMAF.”