By Jorden Curran
IMMAF Member Development Consultant
The Nigerian MMA Federation (NMMAF) will be demonstrating the sport of Mixed Martial Arts as part of Nigeria’s National Festival of Sport, taking place from 28 Nov – 10 Dec at the National Stadium in Lagos.
The National Sports Festival is a landmark annual gathering of the nation’s sporting stakeholders, teams and participants within each of the most popular physical pastimes across the nation, championing ‘excellence, sportsmanship and unity.’
Via the NMMAF governing body, which is responsible for the nationwide development of the sport, MMA will be showcased as a demonstration event for the first time in front of national and state leaders. Significantly, the National Sports Festival enables the NMMAF to introduce the foundations and vision of a lasting national MMA legacy with a strong focus on safety, community and youth development.
NMMAF President Amb Henry George explained: “As a Federation, we are looking at a huge talent pool of athletic prospects for MMA in Nigeria with many stars of the future. Acceptance for MMA by the Ministry of Sports would significantly raise the potential of our nation’s long-term impact within one of the world’s biggest and most watched sports. Our ability to demonstrate MMA at the 2022 National Sports Festival is a significant first step to show our worth within the Nigerian sports community and we are grateful to the Sports Minister to welcome this participation.”
Within the bubble of the National Sports Festival, the NMMAF will be set to present amateur MMA as both a recreational and competitive youth engagement platform, serving as a safe and fun foundation for the sport’s professional levels.
IMMAF member nations around the world have proven amateur MMA to be a successful youth engagement tool, contributing to discipline, a sense of identity, employability, and representation of national team for the elite amateur stars at the IMMAF World Championships, Youth World Championships and Africa Championships.