Reigning IMMAF world champion, Nina Nikolija Milosevic (8-1), has received approval for a switch of national representation ahead of the 2022 IMMAF World Championships, taking place 11-18 February in Belgrade, Serbia.
The 26-year-old amateur MMA star, who earned gold medals for Sweden at both the 2021 IMMAF World Championships and 2022 European Open, requested clearance to join the Serbia national team for the opportunity to represent her heritage in her family’s homeland.
With dual citizenship and Serbian parents, Milosevic’s request meets IMMAF’s criteria for a national team switch and was given the final stamp of approval from IMMAF CEO Densign White after the Swedish MMA Federation (SMMAF) supported Milosevic’s request to depart.
Sweden will retain all team ranking points previously earned for the country by Milosevic, who will also retain all ranking points as an individual athlete and leader of the senior women’s bantamweight division, now as a representative of Serbia. Athletes who are eligible to switch national teams may do so only once and cannot switch back for subsequent events.
Reigning IMMAF champion Nina Milosevic commented:
“First of all, I want to say that I am as proud to be Swedish as I am Serbian. I consider that I have done everything I could for Sweden, and now I feel that it is time to do the same for Serbia. Sweden has been in IMMAF before and has historically had many good fighters, and I have confidence that they will do a good job with or without me in the future. MMA is relatively new in Serbia, and by representing them in a championship and hopefully succeeding in winning gold. I will certainly make a difference to the sport in the country. It means a lot to me to know that my contribution can make a difference somewhere.”
IMMAF Member Development Consultant, Jorden Curran, stated:
“I’m really pleased to see Nina as the first example of an IMMAF athlete benefitting from the newly structured ‘change of nationality rules’, which were designed to fairly regulate team switches under approved criteria. An athlete would usually be required to wait for the fresh event calendar to begin before an approved change can be completed. However, Nina’s request was wholeheartedly supported by SMMAF president Måns Nilsson, and we couldn’t fail to recognise the special circumstances of this being a once-in-a-lifetime moment for Nina, to fight for Serbia, in Serbia, as the defending world champion.”