The Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association (IMMAA) has announced that the assessor for sport recognition in Sport Northern Ireland (Sport NI) has passed an application to begin finalising the recognition of MMA as a sport.
Since MMA was applying as a new sport for recognition, the process entails that the application is sent to the Home Country Sports Councils, Sport England, Sport Scotland and Sport Wales. As it goes to press, Sport Wales has responded as content, and the hope is that it will hear the same positive news from the other two Councils.
This marks a significant milestone for the association and the MMA community after many years of relentless hard work and dedication.
The recognition of MMA as a sport will bring numerous benefits, including an increased focus on fighter safety, regulation of events, and the possibility of funding for the development of the sport. The IMMAA team, led by Danny Corr, worked tirelessly with Sports NI to make this achievement a reality.
“This is a huge moment for IMMAA and the MMA community in this country and indeed in the UK as a whole,” said Danny Corr, lead of the IMMAA team dealing with Sports NI.
“To be leading the way in the recognition process is a huge achievement, but to get to a stage many believed was impossible is immense. This final approved application will be the blueprint for the sport and will be key to the sport being recognised in Ireland as a whole and the other UK regions.
“It has been a bumpy road to get where we are, but we have put a tremendous amount of effort into this goal, and we are thrilled that our hard work is paying off. I cannot thank Sport NI enough for their help and constant support throughout. Recognition will bring greater opportunities for growth and development of the sport in Northern Ireland.”
IMMAA President, John Kavanagh, added, “This is a major step forward for MMA in Northern Ireland. We have always believed in the positive impact that MMA can have on individuals and communities, and reaching this milestone is a testament to the dedication of our members and supporters.”
IMMAA Chairperson, Tim Murphy, added: “This is a huge step forward for MMA on the island of Ireland, and we are very grateful to Sport NI for engaging with us in an open and productive way. Our path towards recognition in the Republic has proven more difficult so far, but we are hopeful of making significant progress in 2023, and we could again call on the key stakeholders involved to engage with us in a positive manner.”
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said: “It’s fantastic to see progress being made on the Island of Ireland. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of the sport getting recognised across the UK and Ireland. Congratulations to Danny Corr and all the IMMAA team on their hard work and dedication to the development of the sport in Ireland.”