Yesterday (25 December), the three mixed martial arts federations of Kazakhstan announced a merger, as reported by national news site Kazinform. The new, united organisation is the JSC Martial Arts Federation of Kazakhstan, comprising the former Mixed Combat Martial Arts Federation, the National Federation of Mixed Martial Arts, Pankration and Grappling and the NOMAD MMA Federation. IMMAF has been informed that the super federation is still under formation. The newly appointed President is Galimzhan Yessenov, who since July 2015 has been the President of the country’s Chess Federation. His candidacy was backed by Kazakhstan’s Minister of Culture and Sport, Arystanbek Mukhameduiuly, and the recently established Association of Martial Arts of Kazakhstan headed by Karim Massimov. Yessenov also chairs the Board of Trustees of ‘Courage to be the First’ Corporate Fund, which organises the annual Almaty Marathot and is Vice President of the Kazakhstan Triathlon Federation and Chief of the Almaty Federation of Triathlon, bringing some weighty support to the sport of MMA in the country. Aidar Makhmetov, Honorary President of National Federation of MMA, Pankration and Grappling of Kazakhstan, commented: “Yes, we merged, indeed. Now all MMA authorities in Kazakhstan will work together. This has been the goal of our federation for many years and we are happy that finally the Ministry for Culture and Sport of Kazakhstan and the newly created Association of Martial Arts of Kazakhstan have supported that process. “We are strong enough, already being the best team in Asia and one of the best in the world, but this will make MMA in Kazakhstan even stronger. “In the coming weeks the structure of the new federation will be set up and duties will be divided. Our Federation as a member of IMMAF-WMMAA is already taking an active part in that process. “We will also work under the direct support of Association of Martial Arts of Kazakhstan. This entity was created by the Government of Kazakhstan last month and is unifying 20 different non-Olympic sport federations in the country, including karate, taekwondo ITF, jiu-jitsu, grappling, belt wrestling, pankration and MMA. “We are happy to have such huge government support, which will help us to stand among the best teams in the world. The best is yet to come”.