On Wednesday 22 March 2017, the Bulgarian MMA Federation (BULMMAF) held a press conference in Sofia for the 2017 IMMAF European Open Championships which takes place next week, from 29 March to 2 April at the EFE Hotel Marinela Sofia. The press conference was held at Press Club “Bulgaria” which is situated in the National Stadium “Vasil Levski” in Sofia, commencing at 11:30 a.m. Participating in the press conference were: Stanislav Nedkov – President of the Bulgarian Mixed Martial Arts Federation Alistair Pettitt – IMMAF Director of International Events and also a representative of IMMAF at this press conference Veronica Nalbatska – General Secretary of the Bulgarian Mixed Martial Arts Federation Aleksandr Chuhray – Head Coach of the National Bulgarian MMA Team (Team Bulgaria) The conference was attended by a host of Bulgarian media representing television, websites and newspapers. Stanislav Nedkov opened the press conference with a speach about the upcoming European Open, telling the Bulgarian media that BULMMAF is very happy to be the host federation and to have worked with IMMAF to make the event happen. He relayed key event information including the time and place of competition and gave thanks for the support that BULMMAF has received from the national Ministry of Youth and Sports of Bulgaria. He encouraged all people who love sport and in particular MMA to attend the European Open as guests of the BULMMAF (with no fee for entrance). He mentioned the advantage of Competition Week and athlete accommodation being housed under one roof, made possible with thanks to the Hotel Marinela and Exhibition Forum Events (EFE). Nedkov further explained that MMA is very popular sport in Bulgaria and the BULMMAF has implemented development at a rapid. Within 2 years the organisation has grown to more than 40 member clubs from across the country. Also the sport of MMA is now studied in the National Sports Academy in Sofia, since the end of 2016, which is a huge mark of success and indicates that the sport is developing in the right direction. He expressed thanks for the support that BULMMAF receives from the government. Stanislav Nedkov and Aleksandr Chuhray described Team Bulgaria’s preparation for the European Open and announced that BULMMAF will be represented by 17 athletes (15 male and 2 female). It was pointed out that Team Bulgaria stands second in the World Amateur MMA Rankings and its goal is to achieve the top spot. There was a question from the media about BULMMAF’s chances of holding a future IMMAF World Championships and Alistair Pettitt explained that all IMMAF members have the opportunity to apply for hosting federation rights to IMMAF’s continental and World events. He explained that there is a transparent application process and that various considerations are given including to finance, logistics, infrastructure, transport, medical services and government support. Alistair Pettitt said that from his experience of working with Stanislav Nedkov and BULMMAF, there is no doubt that Bulgaria has the capacity to meet the criteria to hold a futureWorld Championships. The press conference ended with a request to the media to spread the word about the upcoming 2017 IMMAF European Open Championships, and thanks for their presence and interest.