In 2019 the MMA Association of the Czech Republic (MMAA) expands the sport’s integration with youth culture and participation development at the regional level, launching what is understood to be the world’s first university championships. In January, the first Czech students participated in the Academic Championships of the Czech Republic. The amateur MMA competition was launched in conjunction with the nation’s academic sports authority – ČAUS (Czech University Sports Association). PhDr. Ivana Ertlová, ČAUS president and board member of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), stated that the Czech Republic is the world’s first country to offer an official MMA competition to amateur athletes on campus. 8 universities are currently registered to compete in the year-long competition, expected to feature 9 tournaments leading towards a 10th round of finals. Competitors continue to train at their local clubs with additional training opportunities set on campus. The amateur MMA competition began one year following the introduction of a university BJJ league, with close to 100 grapplers from over a dozen schools. The Czech MMA Association serves as the national affiliate under IMMAF, while in the process of merger negotiations with domestic counterparts, CSMMA, following the amalgamation of IMMAF and WMMAA to form the unified World MMA Governing Body.