On June 28 the English MMA Association (EMMAA) was formally announced as the fresh governing body established to develop the sport of mixed martial arts in England.
Initially, there had been work in progress to develop an England federation alongside MMA Cymru (Wales), the Ulster MMA Association (Northern Ireland) and eventual Scotland Federation as affiliates of the UKMMAF. Upon the EMMAA formally submitting its membership application, UKMMAF President Windy Miller informed both IMMAF CEO Densign White and President Kerrith Brown of the full dissolution of UKMMAF. There is currently no plan to reinstate an umbrella UK body as the ‘Home Nations’ move forward as established, capable stewards of sport development in their respective regions.
IMMAF.org’s Jorden Curran followed up with EMMAA president, Marc Goddard, to confirm some further outstanding questions following the birth of EMMAA and dissolution of the UKMMAF.
EMMAA AND SAFE MMA
Safe MMA, which does not serve as a regulatory body, will remain a third-party adviser to EMMAA and engaging promotions, covering the medical screening of athletes. In line with other recognised sports, athletes become registered with the national body (EMMAA) through membership with their registered club/gym. When competing, an athletes’ medical data is then handled by Safe MMA who report to the national governing body.
TEAM UK ATHLETES
In the wake of Team UK’s encouraging success at the 2019 European Open in Rome, which included athletes from England and Scotland (while Wales & Northern Ireland already have established national teams), the EMMAA is to absorb the entire UK squad of athletes for senior, junior and youth championships, with meetings expected to take place for the continued involvement of select head coaches and team leaders. EMMAA will also absorb all existing Team UK ranking points.
In the meantime, any Scottish national is free to compete, subject to selection, under the Team England banner, until a Scottish federation is established.
Goddard, himself a Scotsman, echoed this sentiment and revealed further plans to aid in facilitating the development of a Scottish MMA regulatory body.
“The national team is a platform to take amateur athletes to a world level. Any Scottish athlete can come with England, and of course carry the Scottish flag. When MMA gets its day in the Olympics, we (England, Wales, Scotland, N.Ireland) will obviously come together for a Team UK.”
Goddard added, ” We want to see all four countries grow collectively and to get there we will share information and any process that can be mutually beneficial, including for the establishment of a Scottish federation, for which we have meetings coming up.
“Together, we will function concurrently under a ‘Home Nations’ mechanic. Much needed funding for the sport relies on recognition, and that includes regional recognition under Sport England, Sport Wales, Sport Scotland and Sport NI. This is when the real work starts and the opportunity and greater function of the sport really begins.
“Give us time, and importantly, join us.”
By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran
Main picture: Leon Roberts, Dr Abad Ali, Martin Shotbolt, Marc Goddard, Nick Peet. Front row: Nigel von Sachsenburg, Paul Sutherland, Rosi Sexton, Dan Hardy.