Pictured above: former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett was victorious in the UFC Hamburg main event. The UFC realized a significant breakthrough in Germany this month when UFC Fight Night: Arlovski vs. Barnett took place at the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg on September 3. For the first time the UFC was able to celebrate a sold-out crowd on German soil. Prior to the Hamburg showcase, the UFC had ventured to the European nation on four previous occasions in Berlin and the Ruhr area. Furthermore, the promotion secured a landmark broadcasting victory and featured on the free to air channel ProSieben MAXX. For years it appeared that a German breakthrough for the UFC was long overdue, with the country lagging behind fellow European nations that have for some time hosted UFC events, such as the UK, Sweden and more recently Poland. With exposure shifting up a gear, UFC Hamburg welcomed some of Germany’s most significant national news representatives. IMMAF board member Tom Madsen attended the event and noted the international flavor of the passionate audience where Germans from across the country cheered alongside vocal contingents from Sweden and Poland who had traveled to support the likes of Alexander Gustafsson and Jan Blachowicz, respectively. Tom Madsen attended as a guest of the promotion, in addition to IMMAF certified officials of the German MMA Federation (GEMMAF) who featured in the event’s commissioning process. GEMMAF president Raphael Vogt also traveled to Hamburg. “By invitation of Dave Lewis (UFC head of operations) I enjoyed the event first hand,” Madsen explained. “As always the UFC crew and our close partners were very welcoming to the IMMAF and German MMA Federations (GEMMAF). “The GEMMAF was present with a total of six officials, including three judges. Thanks goes the UFC for its trust in using GEMMAF/IMMAF officials. The success of this participation further endorses our level of organisation to the clubs and athletes who are registered members of GEMMAF. Several of the UFC athletes used a local GEMMAF registered dojo for training in the final days leading to the event, which provided a win/win for both athletes and clubs. “GEMMAF is planning to maintain and capitalize on the momentum sparked by UFC Hamburg, and work with national press, politicians and clubs in an effort to distribute education on governance and safety of the sport.” By IMMAF.org lead writer and website manager, Jorden Curran For more information on GEMMAF visit GEMMAF.de.