PAKMMA President Bashir Ahmad. Photo via Facebook. On January 27 & 28 the city of Lahore in Pakistan hosted a double header of events on a weekend that has since been hailed as the country’s greatest 2 days of MMA. Professional competitor and Mixed Martial Arts Pakistan (PAKMMA) President, Bashir Ahmad, told IMMAF.org that the progression of skill, community involvement and overall competence was ‘beyond words’. All -amateur showcase Shaheen Fight Night took place last Friday and the momentum was continued of Saturday night with Fighting Alliance 5, Pakistan’s premier MMA event. “The reason that people are calling this the two best days are because of the quality of the fights and the quality of the officiating,” the PAKMMA President explained. “The amateur event we had the day before had a higher level of technical skill than our first “professional” event 5 years ago. The event took place in our charity gym, Shaheen, which is located in a slum and the entire neighborhood came out to see it. The environment was beyond words. “The next day at Fighting Alliance, our main promotion in Pakistan, we had some amazing level of skill. It broke through new barriers of what is to be expected from the domestic scene. Finally, because the community has grown and matured, the flow of the event and the officiating went on without a hitch and without my contact supervision. Everyone knew what to do and did it wonderfully.” Bashir Ahmad has been credited as the ‘Godfather of MMA’ in Pakistan, serving as the nation’s first standout professional competitor fighting under the banner of ONE Championship. Born in Pakistan and raised in the USA where he served in the military, Ahmad returned to his birthplace with a vision to bring credible MMA to the masses and established PAKMMA, Pakistan’s national regulatory body under the IMMAF. “The vision to a large degree is accomplished. The goals I had when I set out on this journey have been accomplished and everything that is happening right now is just icing on the cake. The next step is taking a real hard look at what we can do to make this truly mainstream.” With further evolution on the horizon, PAKMMA seeks to bring the level of national regulation on par with other regions of the world where the sport is most developed. The addition of small amateur events presents diverse opportunity for growth, enabling a wide range of experience not only for amateur athletes, but freshly trained officials also. “It is increasing with every event; the enforcement of rules, and the dissemination of information regarding what we expect from the fighters has increased as has the base of trained officials. The amateur event the day before was actually meant to be training time for officials. We like to use these small casual events to train our officials and give them hands on experience. It takes time to add trusted officials to the fold of PAKMMA certified officials, but after this event we have nearly doubled our force of officials that are competent and most importantly are respected within the MMA community; people listen to them.” For more information on PAKMMA visit pak-mma.com.
By IMMAF.org lead writer and website manager, Jorden Curran]]>