Pictured: IMMAF President Kerrith Brown (left), TMMAF President Jitinat Asdamongkol (centre), Thonglor “Master Thong” Armatsena (right) By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran Ignite Warrior Series for amateur mixed martial artists has been described by FoxSports Asia as: ‘Thailand’s most glitzy and star-studded MMA TV show yet.’ IMMAF President Kerrith Brown is a guest of the Thai MMA Federation (TMMAF) this week as the national body oversees the OneShin Cup and Ignite Warrior Series in Bangkok, taking place this weekend and culminating with finals on Sunday, July 22. Established just last year and named after Thai MMA icon Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai, the event has already flourished, now featuring on televised broadcast Ignite Warriors Series and welcomes a host of the region’s top amateur talent; in addition to welcoming products of the U.S. based Team Alpha Male, accompanied by the gym’s renowned striking coach, Thailand’s own Thonglor “Master Thong” Armatsena. “Last year in September was TMMAF’s first pilot event called Oneshin Cup,” TMMAF President Plai Jitinat Asdamongkol explained. “It was a one-day tournament format that was streamed live online via Facebook. We adopted the rule frameworks of IMMAF and held a tournament to test it out. “After the success of the first event, we developed an MMA league format designed for live television broadcast called Ignite Warrior Championship, utilizing the same rules set with some slight modifications to fit the TV airtime. The format first aired this May and has been running for the past few months with the final happening this Sunday.” He added, “Over the next few days, Mr Brown will be meeting with Master Thong, who has been involved with TMMAF projects this year. We look forward to working with [Master Thong] in creating development pathways for future generations of Thai athletes.” A selection of the competition’s standout athletes will be invited by the Thai MMA Federation to represent the country in September at the 2018 IMMAF Asian Open Championships in Beijing, China. “We recruited some of the athletes who participated in last year’s format and entered them into the league competition, from where we will select the strongest athletes for participation in the IMMAF Asian Open this September.” The event incorporates IMMAF’s initiative for unified amateur rules, IMMAF’s official adaptation of the unified professional rules of MMA. Rules include use of 7oz gloves, shin guards, rash guards, 3×3 minute rounds, plus heel hooks, elbows and knees to the head as prohibited maneuvers (full IMMAF rules list HERE). Furthermore, the TMMAF President explains the effort to see that events meet the highest quality of standards, with ambitions for Thai MMA to mirror that of the IMMAF championships.
“We implement a more elaborate health clearance and blood check for all athletes – something that many other amateur or pro MMA promoters in Thailand weren’t really implementing before, a few exceptions were that of high quality promoters, like Full Metal Dojo. We also invest in a professional, experienced referees and officials team.” While MMA is not currently recognised by government in Thailand, TMMAF works with private sector and local promoters by helping to set rules and regulations in line with IMMAF standards, in addition to marketing support encompassing TMMAF aims for the landscape of amateur MMA. Visit FoxSports Asia for more information on the OneShin Cup and Ignite Warrior Series.