As we turn into 2020, IMMAF President Kerrith Brown looks back on 2019 as the year in which IMMAF further distinguished itself as the global governing body for MMA.
Dear Members, Participants and Supporters,
Once again, we end the year in celebration of our expanding community and its increasing influence, as MMA continues to carve its place on the world stage of ‘legitimate’ sport.
We upped the ante in 2019 and set yet higher standards for ourselves in hosting a world first in the inaugural Youth MMA World Championships, in Rome. Over 250 pioneering athletes, of between the ages of 12 to 17, blazed a trail for youth-adapted MMA competition without head shots.
Our global calendar of events concluded with the showcasing of world-class, amateur MMA at its best as 50 national teams and 436 athletes converged in Bahrain for the 2019 World Championships. The depth of talent, scale and diversity of the World Championships astounds me every year: The bar continues to be obliterated as we welcome more and more phenomenal athletes from every country to represent their nation’s flag on amateur MMA’s premier proving ground.
In our quest for legitimacy from the international sports world, we did not sit back, and IMMAF and WMMAA pushed to gain considerable ground. IMMAF postponed its case against the World Anti-doping Agency, ceding time to the organisation for it to review its statutes in relation to how signatory applications are processed. We are anticipating an update in January, when the IMMAF Board can then make a decision about our next steps.
Following the companies’ merger of IMMAF and WMMAA in 2018, we concluded 2019 with a democratic amalgamation of the two Boards of Directors at a pivotal General Assembly. In 2020 this historic outcome will prove its significance. Our stewardship of MMA is undeniable with a global membership of 97 national members recognised by their government or National Olympic Committee. This is an accomplishment that cannot be rivaled.
For another memorable year, on behalf of the unified board of IMMAF and WMMAA, to all presidents, coaches, athletes, staff, volunteers and officials, I wholeheartedly thank you for your much-valued support and loyalty. I speak confidently in saying that 2020 is set to mark our greatest turning point to date. Together, our journey continues.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish you all peace, health and happiness in what will surely prove to be a momentous new year.
IMMAF President, Kerrith Brown.