By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran IMMAF’s most prolific and eventful year to date continues to unfold at a sensational pace. Over the past week, IMMAF has been engaged in a variety of activity with major developments taking place that will impact upcoming announcements and progression for years to come. March 4-5 The week began following the mention via IMMAF on Twitter (@IMMAFed) that President Kerrith Brown and Chief Executive Densign White had met in London with UFC COO Lawrence Epstein. The two organisations discussed key details such as worldwide regulation and anti-doping as the World’s leading MMA promotion continues to support Amateur MMA and the reach of its international governing body.
Recent meeting in London between UFC COO @ikeepstein & IMMAF heads @BrownKerrith & @densign_white, as @UFC continues to support #AmateurMMA and the 2 organisations work together in areas such as anti-doping. pic.twitter.com/NqijagciGC
— IMMAF (@IMMAFed) March 4, 2018
On March 5 the IMMAF team welcomed to London former European and World gold medalist Leah McCourt, plus former European silver medalist Mario Moreno Hortinha, for a day of filming for promotional video content. The duo shared their inspirational and extraordinary stories for an upcoming film that takes a look at why MMA deserves to be a recognised sport with the amateur format earning its place in the Olympic Games.
In London filming with the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation. Big things ahead for amateur MMA. Looking forward to seeing MMA recognised and in the Olympics #recognition #olympic pic.twitter.com/uE70Qjca1k
— Leah McCourt (@leahmccourtmma) March 5, 2018
Northern Ireland’s Leah McCourt showcased herself in a terrific amateur tenure on the IMMAF platform. The Judo blackbelt and BJJ champion won gold medals at the 2015 IMMAF European Open and 2016 World Championships. Moreno Hortinha entered the 2017 European Open for Portugal as an unseeded, unranked outsider. His determination and emotion thrilled all in attendance as he secured one victory after another to make it all the way to the Bantamweight championship final. March 7 There’s no rest for the IMMAF heads as CEO Densign White makes his way to Paris, France, while President Kerrith Brown heads to Manama, Bahrain.
IMMAF President @BrownKerrith signs contracts with Col. Al Khayyat of the @bahrainmma_fed for the hosting of the 2018 & 2019 IMMAF World Championships in Manama pic.twitter.com/sBri2Zvusy — IMMAF (@IMMAFed) March 7, 2018
As a member of the Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA), IMMAF was present in Paris for the SIGA event honoring gender equality and good governance in sport. France’s 2017 IMMAF world champion Manon Fiorot gave a speech on equal gender rights, in addition to the IMMAF CEO who also serves on the SIGA Council.
— IMMAF (@IMMAFed) March 7, 2018
Meanwhile, the IMMAF President was in Bahrain for the official announcement of the nation serving as hosts for the 2018 and 2019 IMMAF World Championships. Mr Brown and Col. Al Khayyat, President of the Bahrain MMA Federation, signed hosting agreements at the first press conference of this year’s event. March 8
IMMAF steps up its pursuit for WADA signatory status in order to ensure safety within the sport for generations to come. Also, seeds are planted for an all new legacy in the region of Oceania. Director of International Events, Alistair Pettitt, traveled to Australia where he joins organisers from the International MMA Federation of Australia (IMMAFA) to oversee the 2018 Oceania Open Championships. On March 8 IMMAF publicity announced the filing of a civil lawsuit against the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). IMMAF is disputing the rejection of its application to become a WADA signatory on the grounds of infringement to its personality rights according to Swiss law. Although IMMAF meets all WADA criteria, the agency which was founded to independently protect and support participant safety in sport, rejected IMMAF’s application. The sole reason given was rebuttal by other recognised International Sports Federations, mainly combat sports federations. WADA’s rejection has wide reaching impact on the development of the sport of MMA.