IMMAF president Kerrith Brown referenced EMMAB’s ties to national sports authorities as a primary source for confidence in seeing the delivery of a successful continental open championships, after recently visiting the Bahamas National Sports Authority, pictured above (left) alongside Dr Kent L. Bazard (right), president of EMMAB. Following confirmation of the IMMAF and WMMAA 2019 championships calendar last November, athlete registration for the first unified Pan American Open Championships was announced yesterday, February 19. Hosted by national federation, Empire Mixed Martial Arts Bahamas (EMMAB), the tournament is scheduled to take place from 15 to 18 May 2019 in Nassau, at the Kendal G. L Isaacs National Gymnasium at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre. National MMA Associations span the Americas under IMMAF and WMMAA recognition, including Brazil, Canada, USA, Mexico, Colombia, Jamaica, El Salvador, Paraguay, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago. The Bahamas was selected as host nation for the Pan-American Open Championships, with years of infrastructure developed at the national level. EMMAB achieved recognition under IMMAF in mid 2016, three years after the national body’s official formation. Led by president and Safety Officer Dr Kent L. Bazard, the organisation is registered with the Bahamas Ministry of Sports and is a member of both the Bahamas Wushu Sanda Association and the Bahamas Martial Arts Federation. Overseeing the national MMA collective, EMMAB has dispatched representatives to international martial arts competitions in addition to overseeing rules and regulations, certification of officials and sanctioning protocol for both professional and amateur competitions, all at the national level. National teams from all IMMAF-WMMAA affiliated nations are welcomed to participate with 14 weight categories open to senior athletes, from Atomweight to Lightweight for women, and Strawweight to Super Heavyweight for men. Divisions will have a limit of 8 participants for each weight category. Gold, silver and 2 bronze medals will be available to win in each division, and competitors will earn ranking points for the IMMAF World Amateur MMA Rankings.