President and Olympian Kerrith Brown on his direction for IMMAF

Following a unanimous board vote in Berlin, Germany, on June 20, 2015, Kerrith Brown was named as the new President of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF). As an elite level judoka, Brown has represented Great Britain to win championship medals across various international platforms, including a bronze medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Following on from his previous leadership position as Chairman of the British Judo Association (BJA),  he now aims to take IMMAF and the world of Amateur MMA to impressive new heights. While overseeing the first ever IMMAF certification course for experienced referees in Prague, Czech Republic, Brown discussed why he became involved with the sport and how he aims to draw on his judo and business management experience to create a successful formula for IMMAF. “I’ve always had a love of combat sports, going back to the days of watching mixed martial arts as far back as Muhammed Ali fighting Anonio Inoki in a boxing ring. “Obviously, it interests me as an ex competitor, having competed and medalled at European, World and Olympic levels. “Judo is renowned for being a well structured organization through the IJF (International Judo Federation) and EJU (European Judo Union) and its national federations. When I was chairman of British Judo, our governance structure was of a good standard and I like to think that’s what I can bring over to MMA.” All great sports have been developed from grass roots, but for many years has MMA battled to sustain itself with no real amateur foundations to ensure quality development and longevity for athletes at the professional level. For Brown, it’s essential that the bottom and top are soundly connected. “It’s a great sport and one of the fastest growing sports in the world. While existing in a world that is frantically out there and everybody is busy doing everything to support and grow the sport, I’d like to bring a bit of calmness and thinking outside of the box to building the infrastructure. That’s what I’m hoping my leadership will bring, and with the rest of the team help create a ripple effect that will make history by connecting the bottom of the sport with the top.  Professional MMA can not sustain itself as an island, and  the grass roots of the sport needs to be developed.” “We’re looking to build a structure for amateur development around the competition format of the IMMAF World Championships,  and through bringing in the continental world series. Through building a solid framework we can create a better developmental pathway for amateurs before they go professional.” The appointment of Brown to IMMAF President came ahead of the 2015 IMMAF World Championships of Amateur MMA. Taking place during July in Las Vegas, the event marked a tremendous progression for IMMAF as an organisation and showcased a high level of competition. Brown feels that this has been IMMAF’s greatest achievement of the 2015 so far. The success of the tournament was both a strong assertation of and trigger for growth as it sent a positive wave throughout the IMMAF community. “The biggest success so far for me has to be the 2015 IMMAF World Championships. The format was obviously different from 2014, with the incorporation of more federations, the development of the teams and the board becoming broader thinking in vision.” [/spb_text_block]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *