By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran
Director of Regulatory Affairs Marc Goddard joined IMMAF President Kerrith Brown in Kiev, as the nation’s MMA Federation completed its 2019 national amateur championships. Their visit came following invitation from the Ukraine MMA Federation requesting assessment of national commissioning standards in accordance with the latest requirements under IMMAF – WMMAA, the unified international governing body.
“When IMMAF and WMMAA decided to become one organization, we understood that the rules of IMMAF would be used for international events,” Anton Blank explained, Executive Director of the Ukraine MMA Federation.
“In response, we have sent several of our officials to Marc Goddard’s seminar for referees and judges. In turn, they have traveled with seminars across Ukraine for several months to spread and teach these standards. We also have changed from rings to cages and tested the standards of IMMAF within our regional championships and Ukrainian youth championships for under-20’s.
“We decided to invite president Kerrith Brown and one of the most respected referees in the world, Marc Goddard, to examine the changes that we have made and tell us what we are doing wrong and what we are doing right. We hope they enjoyed the time in Kiev and believe their visit will help speed up the development of MMA in Ukraine.”
As the national event played out, key areas of inspection included condition of the cage and its ability to safely contain athletes, on-site medical care, preliminary and post-bout medical protocols, use of an appropriate sports venue, performance of officials, and athlete apparel such as amateur standard gloves, shin guards, and a clear red vs. blue aesthetic to visually signify the amateur level.
“I want to say thank you to the Ukraine Federation who deserve massive credit for what was a forthright gesture, to not remain insular and open their doors to invite critique of their processes,” Marc Goddard (pictured above) commented. “This cannot be overstated and I expect further member nations of IMMAF – WMMAA to do the same.
“The hospitality in Ukraine was second to none, and I’m very encouraged by the standards under the federation. When I step into a venue, I know what I should expect to see. All nations will of course have unique aspects or quirks, but general standardization is what we are looking for on a global scale.
“First and foremost, my eye is focused on safety; I am meticulous for medical standards and protocols. The performance of officials and anything that constitutes the health and well-being of athletes must be scrutinized. By in large, the standards I viewed were good.
“Standardization is key, from rules and regulations to the aesthetics of recognizable amateur competition. It is better for everyone to be singing from the same hymn sheet, and these visits will provide opportunity for shared knowledge from both ends.”
The IMMAF president (pictured above) concluded that, through their activities, Ukraine are leading by example for a synchronized understanding across the world of Amateur MMA that will spearhead the sport’s Olympic movement through mutual understanding.
“This has been an example of how we can support worldwide members,” Kerrith Brown stated. “There is a mandate for correct infrastructure, be it cage safety, medical standards, amateur apparel and appropriate venues for amateurs, the list goes on. Many countries will have different interpretations of how to meet proper requirements, and with someone of Marc’s level we can identify and aid federations in operating to a high standard.
“IMMAF – WMMAA is unified with integration of the Board of Directors set to be complete for the start of 2020. It is a gradual transition and nations such as Ukraine are leading the way for a recognizable global standard, and that lead should be followed.“We are thankful for the support shown by the Ukraine Federation. With this kind of synchronization the Olympic dream is not far away.”