The Board of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation has announced the cancellation in 2020 of its European Open Championships and Youth World Championships, which were scheduled to take place in Italy in July and August; and also the postponement of its Asian Open Championships planned for June in Kazakhstan.
This comes on the back of the earlier board decision to postpone the 2020 IMMAF Africa Open Championships and the 2020 IMMAF Pan American Championships.
IMMAF President Brown commented:
“In the shadow of the current global pandemic and government responses worldwide, as well as out of duty-of-care to our members, the IMMAF board has been left with no alternative but to cancel the European and Youth Championships this year.
“Meanwhile, all sports events have been banned in Kazakhstan for the present time, forcing us to stop the Asian Open in June. We will be monitoring with global situation in the hope that we can hold this event later in the year, in the run up to the World and Team Championships.
“Unfortunately, it is unlikely that our calendar will permit space for the other tournaments to be rescheduled this year and we are grateful to our host federations and event partners for their cooperation in reviewing options for applying existing agreements to 2021.
“I encourage athletes to keep training, keep drilling and studying techniques from home. This period will be a test of character and determination: We look forward to relaunching stronger and better, and meeting again in competition very soon”
The Host Federation President for Italy (FIGMMA), Saverio Longo, said:
“I fully agree with the decision taken by the President of IMMAF to postpone the MMA Championships that should have been held this summer in Rome. The health of athletes, teams and organizers is a priority and must therefore prevail over all other interests.
“But I’m sure that when this forced break is over, MMA athletes from all over the world will return to compete with even more enthusiasm and vigour because no virus or adversity can ever extinguish the fire of passion for fighting that burns inside the heart of every MMA fighter.”
Meanwhile, to support members during this time, IMMAF has launched free, online accredited coach education courses which will count towards the full IMMAF Coach Certification. This is a first initiative, to which IMMAF will be adding further online services to facilitate continued sport development through this period of self-distancing and self-isolation in many countries.