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IMMAF – Can the International MMA Federation be the ideal gathering place for amateur MMA organizations in the world?

IMMAF – International Mixed Martial Arts Federation or International MMA Federation is a non-profit organization specializing in mixed martial arts (MMA) activities at the amateur level worldwide. Founded in 2012, IMMAF has now gathered 63 federations and groups representing countries in 5 continents around the world.

Why the “World MMA Federation”?

In fact, MMA audiences are mostly aware of this sport through tournaments like UFC, Bellator, PFL (North America), ONE Championsip, Road FC (Asia), Cage Warriors, M-1 Global ( Europe, Russia), PRIDE, RIZIN (Japan).

However, all of these tournaments operate as private companies and brands with the primary goal of generating profits for investors. The Sports Committees are only tasked with overseeing the operation and not participating in the management, training and organization of the tournament.

On the contrary, IMMAF emphasizes on “non-profit” activities, aiming to develop and link the MMA movement under the consensus of state management agencies. This is considered the most obvious difference between the “World MMA Federation” with global organizations such as UFC or ONE Championship.

Amateur and competition rules

True to its criteria, IMMAF focuses on “digging before digging”, supporting organizations in countries where MMA does not yet officially exist. In addition, IMMAF emphasizes the factor “amateur” instead of professional like UFC or ONE Championship.

In this regard, IMMAF is also acting as AIBA (International Boxing Council) in Boxing. The separation of management goals helps IMMAF find fighters and develop a wider, more accessible movement, with less demanding requirements than professional tournaments.

The “amateur” element that IMMAF wants to show is the most obvious way to organize matches. At the IMMAF, boxers will compete with thicker gloves, requiring the use of competition uniforms including pipe protectors, standard competition suits. In addition, IMMAF uses a simplified competition law compared to the uniform MMA Code being used by professional MMA organizations.

Some prohibitions supplemented by the IMMAF Law compared to the agreed MMA Law:

  1. Boxers must not use elbows and biceps to attack in any form
  2. Heel hook, twister or any other hook that works on the spine.
  3. Knee strokes of any kind.
  4. The matches at IMMAF also last only 3 minutes compared to 5 minutes like professional MMA matches.

In addition, any fighter who has competed, competed or competed with professional fighters under the Uniform MMA Code, will not be allowed to participate in the IMMAF competition system. See, IMMAF aims at technical, sporty factors and focuses much on the safety of boxers.

Towards the Olympics

The reason IMMAF is focusing on being amateurish is because its goal is to be recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). This has been affirmed in the vision at all the congresses and posted on the IMMAF homepage.

Establishing a federation with a sufficient number of members, a structured operational structure to change the mind about MMA with management and the world, IMMAF considers this the highest goal of the organization in the near future. After 2 years of establishment, since 2014, IMMAF has also organized world tournaments in the form of qualifying and awarding medals similar to the Olympic system.

As a link between amateur athletes, professional leagues and the goal of making MMA an Olympic sport, IMMAF is considered the most optimal path at the moment for the beginners.

However, so that IMMAF only focuses on amateur MMA system, because this organization also has the support and direct partners of UFC – the largest MMA tournament on the planet. Martial artists who have achieved achievements in IMMAF have the opportunity to advance to the professional arena, similar to other sports such as Boxing or Muay Thai.

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