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IMMAF extends UFC partnership, One Championship builds leadership team

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has extended its partnership with the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), while Asian MMA promotion the One Championship has confirmed the addition of three senior members to its executive leadership team.

As part of its continued agreement with the UFC, IMMAF will support the safe practice and promotion of amateur MMA series. The length of the two parties’ extension was not disclosed.

Under the agreement, IMMAF, which has partnered with 53 national amateur MMA organisations since its inception in 2012, will retain its presence on UFC’s social and digital media platforms. Select IMMAF events will also be added to UFC Fight Pass, UFC’s online viewing subscription service.

“IMMAF’s renewed partnership with UFC will not only strengthen the federation, but also further advance the mutual goal of increased athlete safety in MMA from the grassroots level,” IMMAF chief executive Densign White said. “This partnership will benefit MMA athletes globally for its reformation of pathways to increase talent and education while offering opportunities to place protective structures against dangers that arise due to lack of regulation.

“Our alliance remains a game-changer for amateur combat sports and our awareness continues to make a difference on a global scale.”

This year’s IMMAF World Championships will take place from July 8-10 during the UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas. The event will be available via UFC Fight Pass.

Meanwhile, the One Championship has announced that Pithambar Gona, Kevin Sim and Kevin Matas have joined its executive leadership team.

Gona joins as the promotion’s chief financial officer, having previously served as a managing director at investment firm Blackstone. He launched and led the firm’s private equity business in Southeast Asia.

Sim, who previously worked as a sales and marketing executive for the MP & Silva agency, has been appointed the One Championship’s head of media rights sales. Matas has been named the promotion's head of marketing, having previously been in charge of energy drinks and sports media brand Red Bull’s social media presence in the US.

“I am thrilled to announce the addition of world-class business leaders at One Championship to drive our next stage of global growth,” One Championship chief executive Victor Cui said. “Without a doubt, we sit here today as Asia's most successful sports media property in history because of the amazing leaders and staff at One Championship.

“With the addition of Preet, Kevin, and Kevin, our senior leadership team is now the most globally-seasoned corporate leadership team in the entire sports media industry in Asia. I have never been more excited for the future of One Championship.”