The Ultimate Fighting Championship has today (Friday) announced the renewal of its partnership with the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), through which it will continue to support the safe practices and promotion of the sport at amateur level.
The new deal comes after the IMMAF and the World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) last month confirmed a merger agreement that will see the global unification of the sport and seek to boost its ambition to become part of the Olympic Movement.
UFC and IMMAF have in the past collaborated and shared information and expertise in areas such as anti-doping and event sanctioning.
UFC’s senior executive vice-president and chief operating officer, Ike Lawrence Epstein, said: “IMMAF has done a remarkable job of promoting the sport of amateur mixed martial arts from a grassroots level and serving as a conduit for higher safety and regulatory standards. UFC is proud to further its alignment with IMMAF as they consistently produce top-tier amateur events around the world.”
Following the signing of last month’s agreement, the IMMAF and WMMAA stressed the importance of one joint application being made to the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), the umbrella organisation for international sports federations, to ensure the sport has the best chance of being recognised at Olympic level.
Under GAISF criteria only one governance application can be made per sport, and so the amalgamation is expected to further qualify MMA’s bid. Last month’s agreement also strengthened MMA’s application by delivering the required number of an organisation’s member federations to be recognised by their sports ministry or National Olympic Committee.
Following today’s announcement, IMMAF president Kerrith Brown said: “On behalf of IMMAF, I would like to thank both UFC and owners, Endeavor, for their continued support and commitment to the development of the sport of mixed martial arts at all levels.
“UFC is renowned as the pioneer of modern-day MMA, and we are honoured by this partnership which pays great tribute to IMMAF’s successes to date.”