The leading amateur MMA organization continues to grow. The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) is now making more moves and gaining recognition in Africa, now adding Zimbabwe. The IMMAF has done a great job being the leader in safety and creating a thriving amateur MMA scene in Europe, and they continue to grow. Even UFC fighter Conor McGregor worked with the Irish team of the IMMAF earlier this year. In a press release the IMMAF gave details on what this expansion is and what it means.
Press Release from the IMMAF:
ZIMBABWEAN MMA FEDERATION EXTENDS IMMAF FOOTPRINT IN AFRICA
The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) is pleased to announce that Zimbabwe is the latest African nation to join the IMMAF via the Zimbabwe Mixed Martial Arts Association (ZMMAA).
The ZMMAA, headed by organisation president Felix Munyaradzi Matsitsiro, now joins a flourishing network of skilled and dedicated individuals within Africa. ZMMAA’s goals are to draw up and ensure the regulation of MMA in Zimbabwe, improve overall MMA development, ensure the protection of members and introduce engaging promotion of the sport in line with IMMAF values.
In particular, ZMMAA has a key focus on youth development and acquiring young members with a vision to spread respect through the sport of MMA among the youth of Zimbabwe.
To date, foundations have been established by ZMMAA via its fundraising efforts, at social events, collaborations with music festivals, sponsor donations and yearly membership. Plans are in place for national championships and the participation of Team Zimbabwe at IMMAF’s international championships, with education and official certification of coaches set as the organisation’s priority goals.
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:
“It’s fantastic to see the sport of MMA continuing to grow and develop at a grassroots level across Africa. The recognition of the Zimbabwean MMA Federation as a member sees the number of IMMAF nations on the continent rise to nineteen. We look forward to welcoming Zimbabwean delegates and talent to IMMAF events in 2022 and to witnessing Zimbabwe’s rising stars.”
MMA is a hugely international sport which has been a powerhouse in North & South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe, but has yet to leave a huge legacy in the continent of Africa. With great UFC fighters from Nigeria and Cameroon plus the IMMAF news about Zimbabwe, the sport will continue to grow in Africa and internationally.
For further information about the goals, safety procedures, and regulation of the IMMAF they add:
The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) provides the platform for MMA’s next generation of athletes and rising stars. Founded in 2012, IMMAF’s purpose is to further the development, recognition and regulation of the sport of MMA (mixed martial arts), enabling amateur competition through the organisation of national MMA federations around the world. With a seven-year track record of organising international amateur Championships and ten years developing the sport globally, IMMAF’s membership today includes 120 National Federations worldwide, of which 49 are recognised by their National Olympic Committee or National Sports Authority. IMMAF has advanced programmes for the education and certification of MMA coaches, referees and other technical officials, and for Youth Development. Supported by the UFC®, IMMAF is the only legitimate international governing body for MMA, working to gain sport recognition and see MMA into the Olympic Games.
The main goals of the IMMAF is to ensure safety for amateur MMA worldwide. And this organization is also the leader of trying to get the sport of MMA into the Olympics. Recently, the IMMAF published, “Is Mixed Martial Arts really a Dangerous Sport?” in which they discuss safety of severe injuries in MMA when compared to other sports.
Attached images: MMA training at the UK Academy in Harare, Zimbabwe
Featured image courtesy of the IMMAF