The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has announced via press release that athletes from Russia and Belarus will not be allowed to compete at the MMA Supercup. Press release reads as follows:
IMMAF SUSPENDS THE RUSSIAN MMA UNION & BELARUSIAN MMA FEDERATION
RUSSIAN TEAM BARRED FROM MMA SUPERCUP
[London. 1 March 2022] The board of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation has taken the decision to suspend the membership of the Russian MMA Union (RMMAU) and the Federation of Hand-to-Hand Fighting & MMA of Belarus.
In doing so, IMMAF unites with international sport in boycotting Russia and Belarus in response to the nations’ attack on Ukraine.
The suspension will bar the Russian and Belarusian federations from participating in all IMMAF Championships for the foreseeable future. This will include the MMA Super Cup taking place next week from 8 to 12 March 2022, organised by BRAVE but sanctioned by the IMMAF under IMMAF rules and regulations.
The move also prevents the organisation of IMMAF events in Russia or Belarus.
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:
“It is with sadness that the IMMAF board has taken this decision as we believe in the power of sport to unite people beyond politics. However, the homeland of our friends and colleagues in the MMA League of Ukraine is under attack and they have been forced from competing in next week’s Super Cup as they take to defending their country. We are compelled to unite with global sport in showing solidarity with Ukraine.”
Founded in 2012, the purpose of IMMAF 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 developing the sport globally, IMMAF’s membership today includes 117 National Federations worldwide with National Olympic Committee recognition in 49 countries. IMMAF has advanced programmes for education and certification of MMA coaches, referees and other technical officials, as well as 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. immaf.org
The IMMAF just held their IMMAF 2021 Worlds which had over 500 athletes competing. The IMMAF also recently began WADA testing. This is in an effort to move the sport of Mixed Martial Arts closer to the Olympics. MMA Sucka recently sat down with Vito Paollilo who is a UFC official and Italian federation representative, also Isobel Carnwath who is an IMMAF Communication Director to discuss safety in the sport. Additionally, the IMMAF has made progress in legitimizing this sport in Africa with countries such as Zimbabwe and Zambia, with focus on women, to add an Amateur MMA program.