In September of 2023, the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) held the 7th edition of the African Championships, which served as a significant milestone in IMMAF’s continued efforts regarding the growth of amateur MMA in the region. 

IMMAF stands as the sole global governing authority that has consistently orchestrated continental amateur championships in Africa. With the first event taking place in 2016, IMMAF has since successfully held seven Africa Championships with the latest edition taking place for the first time in Luanda, Angola.

As such, it has come as a surprise that a rival governing body for MMA, known as GAMMA, has managed to secure the rights to showcase MMA as an exhibition sport at the upcoming African Games. This development has raised questions, particularly given IMMAF’s unquestioned pre-eminence and dedicated efforts in advancing amateur MMA in Africa.

There are 19 African IMMAF Federations affiliated to the Africa Mixed Martial Arts Confederation (AMMAC) who are directly recognised by their governments or National Olympic Commissions – and the number continues to grow – which makes the African Games decision difficult to understand. AMMAC is made up of member Federations under IMMAF.

IMMAF is a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which provides IMMAF with the authority as the sole governing body for the sport of MMA worldwide. For this reason, IMMAF are in advanced discussions with the IOC regarding Olympic recognition. IMMAF has over 120 member Federations worldwide, each recognised by their governments sporting structures and/or National Olympic Committees. Through IMMAF progression pathways several athletes have progressed directly from amateur to professional debuts on the world’s biggest platform the UFC.

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“AMMAC’s primary objective is to establish a unified platform for MMA in Africa, fostering collaboration, talent identification, and technical advancement,” said Goowtamsingh Ramtohul, President of the Africa MMA Confederation (AMMAC), which was set up by IMMAF to promote the sport in Africa.

“For this reason, we are disappointed that AMMAC/IMMAF has not been given the opportunity to showcase our hard work on the African continent by being given the honour to represent the growing sport of MMA at the African Games. We will continue to work hard to lobby representatives and will ensure that are arguments are based on facts, past achievements and objective arguments.”

“With the support of IMMAF, we prioritize the welfare and growth of our athletes, coaches, officials, and member organizations, striving to create an inclusive environment that empowers individuals to achieve their fullest potential. Our vision extends beyond the competitive aspect of MMA, as we also emphasize community engagement, social responsibility, and the promotion of positive values.”

AMMAC is committed to a Strategic Plan, based on 4 pillars: Education, Youth, Women in sport, and Anti-doping.

“We will continue to harness the transformative power of MMA to positively impact societies across the African continent. We are excited about the prospect of collaboration and would welcome the opportunity to connect with other African sport entities to discuss potential areas of synergy and cooperation,” said Goowtamsingh.

Source – immaf.org/news

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