CEO reveals IMMAF-WMMAA merger is ‘close’
In order for MMA to become an Olympic sport, a crucial interim step is recognition under the Global Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF – formerly known as SportAccord). MMA fans are widely familiar with the efforts of the IMMAF, which has received enthusiastic support from the UFC, and held its 2014, 2015, and 2016 world championship during UFC International Fight Week.
Unfortunately, recognition by GAISF is currently hindered by a rival bid from Vadim Finkelchtein’s WMMAA. IMMAF.org lead writer Jorden Curran reports that IMMAF CEO Densign White has revealed plans for the anticipated merger between the bodies.
“We are very close to reaching a deal,” said White at the November 11 press conference. “The only way to succeed is to work together.”
Both IMMAF boss White and WMMAA boss Vadim Finkelchtein are currently attending the 2017 IMMAF World Championships, which takes place from November 12-19 at Khalifa Sports City Arena, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The event is part of International Combat Week, which culminates in Brave 9: The Kingdom of Champions on Saturday.
The annual IMMAF General Assembly of members takes place on Friday, November 17, and a vote will be taken on whether to merge. The question of branding and whether the group would have a new name is under negotiation.
The IMMAF aims to achieve GAISF recognition within the next two years, before progressing to target membership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). President Kerrith Brown has committed to taking MMA to the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. As hosts, the USA can granted the power to welcome five new Olympic sports, as Japan is doing with Karate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Tthe 2017 IMMAF World Championships is the biggest amateur MMA event in history, with close to 250 competing athletes, and 51 national teams, representing nations from all continents.
The event will be broadcast live via the Bahrain TV app. HOW TO WATCH.