For MMA to be formally recognised as a Sport
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What do we want?
MMA to be formally recognised as a sport internationally
The Olympic Movement and governments
Because we want to continue to develop MMA around the world and promote the rights of the sport’s participants
What’s stopping us?
We’ve applied multiple times but have been rejected for political reasons. Influential leaders from other Olympic sports have been outspoken against MMA and lobbied against it
Why are they doing this?
We believe that these sport leaders see MMA only as a threat – financially and in terms of popularity – instead of as an opportunity. This is unfair because it affects the rights of everyone who takes part in our sport, from children right up to elite athletes
We believe all martial arts and combat sports can work together, side by side as part of the same family
1. Recognition as a sport gives MMA athletes and students the same rights and protection as athletes and students of other sports (e.g. access to medical services, accident and injuries insurance, safeguarding of U18s and vulnerable adults, Anti-doping services, youth development, etc.)
2. Recognition means good governance and regulations to ensure athletes health and safety, standardisation of competition rules and regulations, officiating and coaching standards
3. Recognition enables safe and effective youth development
4. Recognition would give MMA a pathway to eventually becoming an Olympic sport and the best MMA athletes the opportunity to represent their country at the Olympic Games
5. International recognition would enable recognition at the national level in many countries which will have a positive impact on many communities
6. Recognition means funding of the sport and its elite amateur athletes at a national level
10 FACTS ABOUT MMA
1. MMA competitors are highly skilled athletes
2. MMA has 600 million fans around the world
3. Different unified rules exist for amateur and professional competitions
4. IMMAF is the International governing body for amateur MMA
5. There are 100+ IMMAF affiliated National Federations across the world developing the sport of MMA, with only 40 being recognized by their Sports Ministries or National Olympic Committees
6. IMMAF has held annual World Championships since 2014
7. In 2019 IMMAF held world and continental championships for youth, juniors and seniors with over 2130 participants from 60 countries
8. Youth MMA is already thriving - IMMAF’s first Youth World Championships for 12 to 17-year olds attracted more than 600 participants in 2019
9. It is misconception that MMA is less safe than other contact sports: Well regulated MMA has more stringent safety policies than most comparable sports
10. Amateur athletes and many professionals are subject to WADA compliant anti-doping policies
Play fair to MMA – recognise the sport!
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