The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation on Friday announced the first World Championships in Amateur MMA for early July 2014 in Las Vegas, during the Las Vegas Fight week in conjunction with the UFC Fan Expo.
The International MMA Federation was founded in February 2012 to provide a non-profit, democratic foundation for MMA to grow into an internationally recognized sport that is on par with other major sports.
“We are very happy to announce this much anticipated and great step forward for the sport of MMA,” said IMMAF President August Wallén. “MMA deserves the same opportunities to develop as all other world sports and MMA athletes deserve the same chances to excel in international competition.
“We are dedicated in providing the MMA community with the first of many top level World Championships that will meet international quality standards as well as excite MMA practitioners and followers around the world. Las Vegas as the location provides for an excellent setting for athletes and spectators alike.”
The UFC’s Las Vegas Fight Week has become an annual event that encompasses several different functions spanning the week leading up to a major UFC event that takes place around the Fourth of July holiday in the United States. There are exhibitions, training sessions, special events and competitions, a UFC Fan Expo, and more. Now the IMMAF World Championships will be added to the schedule.
The World Championships are open to national teams consisting of amateur athletes representing a national federation affiliated to the IMMAF. An athlete is eligible to compete if he/she is on the amateur level, is 18 years or older, meets the requirements regarding experience posed by the IMMAF amateur MMA rules and has been fairly selected by a national federation.
The tournament will run for a week with each weight division as a single elimination tournament that, depending on the size of the division, will run for four or five days before reaching the finals on the Saturday.
Each weight division will run one full round of competitions per day, which means that all contestants will participate in a maximum of one match per day and a total of four or five matches over the course of the week for those who reach the final. One gold, one silver, and two bronze medals will be awarded in each weight division.
There are currently 21 IMMAF member federations. The IMMAF currently has over 140 pending applications for membership and estimates that the number of approved federations will have reached 40 by the time registration has closed for the 2014 World Championships.