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WAMMA Goes Out With A Whimper



From the beginning people have doubted that WAMMA, or the “World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts”, would ever actually amount to anything. WAMMA first showed up on most peoples’ radar around June 14, 2008 with the announcement that the “Affliction: Banned” headlining bout between Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia would be contested for their heavyweight belt. The sanctioning body had a stated goal to create “an environment where fighters from all organizations have the opportunity to openly compete to be the one true, undisputed champion in their respective weight classes based on WAMMA’s objective MMA Rankings.”

Since that time, they have only added one other WAMMA champion, in Shinya Aoki, despite the fact that he is not even his promotion’s (DREAM) champion in his weight class, even their own rankings had BJ Penn ranked higher. As a result, people have questioned their decision making, as far as who was named WAMMA champion, and why there were never champions at welterweight, middleweight, and light heavyweight. The reasons for the absence of champions at those three weight classes has been presumed to be the fact that there was no possible way that WAMMA could justifiably name anyone not in the UFC as their champions at those weight classes.

The writing seemed to be on the wall for the sanctioning body when the original COO, Mike Lynch, stepped down and was replaced by Sam Caplan, in an interim role. The most questionable part about that move was the fact that Caplan would remain in his original role as Vice-President of Fighter Ranking, while still serving as the COO. This took place in April.

It was just one month from Caplan taking the role as COO, before both he and then Vice President of Fighter Relations Pat Miletich resigned from their roles with the company. Both men cited differences with the company’s board, as well as doubts about the sanctioning body’s ability to bring about it’s stated goals, as their reasons for leaving.

Since Caplan and Miletich left the organization on May 19, they have not released any of their rankings, which should have come out twice by now. After the company was non responsive to multiple attempts by members of the press (including Brent Brookhouse) to reach them, both via phone and email, a Sherdog Forum member by the name of Heavyweight decided to pay their offices a visit. (Credit to Fightlinker for digging this up.) What he found was empty offices. He went on to post a few pictures as proof, and then had this to say:

I actually chatted with the building manager before heading out. She said the WAMMA folks moved out of the building a couple months ago with everything of value in hand. What’s even more surprising is that she also said that everyone from WAMMA stopped returning their calls when they asked what to do with everything left inside. Too bad. I was really hoping to work with them.

In my own personal research I found that they haven’t even bothered to remove Sam Caplan and Pat Miletich from their website as officers. I also found that besides a few ads promoting Emelianenko vs. Barnett the most recent activity on the website seems to be a June 5th post about Emelianenko’s appearance on Sports Science.

As a result, this author has decided to join some of the others in the online MMA community in declaring WAMMA (unofficially) dead.

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