UFC Declares Full Support of International MMA Federation

Lorenzo FertittaThis week, the Sweden-based International Mixed Martial Arts Federation announced its official implementation.

The IMMAF (which you can learn more about here, at the organization’s official website) is a nonprofit organization that aims to increase MMA’s global profile, as well as general understanding of the sport, through various measures. The organization will be dedicated to fostering the growth and legitimacy of amateur MMA by implementing unified rules and setting up international competitions for amateurs. Among other things, the IMMAF intends to gain “formal and informal” recognition for MMA, including boosting efforts to include the sport in Olympic competition.

Just ahead of UFC on Fuel TV 2: Gustafsson vs. Silva, which takes place this weekend in Stockholm, Sweden, the UFC has announced their full support of the fledgling organization.

“In order to maintain the successful growth of our sport, it is important to invest in resources that will develop and cultivate it at an amateur level,” UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said in a press release. “Having an umbrella organization that will oversee and help build the sport on a global level will not only provide advanced and ever-improving safety standards but will also create a unified global model to help introduce the sport to new markets. It is our hope that it will also take us one step closer to witnessing the inclusion of the sport of MMA on the Olympic program.”

The UFC’s senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs, Marc Ratner, asserted that the formation of such an organization has been a long time coming and should go hand-in-hand with the UFC’s efforts of global expansion of and education on mixed martial arts.

The creation of this organization is long overdue,” said Ratner.  “MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world and we support the Federation’s focus on providing a globally unified set of rules and safety measures to help keep all fighters safe. While there are many obstacles ahead in the formation of this international organization, we are confident of the outcomes and advancements this group will make for the future of our sport.”