The International MMA Federation will crown amateur world MMA champions at a UFC Fan Expo event in 2014, the nonprofit organization today announced.
The World Championship in Amateur MMA tournaments will coincide with July 2014's UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas, which is the main attraction of the UFC’s International Fight Week and coincides with the organization’s annual Independence Day weekend pay-per-view offering.
The IMMAF, founded in February 2012 with the goal of expanding MMA internationally, will host weeklong tournaments in multiple weight classes. Fighters will compete up to four to five times during the week. One gold, one silver and two bronze medals will be awarded in each weight class.
Exact rules/fight formats haven’t been disclosed.
“We are very happy to announce this much anticipated and great step forward for the sport of MMA,” IMMAF President August Wallén stated. “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.”
According to the announcement, the world championships are open to national teams consisting of amateur athletes representing a national federation affiliated with the IMMAF. Currently, there are 21 IMMAF members, and another 19 are expected in time for the 2014 tournaments. (Currently there are 140 pending applications from 75 countries, according 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.