The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has signed a multi-year sponsorship agreement with BRAVE Combat Federation.
The landmark support package for amateur MMA’s only legitimate international governing body ensures IMMAF has substantial financial backing to allow the organisation to continue its fight towards Olympic recognition.
Since the 2017 BRAVE International Combat Week in Bahrain, IMMAF and BRAVE CF have forged a strong relationship, working in unison to develop mixed martial arts globally at amateur and professional levels.
The latest co-operation between IMMAF and BRAVE CF, alongside the Serbian MMA Federation, saw 462 athletes from 57 countries compete at the 2022 IMMAF World Championships, the biggest event in IMMAF history.
Now coming together in an official capacity, IMMAF and BRAVE CF will collaborate on multiple levels, including coach development and the training of licensed IMMAF officials.
It is also the aim of the new agreement to formalise the pathway from amateur level, giving IMMAF athletes unparalleled opportunities to transition seamlessly to the professional ranks. In the past, several IMMAF stars have gone on to successfully compete on the BRAVE CF platform, including Muhammad Mokaev, Shamil Gaziev, Axel Sola, Jose Torres and Issa Isakov.
IMMAF and BRAVE CF will also align their media efforts to create a more dynamic offering for the global MMA media.
With the full support of BRAVE CF, IMMAF can now also confirm its calendar of championships for 2023, including Africa, Asia, Europe, Pan America and Oceania, also working closely with the newly formed continental associations.
The annual calendar will climax with the 2023 IMMAF World Championships, with a date and location to be confirmed. The 2023 IMMAF Youth World Championships are already confirmed for August 2 to 5 in Abu Dhabi.
IMMAF president Kerrith Brown said: “BRAVE CF has contributed greatly to the development of IMMAF having hosted three IMMAF World Championships and a World Team Championships (MMA SuperCup). I am delighted that BRAVE CF have decided to move their support to the next level with this sponsorship agreement.
“This support will allow the good work already done to continue and solidify our position as the only legitimate international governing body for amateur MMA. Through mutual collaboration and leveraging of resources, BRAVE CF will undoubtedly accelerate our continued growth across the globe and towards Olympic recognition.”
BRAVE CF president Mohammed Shahid said: “BRAVE CF and IMMAF have a long-standing partnership that dates back to 2017, when we first hosted the World Championships as part of the BRAVE International Combat Week in Bahrain. The vision of Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa and that of IMMAF under president Kerrith Brown and the board are the same: to build a unified global sports ecosystem for mixed martial arts.
“For the past decade, IMMAF has shown the result from education of MMA to grassroot development programmes along with consistent international events. They are truly the governance of our sport.
“Together, BRAVE CF and IMMAF believe the sport of MMA can be recognised under the IOC and we also believe we can create a sports economic structure under one umbrella and bring MMA closer to the sports industry rather than the event business it is today. Together, we will expedite the development of the sport at every level.”