“The standardization of Amateur rules is essential to the development of international Amateur MMA” The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has conducted an evaluation of its 2014 IMMAF World Championships application criteria and its definitions of Amateur MMA Rules and Professional MMA. Difficulties relating to public record keeping have also been reviewed. The 2014 IMMAF World Championships of Amateur MMA was a world first for Mixed Martial Arts; and brought to life issues around the classification of historic bouts under different international rule sets, in the absence of standardized rules. Participants from across the globe entered the 2014 Championships from a spectrum of cultural settings with varied rule sets, pathways and national definitions of Amateur. Where there arose disagreement about a competitor’s level, their case was assessed by IMMAF both prior to and during this unprecedented event. Some international Amateur levels were not recognized by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and needed to be justified by IMMAF in order to allow participants to compete. (See Ends for further details regarding Issues around National Definitions of Amateur MMA) CONCLUSIONS The following conclusions and recommendations were made:
- Historic bout records should be viewed by IMMAF with respect to the countries in which the bouts took place for the next few years.
- Amateur eligibility should be more clearly defined by IMMAF in relation to historic bouts, for the next few years.
- Amateur eligibility should be more clearly defined by IMMAF in financial terms.
- Accepted pathways and national Amateur rule sets should be outlined by IMMAF for member countries where IMMAF rules cannot be implemented, and where standards must be adapted to legal and cultural restrictions.
- Popular independent record keeping sites do not account for the variety of existing MMA rule sets. Athletes have no control over their match information. How matches are recorded needs to be addressed.
- Member federations must take responsibility for the published records of their team prior to application to participate in IMMAF international competitions
- The standardization of Amateur rules is essential to the development of international Amateur MMA. IMMAF recommends the implementation of IMMAF Amateur Rules in all member countries where it is not prohibited.