Guyana gets unanimous support for IMMAF full member status
The Guyana Mixed Martial Arts Federation (GYMMA) was unanimously voted in as one of the 20 new Member Association affiliated to the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF), following the global governing body for Amateur MMA Annual General Meeting (AGM)/Congress in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Guyana was represented by Dr. Sawan Jagnarain at the AGM/Congress, which was held at the Millennium Al Rawdah Hotel.
The IMMAF’s AGM/Congress featured 120 delegates at the event, which was chaired by Densign White, the Federation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
The 18-month-old GYMMA, headed by Gavin Singh in 2021, received its conditional affiliation to the IMMAF, pending approval of vote at their AGM.
At Friday’s AGM, White asked the 120 delegates if they had any objections to Guyana receiving full membership and of the eligible 37 voters, the country was given a 34-0 nod of approval.
Jamaica and Barbados were also given approval, joining Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas and St. Lucia as the countries from the Caribbean that are members of the IMMAF.
Singh noted that the GYMMA was “proud of the accomplishments so far, however, we have a long journey ahead for further success.”
“The Federation is committed to ensuring proper strategy and planning is place for our future success. We can only do this together with all our stakeholders. We will be continuously working diligently together with the IMMAF and the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport to ensure that future of Mixed Martial Arts in Guyana is a success.”
Meanwhile, Kerrith Brown, the IMMAF president, said the Federation will be working closely with its affiliates in the Caribbean, as they push to have as many accredited coaches to implement a development strategy, promoting Amateur MMA as a safe sport.
IMMAF president said his Federation will also seek to foster a close working relationship with the respective governments in the region, deeming it vital for the sustenance, development and enhancement of the sport in the Caribbean.
Guyana was the lone CARICOM country represented at the IMMAF’s World Championship, with Corwin D’Anjou and Ijaz Cave carrying the Golden Arrowhead at the tournament which will wrap-up on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
D’Anjou competed in the Welterweight category, while Cave featured in the Light Heavyweight division.
This year’s championship was the largest for the IMMAF in its 10-year history, as over 450 athletes from 57 countries gathered to compete for a chance to be crowned the best in the world in their respective categories. It is also the first World Championship since the advent of COVID-19 in 2020.
The IMMAF president said that his Federation was more than happy with seeing Guyana present in the United Arab Emirates.
He admitted that while it was not the results the Federation had wanted, the experience will form part of the learning curve, not just for the fighters, but also the GYMMA.
“What you have to realise is, in terms of the National Federation, the job is, that you’re learning in all aspects. You are learning the different process that are put in place to run a competition at this level, so when you go back to develop the national federation, the clubs, referees, judges, the coaches; everything that’s happening in Abu Dhabi, we want the Federation to value and adapt,” Brown said.
The IMMAF was founded in Sweden by former athletes and Presidents of the Swedish MMA Federation, August Wallén and George Sallfeldt, with support from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
The inaugural IMMAF World Championships of Amateur MMA was held in Las Vegas in 2014, as part of UFC International Fight Week. (Reporting by Rawle Toney in Abu Dhabi, compliments of GYMMA/National Sports Commission)