Yesterday, the 2018 and 2019 IMMAF World Championships were officially confirmed for Manama, Bahrain, as contracts were signed between the International MMA Federation (IMMAF) and the Bahrain MMA Federation (BMMAF).
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown and BMMAF President and Bahrain Olympic Committee Director, Col. Al Khayyat, inked the agreement at a press conference organized at the Art Rotana Hotel, in Amwaj Islands (Bahrain) by the BMMAF, and directed by journalist Mohammed Darwish.
It can now be revealed that the 2018 IMMAF World Championships will take place at the Khalifa Sport City Arena in Isa Town, from 4 to 10 November. The nation vs nation, amateur MMA tournament will play out over five days again as part of Brave International Combat Week, with support from the royal HHSK Media Office.
Last year’s World Championships broke participation records with close to 250 athletes representing 48 nations, and the 2018 event has potential to double participation due to the anticipated expansion of IMMAF over the next six months.
The 2019 IMMAF World Championships is also scheduled for Manama during the same month of the following year, with dates yet to be confirmed. Additionally, IMMAF’s next General Assembly will take place in Bahrain during competition week.
The driving force for Bahraini MMA, His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, said:
“We are proud that Bahrain will be hosting the fifth and sixth editions of the world mixed martial arts championship for amateurs. We are devoting efforts to making Bahrain a major destination in the region for the hosting of different international events and championships. Our hosting (of the IMMAF Championships) for the three consecutive years serves as international recognition of the abilities Bahrain has to make any event held on its soil successful. The hosting (of the IMMAF World Championships) puts Bahrain among the most advanced countries in the world in the development of the sport of MMA…. We appreciate the trust of IMMAF in choosing Bahrain to host the event this year and next.”
The Sheikh also paid tribute to the patronage of his brother, His Highness Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa (Chairman of Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Charity Organization), which has enabled the development of his vision for the sport of MMA and the hosting of IMMAF World Championships.
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:
“We are pleased to return to the Kingdom of Bahrain and to grant it the rights to host and organise the fifth and sixth IMMAF World Championships. Our trust in Bahrain follows the success and distinction that Bahrain achieved in hosting in the fourth edition of the Championships in 2017”.
National Olympic Committee Director and BMMAF President, Col. Al Khayyat added : “We are ready for the challenge and the opportunity that Bahrain has been given to distinguish itself again in delivering the fifth and sixth editions (of the IMMAF World Championships).”