FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Dane McGuire, Media Relations Director
Lake Forest, CA – The United States Fight League today announced the selection of coaches for the U.S. youth team ahead of (for) the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s inaugural cadet championships scheduled for August 3-4 in Rome, Italy.
UFC veteran Joe Stevenson and renowned trainer Duke Roufus, to a number of UFC competitors including former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, will share head coaching responsibilities and work with youth team member coaches who are able to attend.
Stevenson initially joined the USFL as part of its recently developed Special Advisory Committee along with UFC Hall of Fame members Dan Henderson and Randy Couture to oversee rules, regulations, and practices of the USFL with an emphasis on keeping the sport safe and suitable for youth. Roufus serves as the USFL promoter for Wisconsin.
“As I have become older, I’ve learned that fighting has taught me a lot more about life then I ever thought it would. Being able to share my life experiences with the USA’s best, will be an honor,” Stevenson said.
“Combining my grappling style with Duke’s striking style, will give the other countries a lot to think about in preparation. I cannot wait to stand for our national anthem with our team.”
Roufus will host USFL’s first event in Wisconsin “The Road to the IMMAF World Championships” on April 6 at Martin Luther High School in Greendale. The selection tournament for the United States team will occur June 21 -22 in Ontario, California presented by I.E Fight Night..
“I am honored to get the position as coach of the U.S. teen MMA team. I grew up in martial arts since age four. My father was my coach along with so many other great coaches and mentors that helped me become a successful world champion athlete and trainer of world champions and contenders,” Roufus said.
“The martial arts community has given me so much. I want to pay it back by helping these athletes accomplish their goals in MMA and life.”
USFL President Jon Frank said, “Both Joe and Duke not only have deep roots in Youth Pankration but also the perfect temperament to work with others regardless of affiliations in our common goal to promote this great sport and represent our country on the world stage.”
It should be noted that while the USFL accepts athletes between the ages of 8-17, the IMMAF Cadet World Championships will be for athletes ages 12 – 17.
Those between 12-13 are Pre-Cadet, 14-15 are Cadet, and 16-17 are classified as Pre-Junior. Adaptations of the IMMAF’s Unified Amateur MMA Rules will vary based on these age brackets according to IMMAF.org. IMMAF are still developing international youth rules and leaning away from head strikes as advocated by the USFL.
Please visit FightLeague.org and IMMAF.org for more information.
ABOUT UNITED STATES FIGHT LEAGUE
The USFL serves as the youth development affiliate for the USA Mixed Martial Arts Kick International Federation (UMMAF) of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF.) The IMMAF is a UFC-partnered global sanctioning body for amateur mixed martial arts with a goal of Olympic recognition for the sport.