The United States Mixed Martial Arts Federation has decided to postpone its National Championship tournament in St. Ignace, Michigan that was due to take place on Feb 28th through March 2nd over concerns about weather and travel to the site that are affecting participation registrations.
UMMAF Vice President Ryan Brueggeman stated, “On Monday evening we took a look at how many athletes had registered for the event, how many match-ups we would have over 3 days and then began to contact athletes to confirm that they would still be coming to the event. The main concern among the athletes and coaches that had signed up initially, was that the weather at the event site in Michigan may prohibit travel as some intended on driving in with their teammates and coaches. Others cited injuries while training. We had hoped that we could fill gaps in the event by incorporating youth pankration matches via our affiliate USFL, however concerns from the local population and the concerns of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians regarding youth pankration competition caused a cancellation of that part of the event as well. The cancellation of the youth pankration event as well as this being the coldest winter on record in that part of the country, concerns about snowfall and possible foul driving conditions, we had to make the difficult decision to postpone the event, pending a new time and location to facilitate ease of travel and safety.”
Brueggeman went on to say. “When we make decisions like this we always have to keep the promoter in mind. We can’t allow the promoter to advertise a 3 day event, sell tickets and then not have the participation levels to justify the cost of those tickets to the public. While we sincerely regret the postponement of this event, we cannot ignore the safety concerns of the athletes and coaches regarding travel, the needs of the promoter, and the conditions that may have played a part in hampering registrations in the first place. We look forward to putting on a successful and competitive National Championship tournament for the athletes at a later date and venue to be named.”
“There have been questions as to why the event was scheduled in St. Ignace, Michigan in February in the place and that answer is simple.” Brueggeman went on to say, “The event was originally slated to be held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, however in the process of event planning, the South Carolina Athletic Commission came back to us and wanted to charge the athletes, coaches, referees, judges and timekeepers licensing fees through the state. Because UMMAF charges it’s own membership fees and an entry fee into the tournament, the additional costs would make the total fees into the tournament exorbitant, and in our opinion unfair. The additional reason for the February date was so that we could get a team qualified prior to the first IMMAF tournament of the year. We wanted to avoid having a team that gained ranking points into the IMMAF World Championships then have to replace them mid-year if they were beaten out at our championship tournament. This would cause 2 problems. First, the athlete would lose the ability to compete in IMMAF events if they were beaten out by someone else prior to the World Championships, even though they may have competed at other events prior. Second, by having the team qualification event mid year it robs the new team member of the ability to compete in earlier IMMAF events to gain their own ranking points in the IMMAF tournament series prior to the World Championships.”
“UMMAF sincerely apologizes for any inconveniences that have arisen from the postponement of this event. We would like to thank Big John’s MMA for working with us through this difficult process and we look forward to hosting the tournament at a later date and new location to be named.”
Athletes that completed their registration and paid their entry fees will receive a full refund by emailing proof of payment to RyanB@UMMAF.org. Concerns may also be addressed by calling UMMAF directly at 781-400-4772.