This month, the Tajikistan Mixed Martial Arts Federation (TAJMMAF) achieved its long-awaited goal of sports recognition for MMA by Tajikistan’s Committee of Youth Affairs and Sports under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, as the organisation became listed in the nation’s official registry of sports [#14/1-199-C] on April 1, 2021.
This comes just over a year after the TAJMMAF obtained official organisational accreditation from the Committee of Youth Affairs and Sports on 15 November 2019, following a two-and-a-half-year temporary ban on MMA in Tajikistan. From then until now, the TAJMMAF has been headquartered in the National Olympic Committee under the presidency of Davron Juraev Muzafarovich and actively operating as an official representative of IMMAF in the country.
In that time, the TAJMMAF managed to impress authorities with the big strides it attained in the regulation and enhancement of mixed martial arts and the favourable conditions it has created for the development of young athletes and improvements in their educational attainment. The federation has now held three championships despite challenges posed by the Coronavirus situation, to which it has invited international judges and referees to officiate.
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown undertook an official visit to Dushanbe as an honourable guest to the Republican Championship in December 2020. According to TAJMMAF spokesperson, Farrukh Halimov, the visit created the “outstanding” opportunity to organise meetings between the President and stakeholders of the sport in Tajikistan, especially, between TAJMMAF President Mr Davron Juraev and the Vice-Minister of the Sports and Youth of the Republic of Tajikistan. President Brown also took part in a bilateral meeting with the General Secretary of the National Olympic Committee of Tajikistan. They discussed the development of amateur MMA in the country, the technical progress of the youth and recognition of MMA as a sport and an Olympic sport. During the visit, Mr Brown and Mr Juraev were interviewed on National Sports Television – “TV Varzish” and talked about the differences between professional MMA and amateur MMA, the reasons why amateur MMA should be recognised as an Olympic sport, and the future steps of both federations for the development of the world’s fastest-growing sport.
As also detailed by Halimov, the TAJMMAF has actively participated in the country’s public and sport events, as well as international and local workshops, training and campaigns. Through this, the federation strengthened its relationship with the Committee of Youth Affairs and Sports in order to raise awareness about amateur MMA and demonstrate the difference between amateur and professional sport.
In an official statement the TAJMMAF commented:
“The award of official status gives us greater opportunity for the development and popularisation of MMA as a peaceful sport in Tajikistan, and to organise and participate in local and international tournaments.”
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown commented:
“The exemplary work and commitment of the TAJMMAF should provide inspiration to all our members. They provide an excellent example of a federation focused on the grassroots, youth development and harnessing the sport of MMA for the benefit of their community and country. I congratulate President Davron Juraev and his team for their outstanding and well-deserved achievement.”