The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s 2021 IMMAF Youth MMA Championships for twelve to eighteen-year-olds is to take place in Sofia, Bulgaria at the EFE Mariela hotel from 29 July – 1 August.
The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s second instalment of its under -18s tournament will take place without an audience in order to create a safe environment for international participants with respect to the global pandemic. All participants are to be tested for COVID-19 on arrival on 28 July before entering the competition ‘bubble’.
Supporters instead will be able to watch the full three days of the youth competition, streamed live for the first time from 30 July – 1 August. Viewing information is to be announced in due course.
IMMAF’s last Youth World Championships saw 269 participants enter from 26 countries, with the USA dominating the medals table with 28 medals, including 16 golds. Following behind, also with significant leads, were Russia (17 medals), Ukraine (16), Italy (13), UK (12), Ireland (9) and Kazakhstan (8). As the development of Youth MMA has continued to surge, yet larger numbers are anticipated to enter this year.
ABOUT YOUTH COMPETITION RULES
IMMAF Youth MMA rule sets disallow strikes head strikes for under 18s and are modified from the IMMAF Amateur MMA Rules with regards to the physiological development of the following three age categories, as advised by IMMAF’s expert medical, coaching and regulatory committees:
- IMMAF YouthA 16-17s (U18)
- IMMAF YouthB 14-15s (U16)
- IMMAF YouthC 12-13s (U14)
This year, IMMAF has additionally introduced mandatory grading requirements as a condition of entry for competitors.
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:
“The youth are the future and therefore a priority focus at IMMAF. We were stunned at the world’s first Youth World MMA Championships not only by the uptake, but also at the impressive skill level that showed longevity of training and experience among the youths. This demonstrated demand for good governance, development structures and safe competition opportunities for the hidden 12s – 18s age groups already participating in MMA world over.
“It is for the younger generation that we continue to fight for the official recognition of MMA to safeguard them in the sport and give them the same rights as participants of other disciplines. I’m excited that following the long pause on competition caused by the pandemic, we can now return again with our Youth Championships, providing the opportunity for young people to compete once again in well governed MMA on an international platform.