The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has welcomed Venezuela as its latest international observational member.
Venezuela becomes the 13th IMMAF member in the Pan-American area, joining Argentina, The Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States.
"MMA is growing fast around the world, with the Pan-American region one of the most diverse and dedicated," IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said.
"IMMAF is consistently investing in the continent with sports development resources, and we are excited about the potential of this region, especially with the Pan-American Open Championships heading to Cancún, Mexico, in May, a renowned destination for combat sports."
Mauricio Delgado is the IMMAF representative in Venezuela and responsible for running the Fundación Pugilatus, the most important combat sports promotion in the country.
Fundación Pugilatus is involved in the development of MMA, boxing and kickboxing at both amateur and professional level.
"Venezuela is very proud to become the latest member of the IMMAF family and we are working hard to develop the Venezuelan Federation," Delgado said.
"Through the MMA Venezuela Alliance, we have united the 18 MMA clubs in the country, which is equivalent to 60 per cent of the entire MMA amateur community."
The priorities for Venezuela are to create the necessary administrative and competition structures, as well as certification pathways for coaches and technical officials.
"We are looking forward to preparing a Venezuelan team for IMMAF events in 2020, starting at the Pan-Am Open and with the goal of competing at the World Champs at the end of the season," Delgado added.