The Kuwait MMA Federation aims to be recognised as Kuwait’s sole representative of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation ©IMMAF

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has announced the establishment of its newest member from the Middle East region, the Kuwait MMA Federation (KMMAF).

The new organisation aims to develop the sport of mixed martial arts in the country from the ground up, focusing on recreational participants, amateur athletes, and educational programmes with certification for referees, judges and cutmen.

“Kuwait is a big market, but no one is working to develop the grassroots sport here," said the President Hamad Musaed Bader Al-Sayer, who is chairman of UFC Gym in the Middle East and North Africa region.  

"And so, we have elected the best people to work on sport development for mixed martial arts (MMA) and we believe that IMMAF will help achieve that."

The KMMAF is seeking to develop national-level safety and medical standards for MMA, increase participation in Kuwait, create a national youth programme, initiate a World Anti-Doping Agency compliance, organise competitions and prepare a Kuwaiti national team that will engage in future IMMAF championships.  

Kuwait joins Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates among IMMAF’s Arab nations.

The Middle East has been focused on promoting sport and has also contributed substantially to the international governing body’s development by hosting three World Championships and the inaugural MMA Super Cup in Bahrain, with the host country triumphing against Ireland and moving forward to the top of both athlete and team rankings. 

Hosted by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and MMA Federation, the 2021 IMMAF World Championships also took place in Abu Dhabi earlier this year after Kazakhstan withdrew from hosting due to COVID-19 complications.  

Hosts Bahrain blew Ireland away in the final of the MMA Super Cup at the Khalifa Sports City ©IMMAF
Hosts Bahrain blew Ireland away in the final of the MMA Super Cup at the Khalifa Sports City ©IMMAF

"The Middle East holds huge potential for the advance of MMA both regionally and globally, and I am pleased to see IMMAF’s further expansion in the region with the membership of Kuwait," said IMMAF President Kerrith Brown. 

"I would like to thank board director, Wissam Abi Nader, for his role in facilitating this latest progression. 

"We very much look forward to welcoming a KMMAF team to put their stake in the ground at IMMAF competitions in 2022."

The newest member plans to enhance its presence in the international sports communities as well as expanding MMA in Kuwait.