Dutch Combat Sports Association together with GAMMA at the African Games. GAMMA

The Dutch Combat Sports Association (NVB) has given its support to the international governing body Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts (GAMMA) in the organisation of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as a demonstration discipline at the 2023 African Games in Accra, Ghana.

Founded in January 2024, the Dutch Combat Sports Association (Nederlandse Vechtsport Bond, NVB) is the government-appointed national governing and regulatory body for amateur and professional kickboxing, Muay Thai and mixed martial arts in the Netherlands. 

The organisation is an associate member of the Dutch National Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF) and is in the process of gaining full recognition this year. GAMMA Netherlands is one of the members. For MMA's first Olympic moment at the African Games, the Dutch Combat Sports Association (NVB) supported the event in the areas of commissioning and medical safety protocol. 

Dutch Combat Sports Association Board Member and Medical Committee Member, Dr. Hagen Biermann, attended the event as a delegate. Speaking on behalf of the Dutch NGB, Biermann commented: "I was very impressed with the professionalism shown in the organisation of the event, which was carried out under very challenging circumstances by GAMMA and their partners in Africa." 

"It is an excellent achievement for GAMMA to have MMA included in the African Games, which reflects as we promote the recognition of combat sports and MMA within the Olympic Movement. MMA demonstrated in Accra all the values of the NVB - integrity, ambition, professionalism, community involvement, constructive attitude and accessibility. I was proud to be there, to be a part of it," he said. 

GAMMA made its Olympic debut at the 2023 African Games. GAMMA
GAMMA made its Olympic debut at the 2023 African Games. GAMMA

GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt, who has a deep knowledge of the combat sports landscape in the Netherlands, was pleased with the NVB's support for the event in Accra: "Historically, combat sports in the Netherlands has been based on promotions and there has been a missing link to the structures of an international sports federation. 

"By being a part of the African Games, the NVB has been exposed to the organisation of an international eventin the context of the Olympic movement, which is a different challenge. The foundation of the NVB is an opportunity for combat sports to grow faster and to align with the values of GAMMA, which will be extremely important for the sport of MMA in the Netherlands.," Engelhardt stressed. 

The Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts (GAMMA) is the world governing body for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), with a vision to develop the amateur and grassroots sport and lead it to formal, international recognition. 

GAMMA provides a global platform for MMA participants through the growth of a safe, inclusive and well-regulated sport that serves as a positive force in communities worldwide, and through the organisation of elite, international amateur competitions.