GAMMA to use 'MMA Arena' for future championships. GAMMA

The Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts will change the set-up for its international amateur MMA competitions from a ring to a fenced 'MMA Arena' to continue its 'athlete first' approach, following a decision made by the GAMMA Executive Board at its first full meeting as a new board.

GAMMA's competition rules allow for either a ring or a fenced arena. Until now, GAMMA events have been held in a special 'MMA Ring' which provides additional enclosure for the wrestling phases of a match. The MMA Arena will now be used for all future GAMMA Championships, starting with the European Championships in Slovakia next month. 

The initial decision to use an MMA Ring was influenced by the preferences previously expressed from within the Olympic community, which GAMMA aspires to join, as well as global public perception. 

GAMMA's decision to move to the MMA Arena reflects changes in the legal, cultural and sports policies, as well as the conditions to which athletes are more regularly exposed. The rapid development, maturation and increased popularity of the sport has resulted in a positive shift in public opinion, with MMA now clearly recognised as a sport by mainstream audiences. 

The change also aligns GAMMA's international competitions more closely with the Unified Rules of MMA, under the Association of American Boxing Commissions and US State Athletic Commissions, which have been adopted as the de facto standard and popularised in many countries around the world. 

GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt at SportAccord. GAMMA
GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt at SportAccord. GAMMA

President Alexander Engelhardt said: "Our people are our greatest asset and it is important that we listen to what our community wants. "Our athletes are always our first priority and we want to provide them with the best possible competition experience without compromising on safety." 

"We have consulted with a number of our stakeholders, including the members and the competition experts, and the decision to use the MMA Arena for our future events will more closely match the conditions our athletes experience in their own national competitions and in professional promotions. I would like to thank the Executive Board for making this decision, which I am sure will have a positive impact on the entire GAMMA community," he concluded.

The Global Mixed Martial Arts Association (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 fighters through the growth of a safe, inclusive and well-regulated sport that serves as a positive force in communities worldwide. 

Led by President Alexander Engelhardt and headquartered in the Netherlands, GAMMA's membership has grown to include nationally recognised federations across five continents since its inception in 2019. GAMMA is committed to upholding the Olympic values of sportsmanship, excellence and fair play, as well as the martial arts’ traditions of discipline, respect and humility.