The IMMAF Youth World Championships are set to start off the 2021 season in July ©IMMAF

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) Board has held its quarterly meeting virtually to discuss the return to competition for athletes in IMMAF events.

In a presentation by international events director Alistair Pettit, the IMMAF Board were given an overview of entry numbers and a summary of the issues faced by all during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pettit also showed a provisional schedule for 2022 events, giving updates on the proposed scope and activities of the IMMAF Host Bidding Committee to secure sustainable revenue streams from future host city bids.

In 2021, IMMAF is returning with the Youth World Championships in Sofia in Bulgaria, the European Senior and Junior Championships in Kazan in Russia and a new Grand Prix-style event in Czech Republic - the Senior and Junior World Cup in Prague.

The Junior and Senior World Championships are then scheduled for November in Kazakhstan's capital Nur-Sultan.

For the first event of the season, there are already 370 athletes registered to compete, which is more than the first Youth World Championships held in Rome in 2019.

Continental competitions are scheduled to be held before the end of June in 2022, which will allow the hosting of the World Championships and Team World Championships, with the calendar having roughly one IMMAF event every month in 2022.

IMMAF's Board has met virtually ©IMMAF
IMMAF's Board has met virtually ©IMMAF

Director of regulatory affairs Marc Goddard gave an update to the Board too on the IMMAF's online education and certification programme and went through the timeline for the introduction of the new electronic scoring system, developed in co-operation with Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Estonia and Lebanon's National Federations have also been recognised by the Estonian Olympic Committee and the Lebanese Ministry of Sport respectively.

IMMAF Commissions' recommendation to have a minimum recovery time of 15 minutes between fights at youth competitions was accepted by the Board too.

Finally, the Board set up a new IMMAF Transgender Policy Steering Group which plans to first meet next month which will be chaired by IMMAF vice-president George Sallfeldt; and joined by transgender athletes Martin Dahl and Tracy Sundlun, who is part of the working group related to women's sports policy.

The next IMMAF Board meeting is scheduled to take place in September during the World Cup in Prague.