Abu Dhabi is set to host the IMMAF World Championships in January ©IMMAF

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has rescheduled its 2021 World Senior and Junior Championships for January and moved the event to Abu Dhabi.

The Championships had been due to take place in Kazakhstan between November 27 and December 4 before being cancelled due to the COVID-19.

Competition is now set to run from January 24 to 29 at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Zayed Sports City.

It will be the first IMMAF World Championships in two years after the 2020 edition of the event was called off because of the pandemic.

The UAE will also hold the IMMAF Youth World Championships for the next three years under the terms of the hosting agreement signed for the global governing body's flagship event.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown thanked officials in the UAE and at the country's Mixed Martial Arts Federation for "enabling the Championships to take place in Abu Dhabi at extremely short notice, and for agreeing to a three-year hosting rights deal for the IMMAF Youth World Championships".

"Our shared commitment to the vision of developing MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) in the UAE and internationally is very powerful and has vast potential," Brown added. 

"We at IMMAF are grateful for these opportunities and are excited for the future growth of our sport and its talent in the region. 

"I invite IMMAF's National Federations and teams from around the world to come to Abu Dhabi in January for IMMAF’s greatest Championships yet."

The venue for the IMMAF World Senior and Junior Championships is located close to Yas Island, the Ultimate Fighting Championships' (UFC) Fight Island.

"Our beloved Abu Dhabi has established its international status as the new capital of mixed martial arts and has become synonymous with the sport, attracting mixed martial arts' superstars, professional fighters and emerging athletes from all over the world, who aspire to make a name for themselves in this field," said United Arab Emirates Mixed Martial Arts Federation President Abdulmunem Al Hashmi.

"With the many prominent partnerships between Abu Dhabi and a large number of major international mixed martial arts organisations, led by the UFC, in addition to the UAE Warriors Championship Series, we are pleased to add a new partnership to this distinguished list with the IMMAF, which decided to grant Abu Dhabi the right to organise the 2021 World Amateur MMA Championships to consolidate our capabilities and our position in this context."