IMMAF has announced the USFL as its official amateur MMA federation in America ©IMMAF

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has partnered with the United States Fight League (USFL), introducing it as the official amateur MMA federation for the US with initial observation status.

The USFL works to foster and support youth MMA competitions in the US and will now look to fill an adult roster to represent the country in IMMAF's international competitions.

"The USFL’s primary focus for the past 20 years has been to establish youth MMA as a safe, well regulated, and accepted sport to help build better kids in the United States," said USFL President Jon Frank.

"Due to the success of our national youth programme, IMMAF thought it would be logical to expand our athlete developmental progression from Youth Pankration to adult MMA."

The USFL has established a Selection Committee to recruit adult amateur fighters with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) hall-of-famer Forrest Griffin to oversee the panel throughout the process.

"Forest has the perfect attribute of background, experience, and demeanour to help build a successful MMA national team," Frank said.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown hopes that the partnership will allow American athletes to have safe access to MMA ©IMMAF
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown hopes that the partnership will allow American athletes to have safe access to MMA ©IMMAF

"His genuine interest is to make sure our country is well represented in international MMA competition and to build good fighters into great fighters."

The athletes that are selected by Griffin will have the opportunity to represent the US at the IMMAF World Championships.

The USFL is also planning to hold a national youth MMA tournament on May 14 in Temecula in California to determine who will make the national team at the IMMAF Youth World Championships.

"We are delighted to welcome USFL as the new member of IMMAF in the USA," said IMMAF President Kerrith Brown.

"We have worked closely with Jon Frank and USFL in the past and they understand that the role of an IMMAF member is to develop the sport from the grassroots up and to ensure that amateur athletes have the right "safety first" environment in which to train and compete. 

"Jon understands that the role of USFL is to develop the amateur sport, and build competitive teams for IMMAF events, and USFL will get involved in sanctioning pro events, or try and compete with professional promoters and organise pro events.

"USFL is strictly about the amateur sport."