The IMMAF Board has given the green light to four new members ©IMMAF

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) Board has approved Vietnam, Grenada, Turkmenistan and the United States as its newest members.

The IMMAF had already declared the United States Fighting League will be authorised to lead its activities in the US and the National Federation's membership has now been confirmed.

The IMMAF Board also suspended the National Federations of Canada, Latvia, Sierra Leone and South Korea at its latest meeting for failing to adhere to what is required of a National Federation.

A spokesperson said: "The members were suspended for their lack of activity and engagement, and failure to meet IMMAF’s governance requirements of its members."

Meanwhile Galimzhan Yessenov of Kazakhstan has resigned from the IMMAF Board.

As well as membership developments, the worldwide governing body has committed to organising a thought leadership event on transgender athlete participation in combat sports at the end of June, with the aim of progressing dialogue on the issue.

Transgender athletes are currently unable to compete in both male and female competition categories "on a safety basis".

The event, which follows a previous edition on weight-management in sport, is set to discuss whether a third and open competition category is a viable solution to authorising participation of transgender athletes and what ethical, medical and logistical factors must be considered.

The United States is among the new International Mixed Martial Arts Federation members ©IMMAF
The United States is among the new International Mixed Martial Arts Federation members ©IMMAF

It will also debate political and cultural considerations for developing such policies and guidelines at the national level.

Other developments at the Board meeting included Cristiano Gadelha Sampaio of Brazil being appointed to the IMMAF Regulatory Commission.

Sampaio is an Executive Board member of the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission and its former President.

Michele Verroken, the IMMAF head of anti-doping, briefed the Board on the implications of the governing body last year becoming a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code.

Verroken discussed the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code, which the International Federation and its members must follow, and what is being done to ensure IMMAF is fulfilling its roles and responsibilities.