To compete in IMMAF competitions, amateur MMA athletes are subject to medical examinations and blood tests prior to being cleared for a match.

Athletes must present their IMMAF accreditation card and passport (or national identification card showing their nationality and date of birth) in order to compete.

Competitors are also subject to random drug testing.

Chapter one of the IMMAF rules outlines what makes an athlete eligible to compete in amateur MMA:

  • The contestant shall be of legal age according to the laws of the country where the competition is held
  • They are in good physical and mental shape, which will be examined during the medical check
  • They shall be well-prepared to compete in MMA
  • They shall have experience from competing in full contact martial arts
  • When entering a competition the contestant is responsible for ensuring all relevant martial arts experience is reported

Competitors must be over the age of 18 for IMMAF competitions.

IMMAF Championship competitions are also only opened to amateur athletes, with the IMMAF considering an athlete to be professional if they meet any of the following criteria:

  • Holds a pro MMA or professional combat sports licence
  • Is under contract with a pro MMA or professional combat sports promotion
  • Has received a fee for participating in an MMA or professional combat sports match
  • Has participated in a professional MMA match under the unified rules of MMA or equivalent
  • Has competed against an opponent with a pro MMA record at the time of the bout
  • Has a professional MMA fight record published anywhere, subject to confirmation  
  • National amateur criteria does not hold for IMMAF international competition if it does not conform to the above stipulations