GAMMA Headed for Toward IOC Approval?
The Global Association Of Mixed Martial Arts (GAMMA) on Thursday, 19 December, announced that it formally submitted its application for Observer Status with the Global Association Of International Sports Federations (GAISF). Observer Status allows GAMMA to continue improving and strengthening governance, rules, policies, and global representation for mixed martial arts. This represents the first step GAMMA needs to be officially recognized as an International Sports Federation, which will aid in its broader goal of bringing mixed martial arts to the Olympic Games. The move drew praise from ONE Championship’s chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “The sport of mixed martial arts is an incredible medium to unleash the greatness of humanity. ONE Championship’s partnership with GAMMA is a testament to our commitment to giving all amateur athletes the support they need as they pursue a career in mixed martial arts,” Sityodtong said. “I fully support GAMMA’s dedication to further developing the sport of mixed martial arts, and I’m excited to see it one day be recognized as an official sport in the Olympics.” GAMMA has taken great steps to elevate mixed martial arts at the grassroots and amateur levels. In November, GAMMA and ONE Championship partnered to host the 2019 GAMMA World Championship in Singapore. This event brought together over 40 teams of world-class amateur mixed martial artists and coaches from GAMMA-member nations. The top male and female athletes earned a contract with ONE Championship and the winners of each weight division also received a one-year training scholarship at Evolve MMA. Alex Engelhardt, President of GAMMA, also expressed confidence in the partnership with ONE. Engelhardt believes the true values of martial arts shared by both organizations will form the impetus to finally get mixed martial arts the Olympic recognition. “The success of the GAMMA World Championship in Singapore last November brought together different great nations in celebration of martial arts and our community. Now, it’s time to take the next step forward,” he said. “Through our partnership with ONE Championship, GAMMA’s goal is to provide all mixed martial arts athletes a global platform to showcase their skills. GAMMA is built on the strong foundation of the true values of martial arts, and we believe having Observer Status with GAISF brings us closer to achieving our ultimate goal – to bring the sport of mixed martial arts to the Olympics.”