The English Mixed Martial Arts Association (EMMAA) is celebrating the success of its first ever national qualifying tournament which also included successful stakeholder and supporter engagement events.
The EMMAA National Amateur Invitational tournament took place earlier this month at Birmingham’s NEC, as part of the ‘Arnold’s’ Sports Festival. Global MMA stars George St Pierre and Khabib Nurmagomedov attended. There were also appearances from British UFC fighter Leon Edwards, Irish boxer Katie Taylor plus UK MMA stars Megan Morris and Muhammed Mokaev.
The tournament was used as part of the England Youth team selection process, for the 2022 IMMAF Youth World Championships. And following the event, the official England youth rankings were released.
English Mixed Martial Arts Association President Marc Goddard said: “All aspects of our National Amateur Invitational tournament and the supporting events in Birmingham were a huge success.
“But this would not have been possible without the time and expertise that so many people provided on a voluntary basis. I want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all of them. I know we’re looking forward to working together in future, to achieve more progress for English MMA.
“We’ve received excellent feedback from athletes, coaches, stakeholders and supporters about the event. It’s pleasing to hear that so many of them felt the three days at the NEC were enjoyable, successful and well run.”
Marc Goddard added: “We’ve also received positive comments from many high-level coaches including Matt Inman, Martin Stapleton and Jason Tan. They have told us they feel that the weekend has provided a great blueprint for future events.”
Meanwhile, Marc Goddard is calling on the nation’s MMA clubs to help boost the sport, at this key time in its development. The association recently began the process of seeking Sport England recognition for its role as national governing body (NGB). And now clubs and gyms are being asked to sign-up to become association members, and demonstrate the strength of English MMA.
He said: “We’ve achieved some tremendously positive progress in recent months and I hope we can now build on this by seeing more MMA gyms and clubs register with us as members.
“Increasing our membership will help us to show the strength and vibrant nature of MMA in England. It will also help us to develop the services we can offer to members and participants.”
Goddard added: “A significant part of our work is to increase the number of people participating in MMA and maximising international and domestic success, and this can be achieved by working together with member clubs.
“My message to every MMA gym and club in England is to join the English Mixed Martial Arts Association. You will help raise our sport’s profile and help the sport maintain the momentum it now has.”
The full results of the 2021 EMMAA National Amateur Invitational tournament can be seen here
The England youth team rankings can now be seen on the website here