Gaisf Observer Attends IMMAF AGM | Amateur Mma Awards Winners

Abu Dhabi: The IMMAF General Assembly took place on 28 January, during a break in the action at the IMMAF World Championships which is currently taking place in Abu Dhabi.

For the first time in the history of IMMAF, a representative of the General Assembly of International Federations (GAISF) Council, Mr Donato Milano of Italy, a welcome initiative taken by the new GAISF President Ivo Ferriani. Mr Milano is also a member of the Board of the World Association of Kickboxing Organisation WAKO and so has a long experience in combat sport as well as sport politics.

Despite the havoc caused by the Covid epidemic on travelling teams, 37 IMMAF Federations were present from 5 continents.

IMMAF Kerrith Brown said: “We are extremely proud to be celebrating our 10th Anniversary and it is an honour for us to be able to welcome a representative of GAISF, Mr Milano, so he is able to evaluate our governance as well as watch the finals of our biggest competition. In the context of the COVID crisis it was important for us to ensure that we could organise our World Championships and General Assembly in person for the first time since 2019.

“I would like to thank all the IMMAF Federations as well as the IMMAF staff for their hard work since the last time we met, more than 2 years ago now, as we continue our crusade for recognition. We will continue to strive on behalf of our athletes work hard in our drive to gain our place amongst other international sport federations. We are doing this for the sake of our athletes and members, as recognition shows that MMA is a safe and life enhancing sport.”

In his detailed presentation of the IMMAF 2020-2021 Annual Report, CEO Densign White emphasised the importance of putting integrity and good governance principles at the heart of everything done by IMMAF and encouraged the member federations to follow this example. CSO Nick Davies followed up with a presentation about the work done to create and manage a live “Governance tracker” as a practical tool while the Director of Anti-doping Michele Verroken explained the lengthy, but eventually successful, process that led to IMMAF being accepted as a signatory to the World Anti-doping Agency.

With regards to financial matters, the General Assembly were given full access to the Annual Financial Statements ​ for 2019 and 2020​ the report of the independent Financial Audit Committee. The delegates approved the freedom of liability for the Board of Directors and the President and approved the report of the IMMAF auditors PwC.

Finally, after a period of observation had been achieved, the General Assembly voted to give full membership to the following federations drawn from Africa, Asia, Europe, Central and South America (in alphabetical order): Angola, Barbados, Ecuador, France. Guyana, Israel, Jamaica, Kosovo, Mongolia, Nigeria, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Turkey, UAE, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe.


The 2021 IMMAF Amateur MMA Award winners were revealed last night (27), at a black-tie ceremony at the Millenium Hotel, in Abu Dhabi. The event took place during the 2021 IMMAF World Senior & Junior Championships and brought together representatives from over 30 National Federations, in addition to the IMMAF staff and media.

Every year, the IMMAF Awards celebrates the various achievements across amateur mixed martial arts of IMMAF athletes, coaches, officials and National Federations. In this edition, the winners were chosen for their performance between November 2020 to October 2021.

As one of the highlights of the night, President Kerrith Brown and CEO Densign White awarded Michele Verroken, Anti-doping Consultant, for her work in the past year that culminated in achieving IMMAF’s WADA signatory status. The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation is the first organization to do so under the revised Policy for Acceptance of New Signatories that came into effect at the beginning of 2021.

Inside the octagon, the winners of the night were Sabrina Laurentina de Sousa (Bahrain) as Best Female Athlete; Ramazan Gitinov (Bahrain) as Best Male Athlete; and Otabek Rajabov (Tajikistan) as Best Junior Athlete and Best Newcomer. 

See all winners below.


  • Best Female Athlete: Sabrina Laurentina de Sousa (Bahrain)
  • Best Male Athlete: Ramazan Gitinov (Bahrain)
  • Best Junior Athlete of the Year: Otabek Rajabov (Tajikistan)
  • Best Newcomer of the Year: Otabek Rajabov (Tajikistan)
  • Best Performance: Ayan Tursyn (Kazakhstan)
  • Host Federation of the Year: RMMAU
  • Best on Social Media Award 2020: French Mixed Martial Arts Federation
  • Best National Federation for MMA Coaching: Polynesian Federation of Wrestling, Mixed Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Associated Disciplines (FPLAJDA)
  • IMMAF Anti-doping Award: Bulgarian Mixed Martial Arts Federation (BULMMAF)
  • Best Grading Scheme Award: Panhellenic MMA Federation
  • MyNextMatch Award: International Mixed Martial Arts Federation of Australia
  • Best IT team: MMA League of Ukraine
  • National Federation of the Year: Mixed Martial Arts Zambia
  • Regulatory Excellence and Contribution Award: Scott Manhardt and Manap Kabdiyev
  • President’s Award:
       – Michele Verroken (Sporting Integrity) for her contribution to achieving World Anti-doping    signatory status for IMMAF
      – Mohammad Al Hosani on behalf the UAE Jiu Jitsu and MMA Federation for their hosting and rescuing of the 2021 IMMAF World Championships


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