Guyana gets unanimous support for full IMMAF membership status

The Guyana Mixed Martial Arts Federation (GYMMA) has unanimously been voted in as one of the 20 new member associations affiliated to the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) following Friday’s Annual General Meeting (AGM)/Congress of the global governing body for amateur mixed martial arts in Abu Dhabi.

GYMMA Executive Member Dr Sawan Jagnarain represented Guyana at the first IMMAF AGM/Congress in Abu Dhabi

Guyana was represented by Sr Sawan Jagnarain at the AGM/Congress, which was held at the Millennium Al Rawdah Hotel.
The IMMAF’s AGM/Congress featured 120 delegates at the event, which was chaired by Densign White, the Federation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
The 18-month-old GYMMA, headed by Gavin Singh, received its conditional affiliation to the IMMAF in 2021, pending approval of vote at the AGM. At Friday’s AGM, White asked the 120 delegates if they had any objections to Guyana receiving full membership, and from the 37 eligible voters, the country was given a 34–0 nod of approval.
Jamaica and Barbados were also given approval, joining Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas and St Lucia as Caribbean countries that are members of the IMMAF.

Guyana was among 120 delegates at the IMMAF AGM/Congress in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Singh noted that the GYMMA was “proud of the accomplishments so far; however, we have a long journey ahead for further success.”
Singh said, “The Federation is committed to ensuring proper strategy and planning is in place for our future success. We can only do this together with all our stakeholders. We will be continuously working diligently, together with the IMMAF and the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, to ensure the future of Mixed Martial Arts in Guyana is a success.”
Meanwhile, IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said the Federation would be working closely with its affiliates in the Caribbean, as it pushes to have as many accredited coaches to implement a development strategy in promoting amateur mixed martial arts as a safe sport.
He said the Federation would also seek to foster a close working relationship with the respective Governments in the Region, deeming it vital for the sustenance, development and enhancement of the sport in the Caribbean.
Guyana was the lone Caricom country represented at the IMMAF World Championships, with Corwin D’Anjou and Ijaz Cave carrying the Golden Arrowhead at the tournament, which will conclude today in Abu Dhabi. D’Anjou competed in the welterweight category, while Cave featured in the light heavyweight division.
This year’s championships were the largest in the IMMAF’s 10-year history, as over 450 athletes from 57 countries gathered to compete for a chance to be crowned the best in the world in their respective categories.
It has also been the first World Championships since the advent of COVID-19 in 2020.
The IMMAF President had told Chronicle Sport that his Federation was more than happy with seeing Guyana present in the United Arab Emirates.
He admitted that while it was not the results the Federation had wanted, the experience would form part of the learning curve, not just for the fighters, but for the GYMMA as well.
“What you have to realise is, in terms of the National Federation, the job is that you’re learning in all aspects. You are learning the different processes that are put in place to run a competition at this level, so when you go back to develop the national federation, the clubs, referees, judges, the coaches; everything that’s happening in Abu Dhabi, we want the Federation to value and adapt,” Brown said.
The IMMAF was founded in Sweden by former athletes and presidents of the Swedish MMA Federation August Wallén and George Sallfeldt, with support from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
The inaugural IMMAF World Championships of Amateur MMA were held in Las Vegas in 2014 as part of UFC International Fight Week.
Reporting by Rawle Toney in Abu Dhabi (compliments: GYMMA/National Sports Commission)