Edo, Lagos Host August Championship
The Nigeria Mixed Martial Arts Federation (NMMAF) has urged coaches, fighters and all the practitioners of the sport to embrace all training programmes organised by the federation as a strategy for grassroots development of the event.

Speaking in a meeting organised for NMMAF stakeholders, the Federation’s technical director, Shihan Victor Akhimien, a seventh-degree karate black belt holder, said if coaches and fighters embraced modern MMA techniques, the process could add value to the economy of Nigeria when quality talents are discovered at the grassroots and taken overseas to fight and expose their skills.

“We are expecting a high turnout as we hold two major national seminars and championships on August 12 in Edo State and August 17 in Lagos.

“This is geared towards identifying and polishing talents that will participate in local and international championships.

Coaches and athletes are also encouraged to attend our seminars and workshops to attain certifications.

This will empower and authorise them to officially operate as coaches, referees/officials, and amateur/ professional athletes.

“We are ready to integrate everybody into the federation’s scheme of things via the classification of our certification programmes with thorough consideration of experience and technical expertise over the years and not as beginners,” he said.

Akhimien, who also doubles as chairman, of Lagos State’s Mixed Martial Arts Association and lecturer, of Mixed Martial Arts at Nigeria Institute of Sports (NIS), added: “This window of waivers/ integration into the federation’s activities will be open for now and will probably close before the end of the year.

“Upon entry, the coaches and athletes’ career growth will be based on set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs, which are reasonable and attainable.

“Records of everybody’s progress will be kept by our dedicated ICT team on our website and other social media platforms.”

The technical director, who appreciated the efforts of MMA coaches in making the sport by taking athletes to participate in local and international activities over the years, said that the board would not relent in supporting them in any capacity as MMA continues to gain ground in Nigeria.

“The federation is here to serve all stakeholders of MMA and also ensure career growth of coaches and fighters locally and internationally via our certifications, according to the standard set by IMMAF, the world body.

“With structures in place, we will be able to export talents abroad as top-class amateur fighters, professional fighters, Class A coaches or referees.”

He commended the president, vice president and other NMMAF board members for the vision and concerted hard work over the years in developing the sport in the country.

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