The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation today officially announced the 2017 IMMAF European Open Championships to take place in Bulgaria’s capital city, Sofia, from 29 March to 2 April 2017 at the EFE Hotel Marinela.
With IMMAF’s 2016 European Open completed at the end of last month, demand for more competition in the region has led to IMMAF returning to the continent for its first event of 2017.
The 2016 IMMAF European Open attracted more than 150 athletes from 30 countries to compete in the nation vs nation, Amateur MMA tournament. With new national teams and athletes debuting, fresh challenges were posed in each division bringing some notable upsets. Finals day saw the crowning of new and reinstated European champions, with Sweden and Bulgaria dominating the medals stakes and currently topping the IMMAF World Amateur MMA Rankings. The contest attracted the attendance of notable professional promoters.
Besides 5 days of competitive action, fight week also included an MMA seminar series for IMMAF members that encompassed the science and research around weight-cutting, Cutman education and MMA business.
Hosted by the Bulgarian MMA Federation (BULMMAF), the 2017 IMMAF European Open Championships increases competitive opportunities for returning veterans and new talent alike, as IMMAF’s talent pool continues to deepen.
As part of the week, IMMAF will present its second seminar series for participants to include MMA training seminars on later days for athletes no longer in the competition. The event is expected to again attract 150+ competitors.
IMMAF currently enjoys broadcast deals with Extreme Sports Channel, BT Sport, UFC FIGHT PASS, Combate Channel, Bahrain TV, Sky Sports (New Zealand) and ITW, with further new deals soon to be announced.
The Bulgarian MMA Federation was formed in 2013 by a collective of clubs and gyms and affiliated with IMMAF in 2014. Headed by former UFC competitor, Stanislav Nedkov, the organization is formally recognized by Bulgaria’s Ministry of Sport, which is endorsing the event.
IMMAF President, Kerrith Brown, said:
“ Each IMMAF tournament betters the last both in its organization and what IMMAF has on offer to its members, and in its fast developing talent pool. The skill of IMMAF’s elite Amateur athletes can be attributed not only to growth, but also the development of grassroots MMA at a national level by IMMAF’s members. Throughout the year, IMMAF’s volunteer led members work tirelessly to develop training programs and competitive opportunities for MMA competitors, to improve the structures around the sport in their countries, to secure funding and in hosting national tryouts and tournaments in order to present the best of the best at IMMAF competitions.
“We look forward to reuniting in March with our unstoppable MMA family for another stellar tournament – our first of 2017. We are also excited to be working in partnership with the Bulgarian MMA Federation to deliver our best event yet.”