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John Kavanagh heads up new Irish MMA body in bid to gain recognition for the sport

The Irish Amateur Pankration Association will break from its connection to wrestling and establish the new IMMAA.

Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

THE IRISH AMATEUR Pankration Association (IAPA) last night announced that it will establish a national governing body for Mixed Martial Arts with John Kavanagh as president.

The move means that IAPA will break from its existing place within the structure of the Irish Amateur Wrestling Association (IAWA) and set up the separate Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association (IMMAA).

The move comes after Sport Ireland boss John Treacy insisted that there must be a recognised governing body for MMA before it sets out on ‘a long road’ to gain full recognition from sport’s administrators.

In a statement, the IAPA thanked the IAWA for ‘invaluable support’ to this point:

“In particular Michael McAuley and Daniel and Keith Kennedy,” the statement says, “without their advice and guidance we would not be in the position we are today.

The IAWA have been a tremendous source of support, but we feel that it is now time to establish our own National Governing Body to enable the recognition and regulation of our sport in its own right.”

With Kavanagh as president, the IMMAA has set out its intention to ensure all competitors are registered with the body, control medical checks before fights and advise promoters intending to run amateur MMA events in this country, including recommendations for referee and judge appointments.

IMMAA will be a member of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) and will adhere to their rules and guidelines.

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