The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation have moved the 2021 IMMAF Youth MMA Championships for twelve to eighteen-year-olds from Istanbul, Turkey to Sofia, Bulgaria and is going to take place at the EFE Mariela hotel from 29 July – 1 August.
The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation’s second instalment of its under -18s tournament will take place without an audience to create a safe environment for international participants concerning the global pandemic. All participants are to be tested for COVID-19 on arrival on 28 July before entering the competition ‘bubble’.
Supporters instead will be able to watch the full three days of the youth competition, streamed live for the first time from 30 July – 1 August.
IMMAF’s last Youth World Championships (2019 IMMAF Youth World Championships) saw 269 participants enter from 26 countries, with the USA dominating the medals table with 28 medals, including 16 golds. Following behind, also with significant leads, were Russia (17 medals), Ukraine (16), Italy (13), UK (12), Ireland (9) and Kazakhstan (8). As the development of Youth MMA has continued to surge, yet larger numbers are anticipated to enter this year.
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said, “We are grateful to President Nedkov and the Bulgarian MMA Federation for stepping in as the hosts of our 2021 Youth MMA World Championships and thus guaranteeing the event. IMMAF is making every effort to ensure a stable, return to competition for the IMMAF family and looks forward to welcoming our U18s national teams from around the world to Sofia in the summer.”
BULMMAF President Stanislav Nedkov said, “That the BULMMAF will be hosting the 2021 IMMAF Youth MMA World Championships is a great pleasure and honour to me, as President, and to all our BULMMAF members. The award demonstrates a good evaluation of our hosting of the IMMAF European Championships in 2017, to which we gave enormous efforts. We have more than seven years’ experience in organising MMA events and I believe that we can provide a comfortable competition environment for participating nations and, together with the IMMAF team, organise a Youth World Championships that competitors, coaches and all officials can be proud of.”