Kerrith Brown elected as President of IMMAF
The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has elected Kerrith Brown as its new president.
52-year-old Brown, whose nomination was unanimously approved by the IMMAF board, joins the organisation after resigning as chairman of the British Judo Association (BJA). That followed a row over a commercial partnership between the BJA and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which led to the European Judo Union (EJU) stripping Glasgow of the 2015 European Judo Championships.
An Olympic bronze medallist for Great Britain in judo at the 1984 Olympics, Brown replaces Bertrand Amoussou at the IMMAF.
"I do not feel the sports values that I deeply believe in are currently represented by the EJU or the IJF [International Judo Federation]," said Brown. "It has reached a point where my position as chairman of the BJA has become untenable, and I do not wish to create further conflict for British judo.
“I am passionate about martial arts and I am a fan of MMA, which has a legitimate place in the martial arts family. MMA also provides the opportunity of a professional pathway for amateur sports athletes as has been most iconically demonstrated by judoka Ronda Rousey, former Olympic bronze medallist. A similar path is available in boxing and I would have welcomed such a career pathway myself as an Olympian.
“Conversely Judo is just one aspect of an MMA match and provides a fantastic foundation for the sport. Through the UFC, MMA has attracted an unrivalled fan base to martial arts. I feel sorry that politics has driven a wedge between these two sports in Europe, when they have so much in common, so many shared values and so much to offer each other.
“As IMMAF president I hope to bring my sports administration and Olympic sport experience to bear on the obstacles that MMA faces. I am also looking forward to listening and learning from the MMA community and working hard to maintain the integrity that has made MMA so popular and trusted.”
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