One of GAMMA’s key priorities and mission is to establish an athlete development pathway for MMA athletes who aspire to turn professional, and help facilitate their transition into a professional athlete. As a result, GAMMA partnered with ONE Championship and rewarded the best male and female champion of GAMMA World Championship 2019 with a USD 100,000 contract each.
Last year, GAMMA continued to form new partnerships with other prominent and top MMA promotions such as BRAVE Combat Federation (CF) to offer the winner of “African Knockout – AKO”, a reality show that was broadcasted across 46 African countries, a professional contract with BRAVE CF. Together with AKO Management and CEO Mohammed Shahid of Bahrain’s Brave CF, GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt has worked hard to obtain the USD 100,000 contract for the AKO Champion. This is also part of developing MMA in Africa, mainly Nigeria.
To further strengthen the professional athlete development pathway, GAMMA has now established a dedicated sanctioning arm – GAMMA PRO – which provides belts for champions and PRO rankings for all participants of GAMMA-sanctioned tournaments and professional events in order to enable these athletes to compete in professional circuits.
Responsible for GAMMA PRO will be Adrian Bakos(GER) and Francesco Migliaccio (ITA) will spearhead the GAMMA PRO Commission, and its main objective is to track the rankings and set competitions.
Official rankings and rule books will be released on the official website soon.
“Creating GAMMA PRO is crucial for the development of the sport. Mixed martial arts have had a different development than other sports. It started off focusing on the commercial side of sports rather than from the grassroots, which makes it interesting since the growth and popularity of MMA has been exponential. MMA has 577 million fans worldwide, according to Nielsen’s report “Fan Insights 2020”. With this fanbase we are the third most popular sport in the world with Football at 901 million fans and Basketball ahead of us.
Striving towards GAMMA’s mission, we have also developed a full Athlete Career Program (ACP). GAMMA ACP, where further details will be announced shortly. Guiding an aspiring athlete to a professional athlete is part of the goals of ACP. If we want to guide our athletes, we need to assure safety and fair play while keeping our GAMMA values. Therefore, GAMMA PRO is needed”, said GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt.
The Global Martial Arts Association (GAMMA) is the world governing body for the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. GAMMA is headed by its President, Alexander Engelhardt and based in The Netherlands. GAMMA is a non-profit sport federation with national recognised federations across five continents. As MMA continues to grow in popularity around the world, we need to ensure the values of MMA are promoted and GAMMA’s focus is on raising the quality of MMA as a sport globally. We are working to develop and implement initiatives to promote the values of the sport and work with Member National Associations to establish quality development programmes and pathways.