Monday 24 October 2016

Irish MMA finally get a national governing body as Conor McGrergor's coach John Kavanagh elected president

Published 24/05/2016 | 10:20

John Kavanagh with Conor McGregor; Sportsfile
John Kavanagh with Conor McGregor; Sportsfile

MMA has taken a big step to being recognised as a sport in Ireland with the announcement that a national governing body has been formed.

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The Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association (IMMAA) will be a member of the International Mixed Martial Arts Association and will agree to follow their rules and guidelines, according to a Facebook post on the Irish Amateur Pankration Association's page.

The IAPA had previously acted as an associated body of the Irish Amateur Wrestling Association, which governs grappling sports in Ireland, but Sport Ireland chief John Treacy said that until Irish MMA was regulated by their own national governing body, the sport couldn't be recognised in this country.

Conor McGregor's coach, John Kavanagh of Straight Blast Gym, will be the organisation's first president.

"The IMMAA will act as an advisory body for promoters looking to run amateur MMA events in Ireland," the statement said.

"Our recommendations include but are not limited to: Referees and judges to be appointed by the IMMAA. Pre -event medical checks to be controlled by IMMAA".

The regulation of MMA in Ireland came under scrutiny after Joao Carvalho died in hospital from injuries suffered in a fight a the National Stadium in April.

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