World Youth MMA Championships take place in Abu Dhabi in August


London: The International MMA Federation will travel to Abu Dhabi in August for its 2022 Youth MMA World Championships for ages 12-17 under a three-year hosting rights agreement.

The world governing body of MMA has confirmed the dates for the competition from August 17-20 (4 days), with the draw for the tournament taking place on August 16. The event will be streamed live on, with location to be confirmed.

Organized by the United Arab Emirates Jiu-Jitsu and MMA Federation, three categories of youth tournaments will be held under IMMAF Youth MMA rules for ages 12-13 (Youth C), 14-15 (Youth B) and 16 at 17 (Young A). The rule sets have been modified from the Unified Rules with respect to the developmental stage and safety of each age group, as directed by the IMMAF Medical Affairs, Coaches, and Regulatory Affairs Committees. The IMMAF does not allow head shots for competitors under the age of 18.

The 2021 Youth Worlds drew 331 athletes from 23 nations to Bulgaria amid continued closures and travel restrictions for many countries. The top 3 teams in the standings were Ukraine, Russia and the United States. With the lifting of blockages and a move, more nations can be expected to participate.

The standard will also increase as the minimum technical level required this year for 14-17 year olds will be the ‘Orange’ grade, while the ‘Yellow’ grade will remain the requirement for 12-13 year olds.

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HE Mohamed Dalmouj Al Dhaheri, UAE Jiu-Jitsu and MMA Federation Board Member and Chairman of the UAE Mixed Martial Arts Committee said: “Having hosted the IMMAF flagship event in January, we are delighted to host this year’s IMMAF World Youth Championships in Abu Dhabi. Youth represent a strategic priority for the UAE Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Federation, and our goal is to empower and cultivate a new generation of highly skilled and skilled MMA athletes. We look forward to welcoming the world back to Abu Dhabi this summer and supporting the IMMAF in its continued efforts for youth development and the upliftment of amateur MMA.”

Kerrith Brown, IMMAF President said: “Youth MMA is one of our biggest areas of growth and a significant number of National Federations held their own inaugural Youth National Championships this year. I look forward to the upgrade. More countries have implemented the IMMAF progression program at youth level and a high level of technical skill is required to compete in this year’s competition.

“I would like to wholeheartedly thank His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates; His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council; His Excellency Abdulmunem Al Hashmi, President of the United Arab Emirates Federation of Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts; His Excellency Aref Al Awani, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council; and His Excellency Mohamed Dalmouj Al Dhaheri, Chairman of the UAE MMA Committee for their belief and commitment to the development of MMA as a sport and for facilitating the IMMAF World Youth Championships.


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