The GAMMA World Championships and World Congress are due to begin this week here in Amsterdam ©GAMMA

Following a turbulent journey of COVID-19-induced postponement and relocation, the Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts (GAMMA) World Championships are finally upon us here in Amsterdam.

As global travel restrictions ease slightly, athletes from more than 50 countries are set to arrive in the Dutch capital for what is only the second edition of the event since the inaugural competition in Singapore in 2019.

The delegations will make their way to The Netherlands tomorrow in time for registration before weigh-ins and the competition draw on Thursday (March 24).

The bouts are then scheduled to run from Friday (March 25) until Sunday (March 27) in the city's Sporthallen Zuid.

Medals will be awarded in 18 weight categories with 11 for men and seven for women.

A live audience will be in attendance, with tickets currently on sale, while the action will also be live streamed on GAMMA's Facebook and YouTube platforms.

"I am thrilled to welcome the global MMA community to Amsterdam for these Championships," said GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt.

"A lot of hard work has gone into making this happen after a challenging couple of years.

"I want to thank all of the delegations for making the effort to be here and I am confident that these Championships will be a success and that we will have a week of highly competitive competition.

"The days here in Amsterdam are also a great opportunity to reconnect with the GAMMA members in person and continue to offer the best platform for the growth of MMA globally."

It is not just the World Championships that will be taking place this week, as GAMMA will be staging its World Congress on Thursday, in addition to a seminar on anti-doping education and a coaches' workshop.

Financial statements and budgets will be reviewed at the Congress, while the organisation's activities in 2020 and 2021 and changes to the Board of Directors are also due to be up for discussion.

The anti-doping education seminar for athletes follows on from a similar talk that was given at the European Championships last year in Kyiv as the governing body is determined for its sport to operate cleanly as it continues its pursuit of Olympic recognition and inclusion.

The World Championships were originally set to take place in Berlin from December 7 to 11 last year but following coronavirus countermeasures implemented in Germany organisers decided to delay it out of "an abundance of caution for the health and welfare of the athletes and other participants".

It was later announced to take place in Amsterdam but would still retain its GAMMA World Championships 2021 branding.

Following the invasion of Ukraine, the organisation also took the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from the competition.