IMMAF World Championships

The IMMAF World Championships are an annual event, which have been hosted since 2014 in Las Vegas in the United States and in Manama in Bahrain.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 IMMAF World Championships were cancelled, with the sport facing a hiatus period which began in mid-March in 2020.

The IMMAF World Championships are only open to athletes aged 18 and upwards, with the same age rules applying for all IMMAF-sanctioned senior competitions.

Abu Dhabi hosted the most recent World Championships in January 2022.

IMMAF Junior and Youth World Championships

The IMMAF World Junior Championships usually pair with the IMMAF World Championships, and also last took place in Abu Dhabi in January 2022.

These Championships are only eligible to athletes between the ages of 18 and 20, with competitors having the option of competing in the junior or senior tournament.

There are also World Youth Championships at three different age groups.

The under-18 category is for 16 and 17-year-olds, the under-16 category is for 14 and 15-year-olds and the under-14 category is for 12 and 13-year-olds.

Continental Open Championships

The IMMAF hosts continental competitions for its regions, which are open to athletes around the world.

These are the Pan American Open Championships, the Asian Open Senior and Junior Championships, the European Open Senior and Junior Championships, the Africa Open and Senior and Junior Championships and the Oceania Open Senior and Junior Championships.

Each competition had different limitations to entries for the 2019 and 2020 tournaments.

The Asian Open Championships allowed a maximum of four participants per weight category from one country, with a maximum of eight athletes in each category in total.

The Pan American Open, the Oceania Open and the Africa Open Championships stated that a National Federation could enter a maximum of two participants per weight category, with a maximum of eight athletes in each category. 

The European Open Championships allowed National Federations to enter two athletes per weight category, with the athlete limit per weight 32 competitors.

Due to their open nature, the Championships allow athletes from countries outside of the host continent to compete.

For example, the 2019 IMMAF African Open Championships featured athletes from Bahrain, France, Czech Republic, Spain and Lebanon, as well as the African nations Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritius and South Africa.

2022 events

The IMMAF is resuming its full competition calendar in 2022, with the following core, annual events:

  • Oceania Open Championships
  • Africa Open Championships
  • Pan American Open Championships
  • Asian & Junior Asian Open Championships
  • Youth MMA World Championships
  • European & Junior European Championships
  • World & Junior World Championships
  • World Teams Championships

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Ranking System

The IMMAF World Amateur MMA Rankings are determined by the points won by athletes and national teams through their participation in IMMAF Continental Opens and the World Championships.

Full ranking points are issued if there are 20 or more national teams competing at an event, while only 50 per cent of the ranking points will be issued if there are fewer than 20 countries in attendance.

Points (under 20 countries)
Points (over 20 countries)
1st place
2nd place
3rd place
One fight win

For the first 12 months, points retain their full value of 100 per cent, before being reduced to 50 per cent for the next 12 months. Points are wiped completely two years after they are accrued.

For example, if the World Championships take place in week 47 in 2019, these points will be reduced by 50 per cent by week 48 in 2020.

Athletes who change weight categories must start from zero points, as all points and seeding positions gained in a previous weight categories are not transferable.