Wissam Abi Nader Running For IMMAF Board Elections

IMMAF has long been on my “Wish list” for places to work.


The true pioneer of mixed martial arts development in the region, Mr. Wissam Abi Nader, is once again in the global spotlight, running for the IMMAF (International Mixed Martial Arts Federation) board elections.

Wissam has positioned himself as a very competent coach and leader with outstanding man-management skills that saw him establish the first ever Middle Eastern Tristar gym. He had the foresight to govern MMA under the umbrella of the already established Lebanese Judo Federation and has seen the sport go from strength to strength. After organizing the first Lebanese MMA Championship in 2010, Wissam was elected president of the Lebanese MMA Committee and oversaw the first ever Arab amateur MMA championship.

He worked closely with FILA, a recognised sports federation by the Internal Olympic Committee, and this relationship lead him to the IMMAF.

Wissam Abi Nader added to his already impressive list of accomplishments when he was named judge for the IMMAF World Championships which kicked off UFC Fight Week in June 2014. Wissam was the only arab picked by IMMAF officials joining referees from USA, Ukraine, Finland, New Zealand, Belgium, Brazil, Sweden, Romania, Canada and France.

In an interview with ArabsMMA, Wissam Abi Nader asserted that he will be working from the grounds up to develop the sport’s fan base and standards at an international level. As a prospective IMMAF board member, Wissam will concentrate his efforts on ensuring that a solid structure is in place, helping MMA flourish and ultimately be recognized as an Olympic sport.

Wissam Abi Nader To ArabsMMA:

IMMAF has long been on my “Wish list” for places to work. I feel that my combination of skills and experience in administration & management and my passion for MMA make me a qualified candidate for this position. When there is passion behind the work we do, it fuels us to work for the change we believe is possible.

Beyond my administration and management experience in budget management, calendar management, facilitation, and meeting coordination, I have the aspiration to surround myself with those who are committed to MMA. Without a doubt, IMMAF offers that experience and atmosphere.

I would be honored to work alongside people who share the same passion and mission to develop the sport of MMA on all levels, supporting the development of regulations and best practices on health, safety, youth involvement and more.

I believe that developing an Amateur System for MMA, will develop the sport’s fan base, mass participation and standards, which will have a direct impact on the development of professional MMA. I have a vision is for MMA to be recognized as a sport in Sport Accord and for it to ultimately become an Olympic sport.

Through my work, volunteer, and travel experience, I have honed my interpersonal, organizational, and presentation skills. I am a self-directed team player who has careful attention to detail and experience in program planning and volunteer coordination.

I am thrilled about the possibility of deploying my skills, positive attitude, and strong work ethic in the service of the IMMAF Board Members.

Wissam is representing Asia along with two other candidates; Daniel Isaac from India and Masakazu Sakai from Japan.

Daniel has worked with MMA promotions across Asia, Europe and the Middle East, including Legend Fighting Championships Hong Kong, Martial Combat ADFC , Art of War FC, One FC and Super Fight League.

Masakazu Sakai on the other hand is the current Pancrase CEO and the founder of a business empire that has been at the forefront of combat sports development in Japan. As of May 2015, the Sakai lead JMMAF is perfectly placed to campaign for the introduction of MMA as an Olympic sport with Tokyo gearing up to host the 2020 Games.

The first IMMAF Annual General Meeting is to take place on Friday 10th July in Las Vegas (USA), during the 2015 IMMAF World Championships at UFC International Fight Week. The Annual General Meeting, which will be attended by delegates from 43 member countries, marks the occasion of IMMAF’s first board elections.

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