MMA fighting in the region will hopefully change for the better as Desert Force leads on a continuous quest to better protect its fighters’ health and ensure a safe playing field for all athletes.
Desert Force MMA Championship is the biggest promoter of mixed martial arts in the Arab world with a humongous fan base that was most recently reflected by 1,000,000 organic fans on their official Facebook page. It also maintains and prides itself in its health and safety measures. The organization, currently enforcing strict safety measures and adhering to international standards of safety, is now looking to strongly enforce, and even go beyond the standard measures.
Leading up to their latest event (Desert Force 22) which was staged in Amman, the organization heads, select staff, Arab MMA Federation and DF22 Commissioner Rio Altaie, IMMAF regulatory affairs consultant and renowned MMA referee Marc Goddard, and ABC Judge Trainer and renowned MMA referee Blake Grice assembled to build on the rules and regulations that are designed to prevent serious injury to its fighters.
Zaid Abu Soud to ArabsMMA:
We had a great meeting in Amman before the event regarding Fighter Safety, with many ideas shared to ensure fighters in the Middle East, and Desert Force in specific, are safe. We, as Desert Force, currently enforce strict safety measure and adhere to international standards of safety. We are now looking to strongly enforce, and even go beyond the measures.
I would like to first thank our lead medical advisor Dr. Laith Khairy, I really don’t have enough good things to say about him. A consummate professional.
Among the key points that were set in the meeting:
- Blood tests to be more and regular: Includes Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV 1/O/2), Hepatitis C Antibodies, Hepatitis B Surface Antigen.
- Out of competition physical and medical examinations signed by an authorized physician to be submitted by fighters on contract.
- Increased and comprehensive athlete awareness and educational packages.
- Desert Force new pre and post medical test will include a more detailed check list and will determine suspensions.
- More PED tests will be introduced. Previous suspensions were witnessed due questionable results, Desert Force will increase the frequency of the tests abide by international suspension criteria.
- Fighters will have to weigh-in multiple times over a longer period before stepping onto the official scale to ensure a safe weight cut.
- An updated more extensive safety staff list with updated procedure will be enforced starting the next event.