Following a period of FIGMMA representatives shouldering the majority of operations in the Italian Federation ITMMAF, the IMMAF has decided to formally move the representation of Italy to FIGMMA. Founded in 2013 by 18 different groups within the Italian MMA Community, ITMMAF served an important purpose as a catalyst for joining MMA organizations together, and has now handed over to FIGMMA for the continued governance of MMA in Italy.
Federazione Italiana Grappling Mixed Martial Arts (FIGMMA) is a non-profit association founded in 2009 with the purpose of representing the sports of Grappling and MMA in Italy. Since 2012 FIGMMA has enjoyed formal approval of the Italian Olympic Committee. FIGMMA contributed to the birth and development of ITMMAF, the Italian MMA federation originally recognized by IMMAF consisting of representatives from various MMA organizations and associations all over the country.
With the practical and financial backing of FIGMMA, former ITMMAF President Emiliano Lanci and ITMMAF board members Fabio Ciolli and Patrizio Maggiori formed the driving force of sport regulation in Italy. Among other things they took on the task of financing and organizing the national team for the first IMMAF World Championships of Amateur MMA earlier this year. Over time the operations and activities of ITMMAF have centralized around FIGMMA and their representatives, with it now becoming natural for the membership to move from ITMMAF to FIGMMA.
Moving forward FIGMMA has created an organizational structure that will ensure an equal voice is given to both its sports – Grappling and MMA. MMA will be managed by the Amateur MMA/IMMAF Commission headed by FIGMMA Vice President, Vito Paolillo and commission members Emiliano Lanci, Fabio Ciolli and Patrizio Maggiori. The group will work to sustain and increase the support and collaboration of other Italian organizations that operate in the field of MMA.
“The IMMAF acknowledges the hard work and commitment of Emiliano Lanci, Fabio Ciolli and Patrizio Maggiori who, with the support of FIGMMA, never waned in their belief in the IMMAF vision. We are proud of the ITMMAF initiative, that it got us this far, and now we look forward to working with FIGMMA and support their development of sport regulation and amateur competition within Italy. This is the first time we have established a permanent solution with a member federation that governs another sport besides. This is something we in general are very hesitant to do as MMA needs focused representation from within the MMA community. FIGMMA has however beyond doubt shown that they are the premier proponent of MMA in Italy and I am confident that they will manage their dual responsibilities with great professionalism as well as true passion,” said IMMAF Secretary General, Erika Mattsson.
In order to select the athletes to represent the Italian National Team for IMMAF international competition FIGMMA is organizing annual qualifiers culminating in a final tournament, the FIGMMA National MMA Team Trials.