[4 March 2020. London] The International MMA Federation announces the return of its Africa Open MMA Championships to Johannesburg, South Africa, and invites elite amateurs from around the globe to compete.

Those wishing to take part should contact their National Federation for information: Registration closes on Friday 13th March 2020.

Hosted by MMASA (Mixed Martial Arts South Africa), IMMAF’s 3-day, nation vs nation tournament will take place this year at the new EFC Performance Institute from 16 – 18 April 2020, with the Tournament Draw on 15 April. The Championships will be available to watch around the world at IMMAF.TV and the programming schedule will be published shortly.

Africa broadened its footprint on the international mixed martial arts platform in 2019, with increased representation at the IMMAF World Championships from Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa and Ghana. Notably, Cameroon’s Rengou Mefire Simplice earned a world bronze medal for his country. South Africa currently stands at #9 in the National Team Rankings while Cameroon has climbed to #16.

Meanwhile, new African nations to the IMMAF fold, last year, included Algeria, Nigeria, Guinea, Ghana and Morocco, while November saw the formation of an IMMAF Committee for Africa.

Open to talent from around the world, IMMAF’s Continental Championships aim to foster regional sport development and provide international competition opportunities for local athletes by bringing it to their doorstep.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:

“The 2020 Africa Open is expected to receive a boost from the spike in regional confidence following growth in 2019. The move of location of the Africa Championships is illustrative of the event’s rising prestige. Africa athletes are demonstrating themselves to be a rising talent force and the competition provides an excellent proving ground for athletes looking to build experience, and gain medals and ranking points opportunities in preparation for the end-of-year World Championships.”

IMMAF’s Director for Africa, Raymond Phillips, said:

“We are proud to be hosting the fifth annual IMMAF Africa Open in South Africa. It is exciting to see the growth in MMA on the Africa continent as IMMAF continues to grow at a magnificent tempo towards our Olympic goal. We look forward to welcoming IMMAF affiliated teams from around the world. Over the past 5 years, MMASA had had the honour to host teams from Sweden, India, Cameroon, Australia, France, Czech Republic, Bahrain, Russia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Spain, Mauritius and Lebanon, for whom we have worked to provide unparalleled hospitality: Alongside the great sporting opportunities presented, we offer unique tourist excursions to make-up a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime experience for visitors. We look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful country of South Africa!”