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IMMAF welcomes Russian Federation into its ranks

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) announced that the MMA Federation of Russia (MMAFR) has joined its team.

MMAFR’s president is former UFC vet Oleg Taktarov (17-5-2). MMAFR is also affiliated with the Russian Union of Martial Arts and the Committee of Non-Olympic and National Sports of Russia.

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“There are two values for the MMA Federation of Russia that sets us apart,” Taktarov explained in an IMMAF press release. “Firstly, we hold that all our athletes must be well grounded, well-educated and have a life outside the sport so that they are equipped to succeed in life. For example, my coach would ask athletes read books and poetry, to watch films and write a report.

“Like the Japanese Samurai, athletes should be well rounded, be able to hold an intelligent conversation and educated in the arts. I am proud to say that after almost a decade of existing, there has been no illegal activity and no criminal charges against our federation or athletes that puts us in favourable comparison to other sports. We are not looking to create instant champions, but people who will succeed in the long term.

“Secondly we demand respect from our athletes to their mothers and fathers and coaches. It is important to respect the people who have helped you. The family, club and federation together make up a strong team which supports the athlete.

“I would like to also add, in light of the recent athlete doping scandal, that the MMAFR has always been committed to clean sport.”

“Russia is vast territory that boasts a wealth of MMA talent and is of political importance,” IMMAF president Kerrith Brown added. ” Further to this the joining of the Russian federation to IMMAF is a big statement, particularly in light of the recent athlete doping controversy in Russia. It is an IMMAF mandate that all affiliates sign up to our Anti-doping policy. By joining IMMAF, the MMAFR agrees for all its athletes to undergo doping controls at IMMAF championship events and demonstrates its commitment to clean sport. We look forward to working with this established, well organised and dynamic federation; and to welcoming a Russian team to participate for the very first time in the IMMAF World Championships at UFC Fight Week.”

“We are delighted to have the MMA Federation of Russia on board. It is an important country in the world of MMA,” IMMAF CEO Densign White said. “I am sure that going forward we will enjoy a successful collaboration with some big events, and that the bar will be raised across IMMAF competitions. I would like to thank President Oleg Taktarov for his allegiance.”

@kenaiandrews

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Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.
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