The International MMA Federation has announced the return of its Africa Open Championships to Johannesburg, South Africa, as registration opened February 5 to MMA’s elite amateurs from around the globe.
Hosted by MMASA (Mixed Martial Arts South Africa), IMMAF’s three-day, nation vs nation tournament will take place this year at the new EFC Performance Institute from 15 – 18 April 2020, with the Tournament Draw on 14 April.
The Championships will be available to watch at IMMAF.TV and the programming schedule will be out 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.
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 opportunities and ranking points 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 has 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!”
Those wishing to compete should contact their National Federation for information.