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MMA Federation of Russia joins IMMAF

Jim Edwards



As per press release …

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) is proud to announce the affiliation of the MMA Federation of Russia (MMAFR).

Registered with the Russian Ministry of Justice since 2012, the MMAFR is headed by UFC veteran Oleg Taktarov, who is also known for featuring in movies that include Predators, National Treasure, Bad Boys 2 and Rollerball. The organisation is partnered with the Russian Union of Martial Arts and the Committee of Non-Olympic and National Sports of Russia.

Between 2012 and 2015 the MMAFR conducted more than 150 regional tournaments, 34 tournaments nationwide and 12 international tournaments. The MMAFR comprises 54 regional federations, each with its own office, and clubs and athletes’ membership totalling more than 5,000 athletes. The organisation is well supported in Southern Russia, especially in the Caucasian Mountain region.

The stated objectives of the federation are to develop and promote MMA in Russia; to increase the role of physical culture and sports in the full and harmonious development of the personality; to promote health and healthy lifestyles; to strengthen the position and prestige of MMA internationally through the participation of Russian athletes; to expand the network of sports clubs and youth sports schools; and to train highly skilled athletes.

MMAFR President, Oleg Taktarov, commented:

“There are two values for the MMA Federation of Russia that sets us apart: 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.”

IMMAF President, Kerrith Brown, said:

“Russia is vast territory that boasts a wealth of MMA talent and is of political importance. 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.”

IMMAF CEO, Densign White, said:

“We are delighted to have the MMA Federation of Russia on board. It is an important country in the world of MMA. 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.”

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UFC Announces Liverpool Event, Darren Till Main Event



Scousers are drowning in celebration this evening. Earlier today, UFC officials announced the addition of a Liverpool show to their 2018 event calendar. Liverpool’s, Echo Arena, plays host for the event, which takes place on May 27th.

GDANSK, POLAND – OCTOBER 21: (R-L) Darren Till of England punches Donald Cerrone in their welterweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event inside Ergo Arena on October 21, 2017 in Gdansk, Poland. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Liverpool’s own, Darren Till made the announcement this afternoon with Dan Hardy at the UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Volkov, ceremonial weigh-in. When asked by Hardy what it means to have the UFC in Liverpool, he had this to day, “Words can’t describe it. It doesn’t do it justice, words. So, it’s coming and I’m going to be the first Scousers to ever have done it. In 200 years they’re going to remember my name in combat sports in Liverpool. I’m gonna take someones chin off in Liverpool, that’s what’s happening”.

He was also quoted in an release from the promotion saying, “I can’t believe UFC is finally coming to Liverpool and I’m going to be headlining Echo Arena. My name is going to be remembered in 200 years time for being part of this historical event and I can’t even describe how much that means to me”. Till will headline the card, his opponent is yet to be announced.

In the official release, it quotes David Shaw, Senior Vice President International and Content, claiming, “The stars really aligned for the Octagon to touch down in Liverpool. We have seen such phenomenal demand from fans in the region for a live event. Pair that with having such a rising, local star in Darren Till it made absolute sense to bring our first live event to this historical combat sports city in 2018”.

UFC Liverpool lands on a date speculated for a different venue, in a different country. Reports swirled last month, specifically one from, which claimed the May 27th date belonged to the UFCs return to Dublin. A return to Dublin doesn’t seem to fall completely out of the realm of possibility. For now, it remains to be seen.

The UFC also announced two bouts, both in the Middleweight division, booked for the event. Elias Therodorou takes on Trevor Smith, and Daniel Kelly goes up against England’s Tom Breese.

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Marco Reyes Flagged for Potential Anti-Doping Policy Violation



Earlier today, UFC officials announced that Lightweight, Marco Reyes was flagged for a potential UFC Anti-Doping Policy violation. The potential violation hails from a sample collected on March 8th, 2018, in an out-of-competition test.

Reyes made his way into the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, season 2. Competing in the lightweight bracket, Reyes defeated Christhian Soto by 2nd rd. TKO of a preliminary round bout. He then went onto to face Horacio Gutiérrez, in the semifinals of the tournament. Gutiérrez defeated Reyes in the opening round by TKO.

Following his elimination from the tournament, the Mexican fighter met Cezar Arzamendia on the series finale, The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale. Reyes impressively defeated Arzamendia, whom was the first overall pick for Team Gastelum, by 1st round KO.

From there, Reyes defeated Dong Hung Kim (rd. 1, KO), and Jason Novelli (Split Decision) respectively, before falling to rising contender James Vick. Most recently, the Lightweight fighter dispatched Matt Frevola in the opening round, ruining the Long Islanders promotional debut. His bout against Frevola took place at UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi, on January 14th of this year.

The UFC statement on the matter reads as follows:

The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Marco Reyes of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on March 8, 2018.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Reyes. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
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Dillon Danis to make Pro debut against Kyle Walker at Bellator 198



Mixed Martial Arts officially adopted another incredibly talented jiu-jitsu practioner today. Bellator officials announced today the long-awaited debut of Dillon Danis, whom the promotion had signed in the year previous. After zero amateur and countless jiu-jitsu matches, Danis makes his debut at Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, against Kyle Walker.

Kyle Walker enters the match up also making his Bellator debut. Walker recently made a resurgence in 2016 after taking off, almost exactly, 3 years. Since returning to the professional scene his record is 0-3, losing each fight by stoppage (2 Sub, 1 KO).

Walker looks to snap his streak yet, his opponent could provide a major challenge. In terms of advantages for Walker, he has a massive and obvious one. His experience. Walkers opponent fights for the first time in the sport of MMA. While Danis competed in many top-level jiu-jitsu tournaments and matches, comparing the competition would stop and end upon examining the rule sets. It is quite obvious, the difference. Danis will have a bit of adversity to overcome, in that respect.

In spite of this, Danis’ team, he trains out of the highly regarded SBG Ireland. Even before his MMA training, he trained under Marcelo Garcia. He earned his black belt in April of 2015, following an incredible 2014. In that year, Danis became UAEJJF World Champion, winning gold in the 82 kg (181 lb.) Brown belt category.

The prospect of what that could look like inside the cage is exciting. He may have developed some striking techniques but, the lack of time dedicated to that training in undeniable. Experience and time is required to develop skills of any kind.

Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, takes place on Saturday, April 28th from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Bellator 198 features the third of four preliminary bouts in the promotions Heavyweight Grand Prix, Fedor Emelianenko takes on Frank Mir. It serves as the nights main event. Other bouts on the card feature; Emmanuel Sanchez against Sam Sicilia, Neiman Gracie faces Javier Torres, Rafael Lavato Jr. vs. John Salter, and more.

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