On Thursday morning the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation announced they officially joined forces the Republic of Ireland under the Irish Amateur Pankration Association (IAPA). The news was broken yesterday by Irish media outlet, Severe MMA, as revealed by UFC Senior Vice President and General Manager of Europe, Middle East and Africa, David Allen, during the UFC’s visit to Dublin to promote UFC 189: Aldo vs McGregor.

“We are happy to welcome the IAPA to IMMAF and very much look forward to seeing the Republic of Ireland represented at the IMMAF World Championships of Amateur MMA in Las Vegas this year,” stated IMMAF CEO Densign White.

“The Irish Amateur Pankration Association is delighted to have officially become a member of the International MMA Federation,” added IAPA spokesperson Deano Sullivan. “We hope to work closely with our international colleagues to promote and support the development of MMA during these very exciting times.”

Founded in late 2014, the IAPA was created with the sole purpose of “creating a framework where Irish Mixed Martial Arts and its associate clubs, coaches & fighters would become recongized as a legitimate sport in Ireland…under the all-encompassing umbrella of the Irish Sporting Council (ISC).”

Its founders originally worked to create of a National Body of Associated Clubs, and then a National Governing Body focused on the Amateur and recreational sides of the sport. To date, the movement has garnered incredible support across the Republic of Ireland. This was not more relevant by the impressive turnout at January’s “Injury Prevention in MMA” event in Dublin organized by IAPA founder and president John Kavanagh, who also serves as head coach of Ireland’s famed Straight Blast Gym

The new organization has taken its name from its association with the 60 year old Irish Amateur Wrestling Association (IAWA). The IAWA is Ireland’s National Governing Body for wrestling and associated grappling arts, including Pankration. It was through a positive working relationship with the IAWA that the Irish Amateur Pankration Association was enabled to form a MMA sub-committee.

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José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.