On Wednesday morning The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation welcomed the Spanish Federation of Olympic Wrestling and Associated Disciplines (Federación Española de Luchas Olímpicas y Disciplinas Asociadas – FEL) into it’s ranks.

The Spanish Federation of Olympic Wrestling and Associated Disciplines has existed since 1932, initially overseeing Olympic wrestling and later Sambo, then Grappling from 2008 and Amateur MMA since 2011. It also governs other associated disciplines that include Police Personal Defense, Krav Maga, Beach Wrestling and Leonesa Wrestling.

Under the Spanish Olympic Committee and Sports Council and with government funding, the Spanish wrestling federation has been granted official rights to organize national championships for each of its disciplines, including Amateur MMA.

It also coordinates the participation of national teams in international tournaments that include European and World Championships, University Championships, European and Mediterranean Games and the Olympic Games. The Spanish Federation is affiliated to UWW (International Federation of Olympic Wrestling and Grappling), with FIAS (International Federation of Sambo), to CELA (European Wrestling Federation), ESF (European Federation of Sambo) and CMLA (Mediterranean Committee of Amateur Wrestling).

“The Spanish MMA community celebrates this great news of joining the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation, said FEL President Angel Lopez Rojo. “Through this association, Spanish athletes gain access to participate in the international Amateur MMA championships held by IMMAF.

“The affiliation with IMMAF also marks an adaptation of the Amateur MMA rules currently in use by us in Spain. The new rules will be applied at our next competition and at all national level MMA events moving forwards.”

Located in Madrid, the organization comprises 17 regional federations entrusted with its local operations and has more than 10,000 members. The group has five permanent national training centers where athletes train and study.

On March 5th 2016, this years’ Spanish Championship of Amateur MMA was held in the city of Gijon with the participation of 63 athletes from 26 clubs across 15 regions. The event was broadcast live by MARCA TV and NOASPORT and was followed online by more than 15,000 people.

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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.