LAS VEGAS, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ultimate Fighting Championship®, the world's leader in mixed martial arts (MMA), applauds the announcement made earlier today of the creation of the new International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF). The UFC wholeheartedly supports this new initiative as well as its leader, IMMAF President August Wallen, who will spearhead the initial growth of this Federation.
UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, who has helped lead the global growth of the UFC, feels that the timing is perfect. "In order to maintain the successful growth of our sport, it is important to invest in resources that will develop and cultivate it at an amateur level. Having an umbrella organization that will oversee and help build the sport on a global level will not only provide advanced and ever-improving safety standards but will also create a unified global model to help introduce the sport to new markets. It is our hope that it will also take us one step closer to witnessing the inclusion of the sport of MMA on the Olympic programme."
"The creation of this organization is long overdue," said Marc Ratner, Senior Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs. "MMA is the fastest growing sport in the world and we support the Federation's focus on providing a globally unified set of rules and safety measures to help keep all fighters safe. While there are many obstacles ahead in the formation of this international organization, we are confident of the outcomes and advancements this group will make for the future of our sport."
The UFC has long been committed to the growth and development of the sport of MMA. With broadcasts in over 150 countries and territories, to nearly one billion homes worldwide, in 20 different languages, and more than 30 live events annually worldwide, the UFC has helped introduce the sport to many new cultures and audiences.
The creation of the IMMAF will help to foster the development of the sport at the grassroots level and bolster the work being done by the UFC and all other MMA organizations worldwide, further developing the integrity and legitimacy of the sport.
To learn more about the International MMA Federation visit www.immaf.org.
About Ultimate Fighting Championship®
Universally recognized for its action-packed, can't-miss events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe, the UFC® is the world's premier mixed martial arts organization. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, and with offices in London, England, Toronto, Canada and Beijing, China, UFC® produces more than 30 live events annually and is the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world.
In 2011, the UFC burst into the mainstream with a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group. The agreement includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network annually, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programming broadcast on FOX properties FX and FUEL TV. This includes the longest-running sports reality show on television, The Ultimate Fighter®, which now air on FX in an exciting new live format.
In addition to its reach on FOX, UFC programming is broadcast in over 150 countries and territories, to nearly one billion homes worldwide, in 20 different languages. UFC content is also distributed commercially in the United States to bars and restaurants through Joe Hand Promotions. The UFC also connects with tens of millions of fans through its website, UFC.com, as well as social media sites Facebook and Twitter. UFC President Dana White is considered one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with nearly two million followers on Twitter.
Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs, an internationally distributed magazine, the best-selling UFC Undisputed® video game franchise distributed by THQ, UFC GYM®, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo® festivals, branded apparel, trading cards, and action figures.
SOURCE Ultimate Fighting Championship