Abu Dhabi has consolidated its position at the forefront of combat sports with the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation expanding its mandate to oversee the development of mixed martial arts.
The rebranded UAE Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Federation formed a committee to develop a variety of MMA disciplines aimed at nurturing a new generation of athletes who can compete on the local and global stage.
During its latest meeting, the federation’s board of directors, headed by Abdulmunam Al Hashemi, chairman of UAEJJF and president of the Jiu-Jitsu Asian Union, endorsed the formation of the new committee.
Mohammed bin Dalmouk Al Dhaheri has been appointed chairman of the new committee which includes leading figures in UAE combat sports. Mohammed Jassim Al Hosani is the secretary-general. Committee members include Mubarak El Menhali, UAEJJF technical director; renowned MMA coach Umidjon Mavlyanov, and Fouad Darwish, chief executive of Palms Sports management company.
“MMA is one of the fastest growing sports and has been popular in this region for so many years,” Al Dhaheri said.
“Jiu-Jitsu, being one of the foundations of MMA, is the UAE’s national sport. So it is the natural next step for the disciplines to combine. We are tremendously proud of the work we have done at the UAEJJF and the new UAE Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts Federation will take the sports to an unprecedented stage.
“We are fortunate to have the steadfast support of the UAE leadership and the federation will repay that faith by continuing to raise awareness of jiu-jitsu and MMA as sports that promote discipline, determination, respect and a healthy lifestyle.”
The committee will enhance the presence of MMA by building on the growing popularity of the sport in the region. It will work to develop policies that promote the sport, in co-operation with various stakeholders and partners.
“The UAE has what it takes to create world-class competencies in MMA, able to participate in regional and international competitions,” Mavlyanov said.
“MMA will follow the same approach followed by jiu-jitsu players in the UAE, who have achieved global successes and recognition, by providing them with an ideal environment for training and developing skills.
“I expect that there will be a promising future for MMA with a clear vision to enhance the country's position in these fantastic sports.”