GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt says he supports calls for IOC recognition of MMA, but not by use of online petitions and social media polls.

We hope you, your families, and friends within and beyond mixed martial arts have been keeping safe and well over this challenging time. GAMMA remains highly committed to providing a global platform for promising amateur mixed martial arts athletes to showcase their skills and talents, and we cannot wait until we can all see each other again in competitions around the world.

As countries start to ease lockdown restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of the COVID-19 virus, sports across the world are slowly awakening from their respite during this pandemic.

It has come to our knowledge that there is an online public petition demanding formal recognition of mixed martial arts by the Olympic Movement and governments around the world.

While we fully support any objective of having mixed martial arts recognised officially as a sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), we believe in the collaborative and inclusive approach that should be taken with the Olympic family – the same values that the sport of mixed martial arts and the Olympic spirit celebrate. The use of online petitions and social media polls run against these values of respect and friendship.

As an international governing body for mixed martial arts, we will cooperate and work together with the various recognised international sports organisations such as the IOC, Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) etc. to ensure that GAMMA meets the requirements for formal recognition and help promote the Olympic movement around the world.

During this difficult time, while the impact of the Covid-19 virus has been felt all around the world, let us channel the spirit of the Olympics to our communities and the world. Let us come together in common humanity and stand together in compassion and solidarity.

Let us continue to remind each other that sports, not just mixed martial arts, have the power to inspire and unite people from different backgrounds, nationalities, races, sexual orientations and religions.

We are stronger together as one community regardless of which sport we represent, and we encourage you to stand united with GAMMA on our journey towards recognition with the IOC.

Yours sincerely,

Alexander Engelhardt