The highly anticipated GAMMA European Championships will kick off tomorrow in Kyiv, Ukraine, with some 120 athletes from approximately 15 countries expected to compete.

The event, which will run from 5-9 November at the Palace of Sports, will feature some of the continent’s best young amateur athletes competing in MMA and Striking MMA disciplines.

Striking MMA, introduced by GAMMA at the Asian Championships in August this year, is considered the perfect gateway into traditional MMA for athletes looking to transition from purely striking styles such as boxing, kickboxing and muaythai as it prohibits ground fighting.

Teams from across Europe will begin arriving tomorrow for registration, followed by weigh-ins and the competition draw on Saturday, with bouts scheduled to run from Sunday through Tuesday in front of a live audience. The action will also be streamed live on GAMMA’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

Medals will be awarded in 16 weight categories (9 for men and 7 for women).

For the first time, GAMMA will conduct an anti-doping education seminar for athletes and their entourages in Kyiv. Some of the topics to be covered include athletes’ rights and responsibilities, the dangers of doping, doping control processes, and the role of coaches and support staff in keeping the sport clean.

In addition, GAMMA is set to become the first International Federation in the world to introduce random hydrated weight testing at its events, beginning with the European Championships. The introduction of hydrated weight testing is aimed at discouraging dramatic weight loss/gains to tip the weigh-in at a specific number, which can be extremely dangerous to athletes. Further details on the GAMMA hydrated weight protocol can be found here.

“As the global governing body for mixed martial arts, GAMMA not only organises events for aspiring athletes,” said GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt. “It is imperative that we also do what’s right for the sport in terms of athlete safety and well-being, which includes initiatives such as the seminar on anti-doping and hydrated weight testing. Ensuring the safest and cleanest possible environment for our athletes allows the athletes to compete at their best on a level playing field.”

For more information on the GAMMA European Championships and live results, click here.