The organisers of the 2023 African Games have announced the inclusion of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) into the wider sports programme for the event set to take place in March 2024 in Accra, Ghana.

The news comes after a revision of the initial programme which will now see MMA joining, e-sports, speedball, sambo and teqball as part of the demonstration sports which sit alongside the 15 Olympic sports already announced, many of which will offer Olympic qualification opportunities for the Paris 2024 Games, and the 10 Non-Olympic Sports.

“Adding Mixed Martial Arts into the programme of sports is a very positive sign that Africa is ready to welcome the newer sports and those sports that have a great global interest. There are many youngsters not only in Ghana, but across Africa that are participating in MMA and these games provide a great opportunity to witness the best athletes in Africa competing in this exciting sport,” said President of the Ghanian National Olympic Committee, Ben Nunoo Mensah.

With the inclusion of MMA into these continental games, organised by the African Union (AU), the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), the Association of African Sports Confederations (AASC), and the Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA), it is another extremely positive step forward for GAMMA which already has 24 recognised and active member federations in Africa.

Having received official recognition from the AASC in 2022, this is another major milestone for the continued growth and increased visibility of GAMMA as the International Federation for MMA. “GAMMA has been doing great work to develop MMA in Africa and we were very pleased to acknowledge that last year with recognition by our organisation. Now, the inclusion of MMA in the African Games is another significant step for the ongoing development of the sport across the African continent,” said President of the AASC, Ahmed Nasser.

Commenting on the inclusion of GAMMA and MMA into the event, GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt said, “One of our core missions as an organisation is to ensure we are offering the best competition opportunities for our entire MMA community. We are absolutely delighted that the organisers have included us as one of the demonstration sports and we hope that this will be a catalyst for inclusion in other multi-sport games in the future. The work of our organisation, the quality of our athletes, our ability to stage the very best events, and the value of our global community is being recognized by our inclusion and this event will surely help our sport to continue its rapid growth.”