The Dutch Combat Sports Association gave its support to international governing body GAMMA in its organisation of MMA as a demonstration discipline in the 2023 African Games in Accra.

Founded in January 2024, the Dutch Combat Sports Association (Nederlandse Vechtsport Bond NVB) is the government appointed national governing body and regulator for amateur and professional kickboxing, Muay Thai and mixed martial arts in the Netherlands. The organisation is an associate member of the Dutch National Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF) and in the process of obtaining full recognition this year. GAMMA Netherlands sits among its members.

For MMA’s inaugural Olympic moment in the African Games, the Dutch Combat Sports Association (NVB) lent its support to the event in the areas of commissioning and medical safety protocol.

Dutch Combat Sports Association Board Member and Medical Committee Member, Dr. Hagen Biermann, attended the event as a delegate.

On behalf of the Dutch NGB, Biermann commented:

“I was extremely impressed with professionalism shown in the organisation of the event, which was managed under very challenging circumstances by GAMMA and their partners in Africa.  It is an excellent achievement for GAMMA to have obtained inclusion for MMA in the African Games that reflects well on the NVB as we promote the recognition of combat sports and MMA under the Olympic movement. MMA in the African Games displayed all the core values of the NVB – Integrity, Social involvement, Professionalism, Ambition, Constructive Attitude and Accessibility. I was proud to be there, to be a part of it.”

GAMMA President Alexander Engelhardt who has a deep knowledge of the landscape of combat sports in the Netherlands was pleased about the NVB’s support of the event in Accra:

“Historically, combat sports in the Netherlands has been based on promotions and there has been a missing link to the structures of an international sport federation. By being a part of the African Games, the NVB has been exposed to the organisation of an international event within the context of the Olympic movement, which is a very different challenge. The foundation of the NVB is an opportunity for combat sports to grow even faster and to align with the values of GAMMA which will be extremely important for the sport of MMA in the Netherlands. We are looking forward to working closer together in the future.”