The Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts will be changing its field of play for international, amateur MMA competitions from a ring to the fenced ‘MMA Arena’ to continue its athlete first approach, following a decision made by the GAMMA Executive Board during its first full meeting as a new board.

GAMMA’s Competition Rules allow for either a ring or fenced arena. Until now, GAMMA events have taken place in a specialised ‘MMA Ring’ which provides additional enclosure for the wrestling phases of a bout. The MMA Arena will now be used at all GAMMA Championships going forward, beginning with the European Championships in Slovakia next month.

The original choice to use an MMA Ring was influenced by preferences previously expressed from within the Olympic community, which GAMMA aspires to join, and public perception globally.

GAMMA’s decision to move to the MMA Arena reflects legal, cultural, and sports political shifts as well as aligning with the conditions that athletes are more regularly exposed to. A positive change in the public opinion of the sport has been brought about by rapid development, maturation, and increased popularisation, with MMA now unequivocally recognised as a sport by mainstream audiences. 

President Alexander Engelhardt said: “Our people are our greatest asset, and it is important that we listen to the requests coming from our community. Our number one priority is always our athletes, and we want to provide them with the very best competition experience without compromising safety. We have consulted a number of our stakeholders including the Members and the competition experts, and the decision to use the MMA Arena for our events going forward is to closer align to the conditions that our athletes experience in their own national competitions and in the professional promotions. I want to thank the Executive Board for taking this decision which will surely have a positive impact for the entire GAMMA community.”