The Association Burkinabè de Mixed Martial Arts (ABMMA) has been granted official authorisation to practice MMA in Burkina Faso.

The Ministry of Sports, Youth and Employment granted its formal approval in a letter dated 24 May, 2024, following the submission by the ABMMA of a detailed file. This documented the technical services to date of President Mano and his team, their establishment of MMA in Burkina Faso and the association’s advancements on a sub-regional and international level.

Recognised as a legal entity since 2022 by the Ministry of Territorial Administration, Decentralization and Security following several years informal MMA practice, ABMMA had already established a relationship with the Ministry of Sports, Youth and Employment and was endorsed to represent Burkina Faso in international competitions.

It was with Ministry approval that ABMMA organised a national MMA team to participate in the 13th African Games in March 2024 in Accra, Ghana, under the Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts (GAMMA).The team won three continental, Olympic bronze medals for their country in MMA’s debut on the platform, via successful performances from Issa Boussim (61.2kg), Sibiri Ben Ali Toe (93kg) and Gaoussou Sanou (120.2kg). Welcomed home as heroes, the team was received by the Minister of Sports, Youth, and Employment, to whom they presented their medals.

In April, ABMMA submitted its request for official authorisation to practice MMA as a sport in Burkina Faso. The Minister’s acceptance letter commended Mano’s “dynamism and your dedication to the promotion of this discipline”, assuring full cooperation and support to the federation’s application for full recognition.

ABMMA has established its schedule now for the coming sports season, which includes training and development sessions for athletes and coaches, national championships in October and planned participation in GAMMA’s World Championships in Jakarta in December.  In its development of structured progression pathways, ABMMA is committed to promoting and providing regulatory infrastructure for both the amateur and professional practice of MMA in the country.

President Abraham Yenbuado Mano commented:

“The official authorization for the practice of MMA in Burkina Faso is a major victory for all those involved in promoting this sport in Burkina Faso. It is the result of numerous efforts to demonstrate the potential of MMA as a sporting discipline capable of uniting, inspiring, and mobilizing young people around positive values.

This authorization provides ABMMA with legitimacy and a solid institutional framework to govern and promote this sport at the national level. This is in anticipation of the establishment of the Burkinabe MMA Federation, which is already underway but requires certain prerequisites and a longer procedure that we are actively working on.

For Burkinabe MMA, this official recognition firmly establishes MMA in the national sports landscape, allowing for better structuring and organization of competitions, training sessions, and promotional events. The official endorsement of MMA by the sports authorities of Burkina Faso sends a strong message to young people and sports enthusiasts. It helps to popularize MMA and attract new practitioners, while inspiring young people to adopt the values of discipline, courage, and resilience that are inherent in this sport.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Burkinabè sports authorities, and especially to the Minister, for their commitment and support.”