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The World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA) is a sanctioning organization for professional mixed martial arts.[1] WAMMA lists its goals as "promoting the integrity, legitimacy and longevity of mixed martial arts" through unified rule sets and rankings.[2] The organization's slogan is "One Belt One King."

WAMMA's goals are to invest in the sport of MMA by way of contributions to a fighter pension fund, insurance programs for fighters, financial education seminars, and referee and judge training. Unlike traditional "sanctioning bodies" WAMMA does not charge a sanctioning fee to promoters and does not place a tax on a fighter's purse. WAMMA also outsources its rankings to an independent ranking board composed of over 20 prominent MMA journalists.

HistoryEdit

On November 15, 2007 the World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts (WAMMA) was announced at a press conference held at Gallager's Steak House, New York,[3] given by Michael B. Lynch, boxing attorney Fred Levin, former Buffalo Bills coach Kay Stephenson, and Dave Szady.

On June 14, 2008 it was announced that the fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Tim Sylvia at Affliction: Banned would be for the newly created WAMMA Heavyweight Title. Emelianenko defeated Sylvia and became the first WAMMA Heavyweight champion.[4]

On December 29, 2008 it was announced that the Shinya Aoki vs. Eddie Alvarez fight at Dynamite!! 2008 would be for the vacant WAMMA Lightweight Championship.[5] Shinya Aoki defeated Eddie Alvarez and became the first WAMMA Lightweight Champion.

On January 24, 2009 at Affliction: Day of Reckoning, Fedor Emelianenko defeated Andrei Arlovski and successfully defended his WAMMA Heavyweight Title.

On February 11, 2009 WAMMA announced they would also start ranking the top ten female MMA fighters for three weight classes (125, 135 and 145 pounds).[6]

On March 5, 2009 WAMMA released their rankings for female MMA fighters and new names for the 3 weight classes they would be ranking. 125lbs became bantamweight, 135lbs became super bantamweight, and 145lbs became featherweight.

On March 18, 2009 the WAMMA top ten fighter rankings debuted on ESPN.com's original mixed martial arts studio show, MMA Live. With plans to update the WAMMA rankings each month on the program.

In April 2009, then current COO Mike Lynch announced an amicable departure from WAMMA to pursue other business opportunities. Lynch remains with WAMMA as a consultant.

On May 19, 2009 Vice President Pat Miletich and interim COO Sam Caplan announced their departure from WAMMA.[7]

For a period over June/July 2009 WAMMA did not updated their website, MMA men's rankings, or responded to media inquiries, causing some to speculate that the organization may be dead. A poster on Sherdog visited the former WAMMA offices and found them deserted. [1]

On August 2, 2009, the WAMMA women's rankings committee updated the women's rankings, establishing that the organization is still functioning. [WAMMA official site, wamma.com/rankings]

On August 20, 2009 WAMMA announced a partnership with Brand Asset Digital. WAMMA CEO Dave Szady also addressed the rumors of WAMMA's demise saying "WAMMA is alive and well, and growing. We are in the process of relocating to new office space in Pensacola and will resume our rankings this month." [8]

On August 25th, 2009 Andrew Falzon was announced as the organization's new rankings chair, having succeeded John Morgan, of MMAJunkie. Falzon's MMA credits include writing for ESPN.com and FIGHT Magazine, post-fight interviewer for the now defunct International Fight League, play-by-play voice for local MMA organizations and guest appearances on the Fox News Fight Game and NBCSports.com.

On November 7th, 2009 Emelianenko defeated Rogers in defense of his WAMMA Undisputed World Heavyweight Championship.

List of WAMMA events Edit

Template:Br Template:Start box |- ! Event ! Championship contested ! Date ! Location |- |Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers |Heavyweight |November 7, 2009 |United States flag Hoffman Estates, IL, USA |- |Affliction: Day of Reckoning |Heavyweight |January 24, 2009 |United States flag Anaheim, CA, USA |- |Dynamite!! 2008 |Lightweight |December 31, 2008 |Japan flag Saitama, Japan |- |Affliction: Banned |Heavyweight |July 19, 2008 |United States flag Anaheim, CA, USA |- Template:End box

Challenges Edit

Seeking to unify rulesets and rankings, WAMMA requires unified consensus or acceptance of its legitimacy. The UFC is dominant in the sport and has not volunteered its recognition of WAMMAs legitimacy. Without the UFC's recognition, WAMMA continues to lack a large portion of the sport. Promotions such as Affliction, Adrenaline MMA, StrikeForce, Dream, K-1 and M1 had all worked with WAMMA or expressed an interest in cooperating for undisputed, unified titles. WAMMA stated that the UFC has not expressed interest in cross-promotion of any sort. As of February 2010, over 75 percent of WAMMA's top ranked fighters are held under contract by Zuffa, LLC the parent company of UFC and WEC.

Another significant challenge was to the goal of WAMMA to unify the varied rulesets is the differing rules used between countries and within the United States. The UFC adopted the the "Unified Rules", created by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) and New Jersey State Athletic Commission (NJSAC). Then the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC), along with members of the NJSAC and the CSAC,[9] proposed a new ruleset that changed weight classes, gave a clearer definition of the "back of the head", clarified other illegal strikes, and banned tactics such as smothering.[10] The UFC did not adopt the changes.[10] Although New Jersey's athletic commission was present at the ABC's meeting in Montreal and supported the rule changes, it opposed the ruleset because of the weight classes. The NJSAC also opposed the ruleset because California, Nevada, and Florida's athletic commissions would have to accept the changes to keep the rules unified.[10]

Champions Edit

Weight Class Champion Date Location Defenses
Heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko
Def. Tim Sylvia at Affliction: Banned
July 19, 2008 Anaheim, California, US
Lightweight Shinya Aoki
Def. Eddie Alvarez at Dynamite!! 2008
December 31, 2008 Saitama, Japan

External links Edit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Avila, David A. (February 21, 2008). Will sanctioning organization help MMA?. MSNBC.com. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  2. About WAMMA. WAMMA Official website (2008). Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  3. DreamFighters.com exclusive interview with WAMMA C.O.O, Michael B. Lynch. DreamFighters.com (July 7, 2008). Retrieved on January 27, 2009.
  4. Cain, Jeff (July 21, 2008). Fedor re-establishes role as top heavyweight. MMAWeekly.com. Retrieved on January 13, 2009.
  5. Winner of Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki to be recognized as WAMMA lightweight champion. fiveouncesofpain.com. Retrieved on July 26, 2009.
  6. WAMMA to Launch First Official Female Rankings. WAMMA. Fightnetwork.com. Retrieved on February 18, 2009.
  7. Miletich and Caplan Resign from WAMMA. Mmaopinion.com. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  8. WAMMA Announces Partnership with Brand Asset Digital. WAMMA. World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts/ WAMMA. Retrieved on August 20, 2009.
  9. Hamlin, Tom (July 10, 2008). Commissions not sold on new MMA rules. MMAWeekly.com. Retrieved on January 25, 2009.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Cofield, Steve (July 8, 2008). ABC makes new rules, UFC says no thanks. Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved on January 21, 2009.

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