With Mixed Martial Arts growing into a mainstream sporting power, a team of business and combat sport veterans today launched WAMMA, the first sanctioning body for the burgeoning sport. The World Alliance of Mixed Martial (WAMMA) will create the first weight division ranking system for MMA fighters, establish unified rules for the sport, ensure the safety and welfare of the fighters, and sanction world championship bouts. Most important, it will provide unifying legitimacy to the sport by enabling the best fighters in the world to face off against each other, no matter the promotion they work for.
WAMMA was announced at a press conference today at the New York City sports bastion Gallagher’s Steak House in Manhattan. The press conference was lead by David Szady along with former wrestling star Bill Goldberg, MMA Legends Pat Miletich and Don Frye, noted boxing manager Godwin Asifo, and nationally known attorney Michael Lynch.
WAMMA will be headed up by President and CEO David Szady, a retired 33-year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. During his career with the FBI, David served as Assistant Director for Counter Intelligence, as a Presidential appointee as the first National Counter Intelligence Executive, and two years as the head of the CIA’s Counter Espionage Group.
“WAMMA is here to stay,” said Szady. “All of the promotions have great fighters and deserving champions, but there are simply too many champions in too many varying weight divisions – it is confusing to the average fan. WAMMA will change that by sanctioning unified world championship fights, increasing the integrity and viability of the sport for the fighters and the fans, while at the same detracting nothing from individual MMA promotions.”
To rank fighters by weight division, WAMMA has established an independent ranking committee composed of some of the most knowledgeable figures in the MMA world. The ranking committee will operate much as the panel of sportswriters who determine the Associated Press college football and basketball rankings does. It will operate independently of the WAMMA management, which will have no influence over the rankings. The committee will be responsible for ranking the top-10 fighters in each weight division and recognizing a unified champion in each.
In addition to the ranking committee, WAMMA has established committees to oversee three other areas:
* International MMA Relations
* Fighter Safety
* Referee and Judge Evaluations
WAMMA is also proud to announce that the world-renowned Andrews Institute and famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews have agreed to serve as the sanctioning body’s Medical Advisory Board. This partnership will enable WAMMA to enhance its ability to care for fighters both in and out of the ring.
WAMMA’s “Gloves” insignia was designed and created for the organization by LeRoy Neiman, the world famous American artist best known for his brilliantly colored images of sporting events and figures.
“We couldn’t have been more honored to have LeRoy Neiman supporting us,” said Michael Lynch, Executive Vice President and COO of WAMMA. “To have someone of his stature design our insignia speaks to the support WAMMA has already received from the sports world.”
The International Fight League was represented by Gareb Shamus, Kurt Otto, Jay Larkin and Joe Favorito. Boxing promoter Lou DiBella was also in attendance.