The flagship of Swedish MMA, light-heavyweight #1 contender Alex “The Mauler” Gustafsson (16-2-0) will take on resurgent star #3 Anthony “Rumble” Johnson (18-4-0) at UFC on FOX 14 January 24th in Stockholm, Sweden.
The bout is expected to take place in front of more than 30,000 fans at the Tele2 Arena, making history as the first major stadium event in Europe and the second in UFC history.
“This is going to be an epic event,” Gustafsson said. “I want more than 30,000 fans to come and witness me win on January 24. Then I’m going to go and get the title! My journey back to the top starts now. ”
Meanwhile, Anthony Johnson has been on a tear, winning eight straight fights, including a vicious TKO over legend Antonio Minotauro Nogueira at UFC on FOX: Lawler vs Brown in July.
“This fight might be on his home turf, but I’m ready to go over to Sweden and prove that I’m the next in the line for the UFC light heavyweight title,” Johnson said. “I’m not intimidated by fighting in front of Alex’s hometown fans. I’m going to go in there and look for the knockout like I do in all of my fights. I can’t wait for this!”
In the co-main event, Dan Henderson (30-12-0) moves down to middleweight to take on Gegard Mousasi (35-5-2).
Jon Jones, Ronda Rousey, Chris Weidman, Anderson Silva, Conor McGregor, and Nick Diaz are amoung the UFC stars who will appear together at the UFC’s The Time is Now Nov. 17th live stream event at the The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas.
AIMMAA offers “open access to membership to everyone in India, from martial arts to sports enthusiasts to legitimate instructors from all combat sports,” according to a IMMAF press release.
It also has a dedicated division for police and military training and according to the Ministry of Sports policy, runs a separate division for women pledging to “actively promote women’s MMA all year round.”
Finally, AIMMAA also works with the Bollywood film industry to secure action roles for taleneted AIMMAA members and athletes.
“It is fantastic to at last be able welcome India to the IMMAF,” IMMAF Secretary General, Erika Mattsson said. “From no other country have we had more applications over the course of the last 2,5 years and interest in MMA is tremendous. It has been a long road for us to learn about MMA in India and assess how the IMMAF best supports the Indian MMA community, and we are now content that we have found a stable federation that will include all interested parties in the MMA community in its growing family. With its strong track record, increasing membership, extended network and well developed divisions, AIMMAA is a mature organization with much to bring to the international IMMAF community. We very much look forward to working with AIMMAA to develop Mixed Martial Arts regulation in India.”
The IMMAF in the release, issused the following statement:
“The National board members and working committees of the All India Mixed Martial Arts Association are privileged to join the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation. As India’s largest and oldest registered MMA organization we are honoured to represent the IMMAF in India. Our motto for the last 10 years has been to protect the athletes and promote the sport. The IMMAF affiliation helps take our sport and our organization to new heights. With an active membership database of over 5000 members covering trained and certified officials, trainers and fighters, we believe that this new partnership between the AIMMAA and the IMMAF will benefit the entire Indian MMA community.”
IMMAF requirements demand that AIMMAA promote democratic membership structures across India’s regions. The membership consists of four levels: Individual, Gym/Club, Town (a ‘Taluks’) and district/state.
District and state associations under the AIMMAA are required as part of AIMMAA’s criteria to register and establish their associations as per the rules of the Ministry of Sports, the Olympic associations and the School Games Federation. The IMMAF recommends all parties interested in developing MMA in India to contact AIMMAA and get involved.
National Technical Directors of the AIMMAA :
Alan Fenandes – MMA / BJJ
Daniel Isaac – MMA / Muay Thai
Yashpal Solanki – Judo Arjuna awardee
Kamal Mujtaba – boxing
Mohan Singh – kickboxing
Yashpal Kalsi – karate
Sharif Bapu – karate
Abbas Ali – Strength / conditioning
Lorelei Isaac – fitness / nutrition
Anup Kumar – wrestling
Mayur Bansode – karate / kickboxing
International Technical Consultants of the AIMMAA:
Marcus Olivera [ Brazil] – BJJ
Andy Wang [Taiwan] – BJJ / MMA
Dejan Tesic [ Serbia] – BJJ / Muay Thai
Suresh Gopi – Sambo , Jiu Jitsu and Pankration
Edgar Noordanus – Muay Thai
THE CROSSFIRE’S TAKE: These are all good words and worthy targets, but without the continued efforts and resources to back them up, they will be rendered meaningless. The IMMAF and its members should heed this warning: We’ll be watching.