The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has announced its decision to suspend the membership of the Russian MMA Union (RMMAU) and the Federation of Hand-to-Hand Fighting & MMA of Belarus.
The announcement was made through their official website last day and it barred the Russian and Belarusian federations from participating in the IMMAF events for the foreseeable future. The suspension will also force Russia out of the inaugural MMA Super Cup which is scheduled to happen during the BRAVE International Combat Week in Bahrain from March 8.
Apart from participation, Russia and Belarus will not be able to hosts IMMAF events in the country as well for the foreseeable future.
“It is with sadness that the IMMAF board has taken this decision as we believe in the power of sport to unite people beyond politics. However, the homeland of our friends and colleagues in the MMA League of Ukraine is under attack and they have been forced from competing in next week’s Super Cup as they take to defending their country. We are compelled to unite with global sport in showing solidarity with Ukraine,” IMMAF President Kerrith Brown noted in an official statement.
The ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict has already made headlines in the sporting world with a long list of sporting organizations issuing sanctions against Russia for their actions.
Russia was excluded from international ice skating, skiing, basketball, track and field, and several tennis events on Tuesday, a day after being barred from soccer and hockey, Vladimir Putin's favorite team sport. The decisions come in response to the Foreign Olympic Committee's request that international sports federations keep Russian competitors out of their tournaments.
World Taekwondo had taken away the honorary black belt of Vladimir Putin as well last day.
What do you think of the announcement from IMMAF? Let us know in the comment section of the article below.