Pictured: Norway’s Camilla Mannes received her silver medal from MMA legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, at the 2016 IMMAF World Championships.
By IMMAF.org lead writer: Jorden Curran
The Norwegian MMA Federation (NMMAF) has confirmed the groundbreaking achievement of recognition for Amateur MMA under the Norwegian Sports Federation.
IMMAF – WMMAA, the World MMA Governing Body, has today been notified that the Norwegian Sports Federation (Norges Idrettsforbund – NIF) has agreed to accept the applications of the Norwegian Combat Federation (Norges Kampsportforbund – NKF) on behalf of MMA and Muay Thai.
The NKF serves as Norway’s umbrella body for recognized combat sports such as Karate, Jujutsu, Wushu and Krav Maga. Both Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Muay Thai are now officially members of NKF.
“This is great news for the sport of MMA, both as a recreational sport and for the athletes,” NMMAF President Henning Svendsen commented. “Amateur MMA has gained official recognition in Norway. This will make it much more efficient to manage and evolve the sport in solid and secure way.”
Previously, full contact MMA has been banned in Norway with significant obstructions placed on competition and no formal recognition, due to law banning any sport where victory or points could be scored via knockout. Previously, “Merkekamper” competition has been allowed with athletes able to compete in an inter-club setting under “sparring” rules agreed by the NMMAF with the Norwegian government.
In 2016, the 33-year “knockout law” ban was lifted for the sport of boxing following a Parliament vote in Oslo. Recognition for the NMMAF will now enable the national Amateur MMA body to begin government discussion with a view to implementing formal, sanctioned competition.
The positive development follows recent headlines in France where Minister of Sports, Roxana Mărăcineanu, has stated her plans to regulate MMA practice and (eventually) permit MMA competition in France. Currently, over 30 IMMAF – WMMAA member nations have achieved government or National Olympic Committee recognition.
“The NMMAF would like to thank NKF for all the assistance and help. Trond Søvik (NKF General Secretary) and Mari H. Pettersen (NKF Finance Secretary) have worked hard to make this happen. We are grateful to the NIF for a solid and fair decision to include MMA and Muay Thai.
“The NMMAF would also like to thank the IMMAF for its support over the years. August Wallen and George Sallfeldt (IMMAF founders) have helped and inspired us a lot. Last but not least, a big thank you to all the gyms and athletes in Norway that have supported the NMMAF since 2011. We are all one!”