GAMMA Nigeria MMA National Amateur Championship Ignites Abuja

The maiden Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) National Amateur Championship for fighters from North-west and central zones of the country, ignited Abuja at the weekend in Continental Hotel, as the best MMA athletes battled for places for the grand finale leading to the selection of the team representing Nigeria in the MMA World Championship 2024, Jakarta, Indonesia this December.

The tournament organised by Boxing & MMA Hall of Fame, the official representative of the Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts (GAMMA) in Nigeria in partnership with Abuja Continental Hotel, the Official Host of the Championship, included MMA fighters from Kwara, Kogi, Kaduna, Kebbi, Niger, Nasarawa, Plateau, Benue, and FCT Abuja, took part in the one-day tournament, with the top fighters qualifying for the next stage of the championship.

As part of the program, the organisers hosted the first open National Referees and Judges Seminar and certification program which was managed by GAMMA Nigeria International judges and referees, who attended and officiated in the 13th African Games in Accra, Ghana. The program was organised free of charge to all interested officials and resulted in the certification of seven new officials as “MMA Judge – National LEVEL C” and one official as ‘MMA Referee – National Level C’.

The event was attended by former Minister of Information, Mr. Lai Mohammed and some ranking lawmakers with the ex-minister commending the organisers for showing interest in the development of lots of the youth and by putting such a well-organised tournament together. He said, such an event would afford the youth to channel their energy meaningfully as well as earn a living in life.

On behalf of the Continental Hotel Group, Lawrence Ochenje, Representative of Abuja Continental Hotel said: “It is a pleasure to have you here for this exciting event. Youth development has been greatly influenced by sports globally, and we are honored to play a part in hosting this Championship. The Abuja Continental has a rich history of hosting various international, local, and monumental events with exceptional hospitality standards since the 1990s.”

In some of the bouts decided in the women’s division witnessed Beauty Akatiku of Nasarawa beating her state counterpart Zubair Fatimoh in the -56Kg, while Felix Stephanie of Plateau also defeated Yusrallah Abdulraheem of Kaduna in the 65kg.

In the men’s fights, Tarkpe Stephen of Benue was ahead of Uthman Ahmed of Kwara in -60kg, Aliyu Taofeeq of Kogi outscored Abdulazeez Abdulrahman of Abuja in -77kg, Ovye Charles of Nasarawa defeated Momoh Itopa of Abuja in the -66kg and David Ezekiel of Abuja was ahead of Joseph Jackson

of Nasarawa in all departments in the -70kg.

The tournament is one of the series of national tournaments targeting officials and athletes from the six geopolitical zones reaching the National Final which will act as qualifiers for the December GAMMA World Championship in Jakarta, Indonesia. This Championship which was supported by Continental Civil and General Construction Company Limited and its director – Mr. Niyi Oyedele, also marks another big step on the road of the development of sports and youth, especially giving young, talented sportsmen a platform to fulfil their dreams.

It would be recalled that the Boxing and MMA Hall of Fame hosted the maiden national MMA championship in Lagos, where 9 of the MMA fighters that featured at the 13th African Games emerged, with five of them claiming gold medals in Ghana and placing Nigeria on the top of the medal tally.

Related Articles