Tag Archives: Vadim Finkelchtein

M-1 Arena grand opening and M-1 Challenge 100 to highlight 21st season for M-1 Global

In January the new M-1 Arena is scheduled to open in Saint Petersburg
SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia (December 29, 2017) — The grand opening of the state-of-the-art M-1 Arena in Saint Petersburgh, in addition to the celebration of M-1 Challenge 100 later in 2018, will highlight M-1 Global’s 21st season.
Plans in 2018 also include more events, expansion into new countries and, as the No. 2 MMA organization in the world, to keep giving its fans world-class competition, entertaining match-ups, innovative developments and even a few surprises.
M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein discussed a few of these subjects (see below) prior to the holidays.
Can you tell us about the new M-1 Arena?
VF: “M-1 Arena is an absolutely unique structure seating a maximum of 3000. It is built in the form of the Colosseum, stone and wood, with an incredible dome made of glulam, which gives the place perfect acoustics. Not only can we promote sporting events, but also music concerts. M-1 Arena allows us to have even more events and realize new ideas like, for example, a reality show. M-1 Arena will be multifunctional but martial arts will be the main form of entertainment held there.”
M-1 Challenge was more international last year in terms of showcasing more fighters from different countries like USA, Portugal, UK, Canada, South Korea, China, etc.  Do you plan to expand your fighter base even more this year and, if so, what countries are you targeting for fighters?
VF: “Usually, we hire fighters from countries where our events are being broadcasted. If we have new contracts with the countries from where we don’t have representative fighters, or only have a few of them, we are going to increase their number. The same for countries where we’ve held events because fans desire to see the local athletes fighting in the Rage. We give them an opportunity to see that.”
With the success of female MMA stars around the world do you plan to add a female division in 2018?
VF: “One day we will probably create a female division in M-1 Global. Right now, though, we don’t have enough strong female fighters to do it, yet. As soon as we are ready to make this happen, it will be done, but we don’t want to open a new division just to check the box. We want the best fighters to compete at the highest level.”
M-1 Global is closing in on your 100th M-1 Challenge event.  Do you plan to promote your 100th event in 2018?  If so can you provide any additional information about when, where, special plans, etc.
VF: M-1 Global has already promoted more than 200 events, including 85 M-1 Challenges, which was created in 2008. I think that this event will happen either in Saint-Petersburg or in Moscow, but we still have a lot of time left and a dozen other events before it. We are going to take care of it a bit later.”
M-1 has developed fighters who’ve moved on to the UFC and other organizations.  How do you feel about that trend?  Does it frustrate you that you to spend time building a fighter and then have him move on, or do you look at it as a compliment that M-1 Global develops fighters who can compete in the UFC and any other organization?
VF: “We can consider this situation from different perspectives. I’m not happy to let my best fighters go, of course, but it is what it is, and we are not ready to compete with UFC yet. Sometimes our fighters leave us. From another perspective, we are happy that our fighters who leave keep winning fights and become the top competitors in other promotions. It proves that the level of M-1 Global fighters is equal to the level of UFC fighters. The top athletes who left M-1 Global for UFC are in top positions there and other promotions don’t have such results. Other organization may make their fighters popular but, as soon as they move to UFC, they start losing and get released.
“Our company is probably the second MMA promotion in the world and when some fighters move to the strongest league on the planet, they take a step forward, which I like much better than when they move to weaker promotions than M-1 Global just to make more money.”
Any plans to do anything different this year than in the past, outside of the grand opening of the M-1 arena and possible 100th event?
VF: “The main difference will be that we are going to have our own home, M-1 Arena, which means we will be able to hold even more events. We’d like to have two events each month, 24 events a year. We opened our own TV channel (M1global.tv) and next year, MMA fans from former Soviet Republics will have an opportunity to watch all the fights. Using our iOS and Android App, viewers from all over the world can watch old and new fights right now, and next year we are going to make it even better. We are also going to create our own studio to produce different content, probably a new reality show with fighters from different countries.”
Will you have showcase M-1 Medieval fights this coming year?
VF: “Apparently, we will have some medieval fights in 2018, but the only issue is that we have a lot of fighters under contract, so it is not easy to find a place for M-1 Medieval fights on our cards. We make knight fights in regions where they are popular, like in Ingushetia and Finland in 2017, because fans demonstrated to us that they want to see them. I hope one day we’ll have more resources for them.”

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M-1 Global’s 20th anniversary a smashing success in 2017

M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein
SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia (December 27, 2017) — M-1 Global celebrated its 20thanniversary in style this past year, reestablishing itself as the preeminent mixed-martial-arts organization in Europe and Russia.
M-1 promoted 13 Challenges in 2017, 11 across Russia, as well as one each in China and Finland. Fighters from around the world competed including MMA superstars such as Sergey Kharitonov and Alexander Shlemenko, as well as rising stars Alexey Kunchenko and Artem Frolov.
M-1 Global founder and president Vadim Finkelchtein reviewed the 2017 season, answering a series of questions below:
Overall, how do you evaluate the 2017 M-1 Challenge season in terms of achievements and accomplishments as a promotional company?
VF: “First of all, we increased the number of events. Some were even rated among top 5 monthly sporting events on television, which is really an incredible achievement. We’ve almost finished building our new M-1 Arena and produced our own M-1 Be Strong Protein milkshake.”
You promoted events in different countries this past year like Finland.  Was M-1 embraced by those fans and, if so, why do you think so?
VF: “We held our first event in Finland and it was really successful. M-1 Challenge 82took place in Hartwall Arena, one of the largest venues in Finland, located in the capital of Helsinki. Many fans came to watch our promotion’s debut in that country and it became one of the biggest MMA events in Finland history. Scandinavia is a very interesting region for us. We have many fighters from Finland and next year we are going to hold another event there.
“We also had a big event in Harbin, China, which was a part of cultural program of Economic Forum. Many VIP visitors and thousands of fans gathered to watch the fights and it was a superb event. China is a prospective MMA market and we are going to work further, featuring more fighters from this country, and promote one or two event a year there.
“Next year, we are going to promote even more events in other countries, planning to hold M-1 Challenge shows in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, China, Finland, Germany and the USA.”
What was the M-1 highlight of the year?
VF: “This past year we had a lot of remarkable events and fights, so it’s very difficult to choose just one highlight. If I had to choose, the rematch between Alexander Shlemenko and Brandon Halsey was the highlight of the year. Thousands of people in Saint Petersburg on June 1st came to see the rematch and that liver-kick Alexander delivered made the crowd go crazy. In the first fight, Brandon won in 35 seconds, so Alexander wanted to revenge fast and it took him just 25 seconds. That was unbelievable and unforgettable!”
Compared to past years in what areas did M-1 improve in 2017?
VF: “Each year we have more high-level fighters and that is the main difference. MMA has been developing around the world and the competition is always getting tougher. Only the best fighters receive an opportunity to sign a contract with M-1 Global. We have an opportunity to choose the best fighters, increasing the level of fights, to make it impossible to predict the winners in advance. Furthermore, we increased the number of events and TV coverage with some new TV contracts worldwide.”
This was your 20th year.  When you started 20 years ago did you envision the success M-1 has had in MMA?
VF: “I could not imagine MMA would become so popular. I went through the entire MMA evolution and the past 20 years I’ve been working on the promotion to make it better each year. The path was not easy because many years ago this kind of sport was considered criminal. Many called it fights without rules and I had to work hard to make people think about it as a legitimate sport.”
M-1 added the flyweight division this past year.  Why and was it successful in the eyes of fans?
VF: “Flyweight fighters can produce incredible performances. It was necessary for us to create this division because we knew that there were lot of good flyweight fighters. They wanted to fight in M-1 and we made it happen. We already have the first champion and a several tough contenders. In 2018, the flyweight division will be very interesting.”
HEAVYWEIGHT (265 lbs., 120,2 kg)
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT (205 lbs., 93,0 kg)
MIDDLEWEIGHT (185 lbs., 83,9 kg)
Artem Frolov (10-0-0 (M-1: 7-0-0), Russia
WELTERWEIGHT (170 lbs., 77,1 kg)
Alexey Kunchenko (17-0-0 (M-1: 9-0-0), Russia
LIGHTWEIGHT (155 lbs., 70,3 kg)
Damir Ismagulov (14-2-0 (M-1: 9-1-0), Russia by way of Kazakhstan
FEATHERWEIGHT (145 lbs., 65,8 kg)
Khamzat Dalgiev (10-1-0 (M-1: 7-1-0), Russia
BANTAMWEIGHT (135 lbs., 61,2 kg)
Movsar Evloev (8-0-0 (M-1: 8-0-0), Russia
FLYWEIGHT (125 lbs., 56,7 kg)
Aleksander Doskalchuk (8-1-0 (M-1: 3-4-1), Ukraine
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One-on-One with M-1 Global president  Vadim Finkelchtein

SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia (August 16, 2017) – M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein recently sat down with mixfight.ru to discuss the recent M-1 Challenge 82 in Finland, M-1 Challenge 83 in next month in Kazan, Russia, and what fight he considers to be the most anticipated this autumn.

M-1 Challenge 82 tournament has just ended in Helsinki. Tell us your impressions and did everything go as planned beforehand?

VF: “Yes, the tournament fully met our expectations. We initially set it very high, promotingM-1 Challenge 82 at the largest venue in Finland, Hartwall Arena. In the history of Finland’s MMA tournaments, prior to our show, MMA shows had never been held in large arenas. There were halls for 1,500 to 2,000 viewers, at most, and that’s why M-1 Global had such as a large responsibility. I am very glad that we managed to fill the arena by 70-80 percent, setting record attendance for MMA tournaments in Finland. Our matchmakers did a great job. They managed to gather some of the best Finnish fighters for this tournament and found some worthy opponents for them as well. This attracted a lot of attention to the tournament, of course, for Finnish MMA fans.”

Do you plan to come back to Finland and hold tournaments on a regular basis there?

VF: “Undoubtedly! We have such intentions. We have seen good interest in our tournaments, not only on the part of the audience, but television and the media as well. This year we have signed a contract with one of the leading TV channels of Finland – RUUTU — to broadcast all M-1 Challenge tournaments. I think we will definitely return next year to Finland.”

When is the next M-1 Challenge tournament and where?

VF: “The next tournament will be held in Kazan (Russia) on September 23rd. This will be the first M-1 tournament in this city and we’re thoroughly prepared for it. The main event forM-1 Challenge 83 is a fight between Brandon Halsey and Mikhail Ragozin, one of the most promising Russian heavyweights. Mikhail is a pupil of Alexander Shlemenko, who is also a New Stream team fighter.”

Fans are now excited about the tournament in St. Petersburg, of course, especially the title super-bout between two bright punchers, Alexei Kunchenko and Sergei Romanov. What do you expect from this fight?
VF: “I’m sure this fight will be the pinnacle of the entire season in Russian MMA. This will be a duel between the two strongest fighters in this weight category in Russia, but it’s also a fight between two bright and prominent shock-punchers. Kunchenko has never been defeated. He is more experienced of the two, he has already won the belt and has defended it a few times. And Romanov is very hungry, winning fighter, who improves progressively as a professional from fight to fight. And, of course, there will be crowded fan sectors on his side in St. Petersburg. Already, as of today, 2 ½ months before the tournament, Sergey’s fans have bought more than 1000 tickets! I myself am looking forward to this fight!”




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M-1 Challenge Middleweight Champion Ramazan Emeev vs. Anatoly Tokov to Headline M-1 Challenge 73: Battle of Narts


December 9 in Ingushetia
(L-R) – Anatoly Tokov and Ramazan Emeev
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (October 13, 2016) – M-1 Global has announced a super showdown between M-1 Challenge middleweight champion Ramazan Emeev and knockout artist Anatoly Tokov to headline the December 9th M-1 Challenge 73: Battle of Narts in Ingushetia, Russia.
M-1 Challenge 73 will be streamed live from Ingushetia in high definition onwww.M1Global.TV. Viewers will be able to watch the preliminary fights and main card by logging on to register at www.M1Global.TV. Fans may watch all of the action on their computers, as well as on Android and Apple smart phones and tablets.
“The fight between Ramazan Emeev and Anatoly Tokov is the most anticipated fight in Russian MMA, “M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein said. “Both Tokov and Emeev are fighters of the elite level, not only in Russia, but in the world.  This fight is being held to achieve our main goal: to make the most spectacular match-ups between the strongest MMA fighters of our time.”
Emeev (14-3-0, M-1: 8-1-0), who was the M-1 Global 2015 Fighter of the Year, returns to action after suffering a torn ligament in his elbow, which forced the Azerbaijan native to withdraw from his scheduled M-1 Grand Prix Middleweight Championship fight withAlexander Shlemenko.
The 29-year-old Emeev, fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia, first captured the vacant M-1 Challenge middleweight title in 2012, taking a 5-round unanimous decision from Mario Miranda at M-1 Challenge 35, and he successfully won the rematch five months later atM-1 Challenge 38, stopping Miranda via strikes in the third round.
In 2014, Emeev lost his title belt to Vyacheslav Vasilevsky by way of a fourth-round knockout (punches) at M-1 Challenge 51 in 2014.  The resilient Emeev, however, bounced back to regain his throne as M-1 Challenge middleweight champion, using a choke hold to submit Vasilevsky in the opening round at
M-1 Challenge 56.
Emeev has successfully defended his title against Luigi Fioravanti, who was unable to continue after four rounds at M-1 Challenge 63, and this past April Emeev defeated Brazilian Maiquel Falcao (see picture above) at M-1 Challenge 65 in the first round by submission (choke).
Tokov (24-2-0, M-1: 9-1-0), 26, is a former ABC champion who fights out of Stary Oskol, Russia. He is riding a 17-fight win streak, including knockouts of Enoc Solves Torres atM-1 Challenge 54 and Albert Duraev at M-1 Challenge 46.
A feared striker with tremendous power, Tokov has stopped 14 of his 24 victims to date, resulting in him developing into one of MMA’s most spectacular fighters and a true rising MMA star throughout Russia and Europe.
Tokov can give and take


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Vadim Finkelchtein: “The Emelianenko-Maldonado situation is getting ridiculous”

MONTE CARLO, Monaco(July 28, 2016)- World MMA Association (WMMAA) Vadim Finkelchtein has gone public to explain the recent WMMAA decision regarding Team Maldonado’s appeal, which resulted in the change of the official Fedor EmelianenkoFabio Maldonado fight result to a draw, in addition to terminating its Head of Judges, Radmir Gabdullin.

WMMAA president Vadim Finkelchtein
Vadim, talk us through the appeal process. Why did you accept it in the first place since Russian MMA Union rejected Maldonado manager’s appeal?
VF: “Everyone could see what was going on in the media and MMA community after the bout. Being the founder of both the Russian MMA Union and World MMA Association, I received tons of messages and calls from people demanding an explanation about how it was possible for Russian MMA Union employees to officiate their own boss’ fight. I read hundreds of negative comments disparaging the Russian MMA Union and WMMAA. Some even went so far to say it was about Russian Mafia doing business there, all Russian judges are bought, etc. I tried to stay away from this debacle, since the fight occurred in another promotion, but when Maldonado’s manager sent an appeal to the WMMAA, asking to reassess the fight outcome, we couldn’t say no. WMMAA’s reputation was on the line as well as that of the Russian MMA scene, too.”
What did the process of choosing the reassessment commission look like and why was head judge Radmir Gabdullin suspended?
VF: “Basically, I had to make Radmir, as the WMMAA’s head judge, responsible for the whole process. However, since he was one of the reasons the appeal surfaced in the first place, the most logical decision was to suspend him temporarily and appoint WMMAA’s Secretary General (Alexander Engelhardt) to handle it.”
In his recent interview, Radmir Gabdullin belittled the significance of WMMAA’s verdict, stating it was all unofficial and that he had never received any appeal.
VF: “There’s nothing to comment about here. It’s a pure lie. I don’t understand what he was trying to accomplish by saying something like this. If necessary, I can show the manager’s e-mail with Russian MMA Union employees, Kamil Gadzhiev and WMMAA employees as recipients. Saying he’s never received an appeal is absurd and a silly excuse.”
At the same time he insulted the professionals that reassessed the fight by calling them incompetent.
VF: “When I read it my first reaction was vast disappointment. How could he, as the official head judge, state something like this towards his colleagues who he knows really well? He used to officiate multiple events with them. Their experience is ten or maybe even hundred times greater than Radmir’s. Marco Broersen has been officiating major European events, including KSW, M-1 Global and many others, for 15 years. He’d been working in this field when Radmir was still in school. It’s a shame for him to say something like that. It’s degrading for both Radmir and the Russian MMA Union.”
Can you explain why 24-year-old Radmir had been chosen to become the head judge in both WMMAA and Russian MMA Union having no experience or appropriate education whatsoever?
VF: “You know, it all started back in 2010-2011, when I decided to start developing amateur MMA in order to provide thousands of young athletes with career opportunities. For that to happen the MMA Union in Russia was necessary, as well as official recognition of Mixed Martial Arts as a sport. It was hard. I had no experience working in a Federation; plenty of paper work. We lacked a qualified staff when we started to look for people. I offered Fedor Emelianenko to be the Union president with me heading the WMMAA. Gabdullin’s name was mentioned by Fedor. He said there was this young and promising guy, let’s see what he can do. I agreed completely, although I realized he had neither experience nor knowledge.”
What was your reaction to Kamil Gadzhiev’s comments claiming in each interview that a draw was the best outcome, but after the result was changed by Sherdog following the WMMAA’s verdict, he changed his mind and promised to call and mail Sherdog to protest its action?
VF: “I had a phone chat with Kamil. He made it clear that he trusts the WMMAA and Russian MMA Union, while repeating his personal opinion that the draw would be the most righteous decision. I don’t know why his words were not consequently supported by his deeds.”
Russian MMA Union has a lot of officials. Yet, no one would comment on the situation, including Fedor himself. Why is that?
VF: “I can’t answer this question. Most important for me is justice and reputation and that holds for Russian MMA and WMMAA, too. I couldn’t choose sides, which is the reason why an international commission of judges was created. No one tried to take the other man’s victory, as some have claimed in comments. As the WMMAA president, I feel ashamed the situation went that far. The vast majority of the leading MMA sites supported the WMMAA’s verdict; Sherdog changed the outcome. Another example is the Match TV poll result, in which 56-percent of Russian voters said Fedor didn’t win the fight. ‘Big’ John McCarthy said it. Sergey Kharitonov,Alexey Oleinik and many others have said the same. People who have been cheering for Fedor for years realized that. And now we have one person stating the opposite, saying our decision is unofficial, that experienced judges have become incompetent in no time, and he’d never received an appeal. That’s a sad situation and we need to handle it appropriately. The world awaits sound and reasoned decisions but gets excuses and lies instead. Our reputation is on the line because of that.”
Schedule of Major 2016 MMA Events
Aug.3-8 – Asian MMA Championship in Hwasun, South Korea
Sept. 14-16 – European MMA Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia
Oct. 7-9 – Inaugural Pan-American Championships in Santiago, Chile
Nov. 18-20 – World MMM Championship in Macau, China
Twitter:  @theWMMAA
Instagram: @worldmmaa

WMMAA terminates head of judges Radmir Gabdullin

MONTE CARLO, Monaco(July 20, 2016)- The World MMA Association (WMMAA) has terminated its Head of Judges, Radmir Gabdullin, due to his imprudence, inexperience, and technical inability to evaluate Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in the professional sector.
Regarding recent statements that he recently made in the Russian press, Gabdullin expressed himself disrespectfully to other colleague judges, WMMAA Board member Alexander Engelhardt and the Association itself, as Worldwide WMMAA President Vadim Finkelchtein expressed, “One of the key factors of MMA is respect. This is a line we should and can never cross. That being said, it leaves me no other choice than to release Radmir Gabdullin from his function. We also severely advise that the Russian MMA Union do the same. (The Russian MMA Union is a full member of the World MMA Union.)
“We are working hard on standardizing in all countries of the world, all continents, in terms of Rules, Regulation and Referees committees, including anti-doping.We are a real worldwide organization and therefore we also have to reflect this in all of the WMMAA committees.  Also, Russia will be, of course, represented in these as part of the WMMAA. More information will follow soon.”
Finkelchtein, who as WMMAA president reserves any other actions towards the associate judge, noted that, during the November 4-6WMMAA Congress in Macau, China, a board of judges will be discussed and created.
Schedule of Major 2016 MMA Events
Aug.3-8 – Asian MMA Championship in Hwasun, South Korea
Sept. 14-16 – European MMA Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia
Oct. 7-9 – Inaugural Pan-American Championships in Santiago, Chile
Nov. 18-20 – World MMM Championship in Macau, China
Twitter:  @theWMMAA

Team Maldonado files WMMAA appeal to reassess result of June 17th Emelianenko vs.  Maldonado fight in Russia

MONTE CARLO, Monaco (July 4, 2016) — The World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) has received an appeal from Stefano Sartori, manager of Brazilian fighter Fabio Maldonado, to reassess the result of his June 17thfight with Fedor Emelianenko, which headlined Fight Nights Global 50 in Saint Petersburgh, Russia.
Emelianenko was awarded a win by majority decision, which Team Malondado has appealed, claiming a conflict of interest because all of the judges are employed by the Russian MMA Union, of which Emelianenko serves as president.
Team Maldonado believes Maldonando should have won the decision, or the fight declared a draw at the very least, in their opinion, as the Brazilian clearly won the first round, 10-8, Emelianenko came back to take the second round, 10-9, and the third round was a toss-up.
Because Russian MMA Union vice president Radmir Gabdullin was the head judge for the aforementioned bout, Team Maldonando feels that a fair judgement regarding its appeal can be rendered only by independent, international judges reviewing the fight.
Team Maldonando has appealed the decision on grounds that there was an obvious conflict of interest in terms of the Russian MMA Union judges and their close association with Fedor, as well as the quality of decisions they rendered.  Rather than appeal the decision to the Russian MMA Union, which they claimed would place Russian judges under intense pressure, Team Maldonando made the appeal directly to the WMMAA because the Russian MMA Union is a sanctioned member of the worldwide sanctioning body WMMAA.
WMMAA president Vadim Finkelchtein has announced the following sequence of actions:
  • WMMAA Secretary General Alexander Engelhardt has been appointed to handle the appeal procedure
  • A group of objective international judges, under the guidance of experienced referee/judge Marco Broersen (Netherlands), to be appointed to assess the Emelianenko-Maldonado fight based on the tape and render an unbiased verdict regarding the fight and work of the judges
  • Temporarily suspend WMMAA head judge Radmir Gabdullin from his position
  • Discuss judges’ work at the next WMMAA Congress, taking into account the pending verdict of the independent commission
Schedule of Major 2016 MMA Events
Aug.3-8 – Asian MMA Championship in Hwasun, South Korea
Sept. 14-16 – European MMA Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia
Oct. 7-9 – Inaugural Pan-American Championships in Santiago, Chile
Nov. 18-20 – World MMM Championship in Macau, China
Twitter:  @theWMMAA
Instagram: @worldmmaa

World MMA Association 2016 Asian Championship RESCHEDULED Aug. 17-21 in South Korea


MONTE CARLO, Monaco (May 8, 2016)- The  World MMA Association (WMMAA) has announced that, due to venue availability issues, its second annual Asian Championship has been rescheduled from May 27-30 to August 17-21 at the same site, the Hwasoon Culture and Sports Center. in the Republic of South Korea.
The Asian MMA Championship will feature the top amateur MMA fighters in six different weight classes.
“We had to postpone our annual Asian Championships but this way we’ll have even more time to prepare for the biggest amateur MMA event of the year on the Asian continent,” WMMAA president Vadim Finkelchtein said.  “The location and venue remain the same, which is great news because the site our South Korean Federation was able to find really suits our championship very well.”
An international judges’ seminar will be held Aug. 17-20, to certify and accredit judges.  Only accredit judges will be allowed to work during the Asian MMA Championships.  Preliminary and semifinal matches will be Aug. 19, followed by the championship final matches.
The official weigh-ins and competition draws will be conducted Aug. 27,
The Asia Division Congress: Battle of the Nomads of the WMMAA Pro Asian Division will be held Aug. 20.
Individual team competition will be held in accordance with the “Official Rules of Mixed Martial Arts Competition, subject to WMMAA approval. Including revisions, additions and clarifications of certain clauses.  Matches will held in accordance with the Olympic system with two third-places in each of the six weight divisions.
Team scoring is awarded by the maximum amount of points scored by individual team members on the following basis:  1st – 10, 2nd – 8, 3rd – 6, 4th – 5, 5th – 4, 6th – 3, 7th – 2, 8th – 1.
All individual first-place winners will be awarded special championship belts and medals, second and third-place finishers will receive a medal and certificate. Teams finishing among the top three in the final standings will be awarded cups and certificates.
In addition to the host, South Korea, other eligible countries to compete in the Asian MMA Championship include Afghanistan, China, Chinese Taipei, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Singapore, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

World MMA Association 2016 Asian Championship May 27-30 in South Korea

MONTE CARLO, Monaco (April 19, 2016)- The second annual World MMA Association (WMMAA) Asian Championship will be held May 27-30 at Hwasoon Culture and Sports Center in the Republic of South Korea.
The Asian MMA Championship will feature the top amateur MMA fighters in six different weight classes.
“This year’s Asian MMA Championship is a significant milestone for our association,” WMMAA president Vadim Finkelchtein said.  “We strive to educate people from each country in which we hold regional championships. This time will be no different with more people learning the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts.  We’re also organizing a judges and referee seminar within a certification process.  We are looking forward to this event and hope to have as many Asian countries participating as possible.”
An international judges’ seminar will be held May 24-27, to certify and accredit judges.  Only accredit judges will be allowed to work during the Asian MMA Championships.  Preliminary and semifinal matches will be May 28, followed by the championship final matches.
The official weigh-ins and competition draws will be conductedMay 27,
The Asia Division Congress: Battle of the Nomads of the WMMAA Pro Asian Division will be held May 29.
Individual team competition will be held in accordance with the “Official Rules of Mixed Martial Arts Competition, subject to WMMAA approval. Including revisions, additions and clarifications of certain clauses.  Matches will held in accordance with the Olympic system with two third-places in each of the six weight divisions.
Team scoring is awarded by the maximum amount of points scored by individual team members on the following basis:  1st – 10, 2nd – 8, 3rd – 6, 4th – 5, 5th – 4, 6th – 3, 7th – 2, 8th – 1.
All individual first-place winners will be awarded special championship belts and medals, second and third-place finishers will receive a medal and certificate. Teams finishing among the top three in the final standings will be awarded cups and certificates.
In addition to the host, South Korea, other eligible countries to compete in the Asian MMA Championship include Afghanistan, China, Chinese Taipei, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Singapore and Tajikistan

WMMAA President Vadim Finkelchtein Leading sport into future 

MONTE CARLO, Monaco (March 14, 2016)- World Mixed Martial Arts Association (WMMAA) President Vadim Finkelchtein, who founded the sanctioning organization in 2012, continues to lead WMMAA and the sport into a very bright future.
In four short years, WMMAA has alreadydeveloped into the strongest sanctioning body in the MMA world, hosting some of the sport’s most prestigious championships, as well as creating a highly respected culture in throughout sports worldwide.
Finkelchtein answered some pertinent questions below about WMMAA, its past and future, in addition to addressing the growth of mixed martial arts:
Can you tell us about you and your experience in Martial Arts?
VF: “I practiced judo when I was a kid. Back then there was no MMA whatsoever.”

How did you first enter the world of MMA?
VF:  “In 1995, I was offered an opportunity to sponsor an MMA event. That’s when I learned about and fell in love with no holds barred, or free-fight, as it was called then. In 1997, I organized my own event in Russia. The rest is history.”

When did you first hear of MMA and what was your first impression? Did
you expect this sport to grow as much as it has today?

VF: “When I saw my first MMA event in 1995, I was amazed by its scale and how many people came to watch. People were genuinely interested. It was a whole other level and approach to a sports event. And I had seen a lot so I could compare empirically. I have always believed in MMA and expected it would eventually become the number one sport in the world, although back then no one would acknowledge MMA as a sport. Our
athletes and fight teams had a hard time. They were not even welcome in sambo gyms to train there. It was a long and a hard way to change MMA’s image that was deemed as human cock fighting or closely related to organized crime. Thanks to the fact I have never had any relations to crime, when this sport landed in my hands in late 90’s, it
helped greatly as we were able to turn the tide and after all these years to help governments to officially recognize MMA.”

What is your function and main activities within WMMAA?
VF: “I founded the World MMA Association in 2012 because I felt the time had come.  MMA is the fastest growing sport and it’s time to start developing it at another level, giving it a new but essential dimension. Due to its popularity, thousands of fans of all ages started practicing in Mixed Martial Arts. At that moment, I had accumulated a vast network in multiple countries. I knew countless numbers of activists across the globe, so the start was destined to happen. From the get-go over 20 countries joined the WMMAA family. At this moment there are over 60 countries and counting.”

How would you assess WMMAA’s progress during its three year existence?
VF: “WMMAA is still in its infancy. Yes, we lack experience and financing, and MMA is a new kind of sport in many regions. But I have to say that we’re growing and the last World Championship in Czech Republic proved it. Over 40 national teams flew to Prague with over 200 athletes. The level of competition evolved so much. The organizational level was also high and we are thankful to our Czech MMA Federation for its great work. This World Championship proved there is demand for MMA around the world.”

What are the main goals of WMMAA and what are the main obstacles facing
the association?
VF: “The goals are to encourage as many countries as possible to join the WMMAA
family, to facilitate them in their struggle to get MMA recognized in their respective countries, helping them develop amateur MMA. There are countless obstacles but I firmly believe we’ll prevail.”

Were there any countries that stood out or surprised you?
VF: “China surprised me a lot. They joined WMMAA recently but since then they’ve shown solid results. Also, I enjoyed the performance of Latin American teams. It was their debut but one Colombian kid (Andrey Roa Ruiz Dumar) won a bronze medal and that was great.
Once again, Russia won the majority of the medals due to amateur MMA there developing with extremely rapid strides ever since early 2012. Fedor Emelianenko is the main locomotive and driving force in Russia. The selection process there is just unbelievable. You can’t imagine how many steps one needs to make in order to become the champion of the Russian Federation. The City Championship, Oblast Championship, regional and national championship. Each of these events consists of at least three fights, which means that a Russian champion will probably have had at least won 15 fights under his belt by the time of the European or World Championships. Only truly the best get to the top. Imagine this: around 7,000 athletes participated in the aforementioned events in 2015.”

What are the 2016 mid-term goals for WMMAA?
VF: “The normal routine is to hold the Asian Championship, Pan-American Championship, multiple referee and judge seminars and certifications, then prepare for the European and, consequently, the World Championship that will coincide with the annual Congress.”

Can you describe what 2015 was like for WMMAA?
VF: “I was amazed with the Asian Championship in Tajikistan with thousands and thousands of fans at the stacked football stadium. I enjoyed watching how many people turned their eyes to an amateur MMA event.”

What words of wisdom would you like to share with the members of WMMAA family?
VF: “I’d ask all WMMAA members to adhere to the agreements and decisions we reached collectively. It pertains to the set of rules, judging process, equipment, unified rules, and youth sports development.”
WMMAA keeps expanding, however, there are still multiple countries that are not yet WMMAA members. Why should any local Federation apply for WMMAA membership?
VF: “WMMAA is the strongest MMA organization there is. We plan to continuously hold regional and world championships and keep developing and evolving. Athletes’ ethical upbringing is also our target. We believe this sport can give so much to the world in various ways and we put a lot of effort into its development.  We’ll gladly accept strong and worthy partners into our ranks.”
“We are truly an amateur association, although others may think we are not. The thing is it’s rather hard to verify the real records of MMA athletes. There is no official and ubiquitous database or instance that would provide 100-percentreliable and accurate information pertaining to the amount of fights under someone’s belt. Some amateur fights might be recorded as professional and professional fights as amateur, which was the reason for us canceling the previous rule of pro fight limitation for the time being, in order to develop a new system of fighters’ eligibility evaluation. We are working on that as we speak.”

People keep asking: why should we use SportID and SportData. Can you
explain why it is so essential?

VF: “We are an official and credible sport. Our association ought to be transparent. These databases show the data on athletes, their statistics and numbers. They show the quantitative as well as qualitative growth of mixed martial artists. They facilitate in overseeing the championships registered in SportData, helping to broadcast them. Furthermore, they contain so many functions that it would take me forever to discuss it. Just think of rankings, both individual and national, fighters’ profiles and so on.  I need to remind everyone that, based on the Congress decision, the use of and
registration in these databases are mandatory for all our members.”