Jason Fraser, Executive Member of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) with responsibility for the Pan American region, has assured the Guyana Mixed Martial Arts Federation (GYMMAF) that they are committed to supporting the advancement of the sport in Guyana.
As a reward for the young local Federation’s impressive track record, the International Federation has donated training equipment to Guyana to support the decentralization of the sport.
Some successes of the GYMMAF this year so far include having Guyana compete for the first time at the World Championships through Ijaz Cave and Corwin D’Anjou, and winning the first men and womens medals for Guyana at an IMMAF event when Shenese Bobb and Carl Ramsey brought home silver on Guyana’s debut at the first Pan American Championships.
Fraser iterated, “This journey was not an easy one, it’s a great journey. But things that come easy don’t last. And this journey had a lot of teething problems, a lot of obstacles, a lot of bumps and humps. But with good leadership and good support, we are at this junction right now in Guyana which is heading for the sky limit, the sky will be the limit.”
Fraser added that the IMMAF hopes to see Guyana establish at least three more clubs outside of Georgetown over the next few months.
Currently, the GYMMAF is made up of the 3 Ryu Shotokan Karate Club, Guyana Police Forde Mixed Martial Arts Club and, the Phoenix Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Academy for which an affiliate club was formed earlier this year in Linden.
Fraser added that he hopes to see MMA taken into the youth prison, as he believes troubled youths will benefit from the discipline instilled through learning and practicing the sport.
Fraser said “We’re looking to develop the region. We’re looking to spread mixed martial arts throughout the whole Caribbean, you know English speaking and the dutch speaking Caribbean, South America, the whole Pan American region. And the President we have today, (IMMAF) President (Kerrith) Browne is one who actually believe that IMMAF must be in every continent actively in this part of the world.”
Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas and St Lucia are the current Caribbean Federations affiliated with the IMMAF.
Guyana has also been named as hosts for the first Caribbean IMMAF Championship 2023, despite not currently having an octagon.
Fraser notes this is an excellent opportunity to promote Guyana through sport tourism.