The Asian members of the IMMAF have formed the AMMAF in a bid to receive Olympic recognition ©IMMAF

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation's (IMMAF) Asian members have launched an Asia MMA Federation (AMMAF) as it continues to target Olympic recognition, despite the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) insisting it will not recognise a regional body.

Asian federations unanimously endorsed the new structure that also aims to receive recognition from the Global Association of International Sports Federations.

It is expected other continental organisations will be formed under IMMAF's umbrella.

Mohammad Qambar, the President of the Bahrain MMA Federation, was appointed President of AMMAF while an interim Board consisting of directors from the five regions is due to be formed.

Wissam Abi Nader, the IMMAF Board's Asian representative, will hold the responsibility of preparing an elective AMMAF General Assembly within the next 12 months.

AMMAF's statutes are also scheduled to be approved at the General Assembly.

"I would like to thank IMMAF President Kerrith Brown and IMMAF's Asian members for placing their trust in me," Qambar said.

OCA has said it will stay neutral on recognising mixed martial arts governing bodies ©IMMAF
OCA has said it will stay neutral on recognising mixed martial arts governing bodies ©IMMAF

"I thank H.H Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad for his vision that has set Bahrain among the leading countries in the world for MMA, fostering trust from other Asian nations for Bahrain to lead on establishing IMMAF Asia to further the development of MMA globally."

OCA asserted last month that it will create its own Asian-based Mixed Martial Arts Federation and encouraged all National Olympic Committees to form a national mixed martial arts federation to affiliate to the proposed body.

The continental organisation has insisted that it will remain neutral on mixed martial arts International Federations, with the IMMAF and the Global Association of Mixed Martial Arts (GAMMA), both acting as governing bodies for the sport.

An Asian Mixed Martial Arts Federation formed by the OCA would not be exclusively affiliated to either IMMAF or GAMMA.

There is a precedent with the Asian Esports Federation, which is neutral from the International Esports Federation and the Global Esports Federation.