The International MMA Federation has announced its endorsement of an official amateur MMA kit for athletes, as the governing body renews its partnership with Green Hill.
IMMAF first partnered with Green Hill in 2015 and since then improvements have been made to the official protective equipment and apparel to improve safety and comfort for athletes whilst facilitating high performance standards. High functioning kit facilitates the translation of MMA to an Olympic tournament format in which athletes may compete up to five times in five days and must pass pre-/post- bout medical examinations for each match.
The first bespoke equipment models were advised on by the IMMAF board and tailored to Nevada State Athletic Commission recommendations for the 2014 and 2015 IMMAF World Championships. Later renditions have been evolved based on feedback from athletes and officials, and through ongoing review of injury rates from pre-/post-match medical examinations for 765 athletes across 678 bouts, as well as research and development at Green Hill.
IMMAF has also recently appointed a permanent Equipment Manager, Jaine Shah, to oversee further ongoing research and development of the IMMAF approved kit in partnership with Green Hill.
Notable features and improvements to official IMMAF apparel include the following:
The shape of the 7oz glove was evolved to become more rounded after the 2014 IMMAF Championships to prevent (accidental) eye pokes. Increased padding in the amateur glove compared to the typical professional model lowers incidence of lacerations.
Quality improvement over time has led to firmer grip and thumb lock, better dynamism and comfort, as well as less reported damages and therefore less replacements during events. Following the 2017 IMMAF World Championships, the latest improvement is to the stitching of the little finger (adjusted for a reduction in width) for better fit and comfort and improved performance.
Shinguards were introduced with the inaugural IMMAF World Championships in 2014 to prevent lower limb injuries in striking phase, such as shin fractures, and to dissipate pain during shin to shin contact.
Grappling style or Hybrid Shinguards with neoprene backing have been adopted for IMMAF competition rather than Muay Thai style to prevent them from coming off during tussles on the ground. Changes in design have included in the material, from an embossed plastic and fabric combination to full neoprene.
IMMAF amateurs (male and female) wear rashguard tops for competition, as well as shorts, in Olympic combat colours of red and blue, representing red or blue corner. Visually this sets IMMAF elite Amateur MMA apart.
A five-day tournament is an ideal setting to test the durability of combat apparel, and Green Hill has accordingly developed its rashguards to be of a thicker material, which does not rip as easily and absorbs more sweat. Rashguards help protect against ringworm and other skin infections.
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said:
“I would especially like to thank Green Hill CEO Jahangir Riaz, for his early support of elite Amateur MMA. Green Hill is a sponsor of several Olympic martial arts, and commitment from such a supplier is an invaluable endorsement of MMA as a sport. Through testing across IMMAF Championships over the past four years, IMMAF can now proudly recommend the Green Hill – IMMAF amateur MMA range alongside SAFEJAWZ mouthguards as the official IMMAF approved kit.”
Green Hill CEO, Jahangir Riaz, said:
“I would like to extend the heartiest thanks to IMMAF for its continued trust in Green Hill Sports as its official equipment partner in ensuring athlete safety and high-performance standards. Research and development by Green Hill Sports aided by IMMAF’s feedback and guidance in product development has been pivotal throughout this collaboration in the technical development of the amateur MMA kit. We assure our continuous and ongoing commitment to IMMAF when it comes to provision of quality gear for MMA.”