Calls for MMA to be recognised as sport and regulated by Irish authorities

Joao Carvalho (right) fighting Charlie Ward at the National Stadium, Dublin on Saturday April 9, 2016. Picture: Dave Fogarty.

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation says MMA competitions here should be regulated by law, like they are in the US and Sweden.

They have called on the Irish authorities to formally recognise the sport.

The calls comes after the death of a Portuguese fighter following an MMA fight in Dublin last Saturday.

The IMMAF says the death of Joao Carvalho represents a call to action.

They say lack of recognition is a barrier to funding which would enable better medical care and safety measures.

Earlier this week Sport Ireland said that it wouldn’t be playing aby part in the investigation into Carvalho’s death.

“The primary responsibility for Health and Safety for an event rests with the organiser and the relevant governing body,” said a statement issued by Sport Ireland.

“Any review of the tragic events of last Saturday should be carried out by relevant authorities. That does not include Sport Ireland as it does not recognise MMA in any form.

“Sport Ireland will work with the Department of Sport to establish how MMA operates in Ireland and under what regulatory framework it may operate in the future.”

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