IMMAF President Kerrith Brown feels MMA is treated differently to other sports ©IMMAF

International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) President Kerrith Brown has claimed that MMA has faced a more difficult path to obtaining Olympic recognition than other sports and that the process had lacked "transparency".

"Other sports that have been recently accepted had political support behind them and were therefore allowed to go through a softer process, contrasting dramatically with how IMMAF has been treated," Brown said.

The IMMAF’s campaign for Olympic recognition began seven years ago with the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF).

It is expected that this will be disbanded later this year but in his monthly IMMAF President’s letter, Brown has admitted he does not know what the process will be to achieve recognition.

IMMAF President Kerrith Brown has expressed his frustration at the wait for Olympic recognition  ©IMMAF
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown has expressed his frustration at the wait for Olympic recognition ©IMMAF

"We are still waiting to learn when or how sport recognition applications will be processed and through which umbrella organisation," Brown said.

"As things stand, there is still little progress on IMMAF’s sport recognition status.

"We continue to work all we can for it, but with the uncertainty surrounding GAISF and its proposed dissolution, we remain in no man’s land until a decision has been reached regarding their future. 

"We have already been through multiple application processes with GAISF, but with a new body coming in, new changes, policies and requests are to be expected.

"Our experience with GAISF is reminiscent of our previous one with WADA, for whom the process for achieving signatory status initially lacked transparency.

"All we are asking for is to be treated fairly and transparently, based on merit, and not subjectively, with respect to competition laws.

"We should not be being blocked because of other sports’ competitive concerns, which are the real root cause of the political obstacles we have endured.

"In the meantime, all we can do is keep building and developing our structures and assets in youth development, officiating, coaching, and all the areas of recreational development that are fundamental to the sport and for changing the language around it, so it’s not led from the top anymore but from the bottom as sport should be."