Deano Wade, Secretary General of the Irish Amateur Pankration Association (IAPA), issued an open letter yesterday addressing all event promoters in the Republic of Ireland on the issue of fighter safety with calls for a unified commitment to regular medical checks and blood testing:


To Whom It May Concern

In an effort to continue the excellent standard of fighter care that has been the hallmark of Irish MMA for the last number of years, the IAPA are requesting that Irish promoters continue to lead the way in fighter safety by requiring fighters to have completed a yearly medical examination and blood testing. This requirement will obviously increase the safety of ALL competitors but will also show that each promoter did everything possible to ensure the safety of the fighters that are essentially the life-blood of the sport. In my opinion, many Irish promoters, working together with very experienced club owners, have led the way in international MMA by adopting a standardised set of amateur rules that was accepted across the board, the implementation of the unified pro rules, and the proper use and application of medical teams and cut-crew on almost all shows. The fact that UFC employees such as Glen Ellis (Code Blue) and Joseph Clifford (Cut Man Team), to name just two of the excellent teams that are available, are often used by Irish promoters is a testament to the strength of commitment to fighter safety in Ireland. As a furtherance to this, a requirement for an annual medical and bloods test examination for all fighters appearing on full rules shows would protect fighters, promoters and club owners and is the next sensible step in moving MMA into its proper place in Irish sporting society. In my opinion it also shows that the Irish MMA community is committed to leading the way in fighter safety and the general well-being of the sport of MMA.

Irish MMA shows already committed to this new set-up in 2016 are:

RUMBLE IN RUSH (Paul Cowzer)
WEST CAGE FC (Piotrus Pan)

From 2016, fighters from IAPA clubs will no longer be eligible to fight on shows that do not meet these medical standards. Please PM me for more details…


Deano Wade (IAPA Secretary General)

As the sole representative for MMA governance in the Republic of Ireland, the IAPA was officially introduced as a member of IMMAF in April of 2015, having first been established in late 2014 with John Kavanagh as President of the Irish body. In addition to IMMAF’s backing, the IAPA is fully supported by the UFC who have worked closely with the IAPA, as recently as UFC Fight Night in Dublin on October 24; opening the doors for shadow sanctioning with an eventual view to having the IAPA take the reigns as full regulators.

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