IMMAA announce new safety procedure for amateurs in 2017

Beginning in 2017 the Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association will recommend that Amateur MMA athletes in Ireland should undergo a one-off normal MRI brain scan, in an attempt to detect any pre-existing conditions.

On the advice of our medical advisory service SAFEMMA Ireland we are making the recommendation for the following reasons:

1. To reduce potential injury by identifying athletes that may be at risk due to an undiagnosed pre-existing condition.

2. Data obtained from MRI/MRAs of professional fighters, a number which led to referrals for expert review

SAFEMMA Ireland have secured a price of €150/£125 for the pre-clearance MRI brain scan from the Bon Secours Hospital in Glasnevin, Dublin.

This price is marginally higher than cost-price and we are grateful to the Bon Secours for such a generous offer.

Speaking about this latest development IMMAA president John Kavanagh said “MMA is leading the field in athlete safety, and I believe other contact sports will follow suit in time.”

Kavanagh continued “As it stands, our IMMAA guidelines on fighter safety at amateur level go beyond what the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation and most US State Athletic Commissions currently enforce. When you also factor in the recent rule changes at amateur level that we have adopted I think it’s fair to say we have the best safety procedures for amateur competition here in Ireland.”

We realise this is another cost for young athletes. With this in mind we have selected the Cage Legacy event on February 11th 2017 as a test case to examine the affordability and practicality of the recommended once-off screening for amateur competitors.

We will examine the results after the event and consult with SAFEMMA Ireland on how best to proceed for future MMA events.


The IMMAA – Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association is the National Governing Body for MMA within Ireland. It is an affiliated member of the IMMAF – International Mixed Martial Arts Federation & follows IMMAF’s rules & guidelines.

For additional information please contact Fergus Ryan:

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