The Nigeria Mixed Martial Arts Federation (NMMAF) said it had begun training for its U-17/12 fighters for the Youth Mixed Martial Arts World Championship in Sofia, Bulgaria scheduled for July.
Henry George, President of NMMAF, told the newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos that the federation would do its best to ensure the athletes came out tops in the championship.
He added that the federation had invited O’juan Owens, an experienced international kick boxer to train and also encourage the fighters to give their bests in the tournament.
“We will be going for the youth championship soon, we need to keep training to ensure our fighters are very ready for the tournament.
“We invited Owens to train our athletes especially those that have just transmitted from boxing and kick boxing.
“There is this grabbing fight that our athletes are not good with, but from his experience, he was able to do a good job with them,’’ he said.
George disclosed that a seminar had just been conducted for the fighters, coaches and technical officials.
He added that the experience from Owens would help grow the sport in the country.
“The seminar was held for the athletes, coaches and the technical officials and it impacted them greatly.
“It was eye opener for everyone. This is a big one for Nigeria, for our athletes and coaches.
“Athletes were represented from different states and am sure they will also go back to impact others that were not able to attend.
“ The federation will also continue to organise trainings, workshops and seminars to educate our fighters because MMA is an amateur sports, so they need all the knowledge,’’ he said.
The president added that the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation ( IMMAF) had been working tirelessly to ensure that the sport got into the Olympics.
“ We want Nigeria to also be part of the world record when it finally gets to the Olympics, not only to be one of the countries that will first participate but to win medals too,’’ he said.