Abu Dhabi is set to play host to the 2023 IMMAF Youth World Championships with the world’s top young amateur MMA athletes get set to head to the United Arab Emirates to compete for gold this summer.

The championships will take place between August 2-5, with the draw for the competition taking place on August 1. The championships will see four days of competition, across three age bands:

  • Youth A: 16 to 17-year-olds
  • Youth B: 14 to 15-year-olds
  • Youth C: 12 to 13-year-olds

All three categories will compete under modified rulesets, which have adapted the Unified Rules “with respect to the developmental stage and safety of each age group, as advised by IMMAF’s medical, coaching, and regulatory affairs committees. IMMAF does not permit head strikes for competitors under the age of 18.”

The 2022 IMMAF World Youth World Championships took place in Abu Dhabi last August, and featured almost 500 athletes from 42 countries. Ukraine topped the medal table, with United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia winning their first IMMAF gold medals.

England’s Jack Grundy, son of UFC veteran Mike Grundy, impressed at welterweight, while Australia’s Brodie Mayocchi claimed a hat-trick of submissions en route to gold. Women’s bantamweight Sani Brannfors also shone, with three successive submissions of her own to earn gold for Finland.

This year’s edition is expected to increase the number of registrations and keep the high-level standard with “Orange” grade for 14 to 17-year-olds and “Yellow” grade for 12-13-year-olds as the minimum technical level required.