VLADIVOSTOK, December 8. /TASS/. The rules of mixed martial arts (MMA) contests will remain unchanged after the controversial tournament in the Chechen capital Grozny, where children aged 8-10 were participating in show sparring fights, MMA Union President Fyodor Yemelyanenko has told the media.
"I just said there occurred a violation of the law. The MMA has its rules approved by the Ministry of Sports. There are separate rules for children, for youths and for adults," Emelyanenko told the media after a masterclass in Vladivostok, when asked about the controversy over children’s fights in Grozny.
The show fights featuring young athletes, including three sons of Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov, took place on October 4 as part of the Grand Prix Akhmat 2016 contest.
Yemelyanenko later criticized such sparring fights and warned they might cause irreparable damage to minors’ physique and mentality. Many sports officials in the Chechen Republic responded with angry comments. Kadyrov later issued orders all posts regarding Yemelyanenko should be deleted from social networks.
The Russian Sports Ministry’s working group, commissioned to look into the children’s fights affair in Grozny, has arrived at the conclusion the tournament’s organizers had no right to hold MMA contests for children aged 8-10. It advised Chechnya’s Ministry for Physical Culture and Sports to coordinate such events with the Russian Sports Ministry and other sports federations.
According to the rules of the Russian MMA Union children are allowed to participate in fights starting from the age of 12. All athletes in 12-13, 14-15, and 16-17 age groups should wear a rushguard and protective gear, including helmets.
The Fetisov-Arena stadium on Friday evening will host Russia’s MMA Super Cup. Seven holders of champions of Russia titles will clash with Russian Cup winners. The same evening there will be the 56th international Fight Nights Global contest.