Malaysia will become the only South East Asian country to participate at the inaugural International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) World Championships in Las Vegas, from June 29 to July 7.
The national team, comprising of talented MMA fighters who are champions from last season's Malaysian Invasion Mixed Martial Arts Fighting Championship (MIMMA FC), will represent the country and face other team of amateur fighters from all over the world.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin described this as a momentous achievement for the country as Malaysia is the only Southeast Asian country taking part and the only recognised SEA MMA Federation.
"Indeed, MMA has come a long way in Malaysia and Persatuan Mixed Martial Arts Malaysia (MASMMAA) will continue to identify and to work with the best MMA organisations in the world to ensure Malaysians will have the opportunities to test themselves against the world’s best.
"We hope to continue charting the roadmap to have Malaysians enjoy the best MMA successes in the time to come.” he said in a statement.
Youth and Sports Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin with the fighters.
The five fighters, Prabu Somanaidu, Alllen Solomon Chong, Keanu Subba, Adrian Tham and Jim Chong Jing Yi will carry the Malaysian flag to the United States in hopes of proving to the world what Malaysians are made of.
They will be coached by seasoned professional MMA fighter, Cody Stevens and collegiate wrestler, Matt Pellino who are both from the US. The team wil be managed by MASMMAA secretary, Brent Yap with MASMMAA deputy president, Alex Wong as the chef de mission.
Meanwhile, MASMMAA president Jalluddin Abu Hassan said the IMMAF World Championship will further establish Malaysia on the MMA world map and as an MMA powerhouse in Asia.
"MASMMA is always looking for channels to develop the sport in Malaysia. By sending the team to Las Vegas, we are setting a benchmark to all the fighters locally so that they will push themselves to a level in which they can compete internationally," he said.
Jalluddin is also confident that 'Malaysia Top Team' will make sure everyone in Las Vegas will remember Malaysia's name, and that "not everything that happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."
MASMMA was formed on Dec 11, 2013, based on Khairy's idea. MIMMA FC is also the brainchild of Khairy along with Tune Talk CEO Jason Lo.
The two had previously partnered for the popular and successful reality football talent search show, 'My Team'.