Team Oceania – comprising of both Australia and New Zealand have both pointed to the further developments and benefits financial success from an overall tournament win at the inaugural amateur MMA SuperCup in association with IMMAF, will mean for the entire Oceanic region.
The team begin their 2022 amateur MMA SuperCup journey tomorrow morning – drawing Team Ireland from the Kingdom of Bahrain – replacing Team RMMAU on short notice, but hope to seize the opportunity to help improve infrastructure in the region with a massive tournament victory.
“It would be huge for our countries to be able to use this money for further development and growth, especially in the youth development area,” New Zealand coach, Matt Toa told Current MMA.”
“As I mentioned, IMMAFA is growing fast, we’ve been recognised for the past few years as one of the federations to watch but we could be much further in evolution if we had some money to invest in our growth and supporting our athletes,” IMMAFA president, Richie Cranny told Current MMA. “It would mean the world.”
Toa spoke of New Zealand’s wish to help bring the sport of mixed martial arts to the level of national sport, rugby in the country, and insisted the team bring some notable prospects to this week’s MMA SuperCup.
“We want it (mixed martial arts) to be there with rugby in our country, which is our national sport currently,” Toa said. “When we get to that status in New Zealand, growth will be exceptional.”
“Jonas Grace at middleweight missed out on selection for the world championships in Dubai and is ready to make a statement this tournament,” Toa told. “Kasib Murdoch was also a junior Olympian in boxing and is keen to show the world his ability in the Octagon. Prashanth Guda is returning to Bahrain after his last campaign with IMMAF (International Mixed Martial Arts Federation) back in 2018.”
As far as the aforenoted IMMAFA president, Cranny is concerned, the potential growth and further establishment of mixed martial arts in Australia can be truly “endless”.
“It’s endless,” Cranny said of potential growth. “We really are just touching on the potential growth of Australian MMA. The ket is youth. I’m launching my new Youth Development Program this month and I expect hundreds of kids to join in just the first few months and future Australian champions and Olympians will come from it, you just wait and see.”
Cranny explained how at the most recent world championships, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions in the region hampered the team’s strength in the experience department, with many amateurs deciding to transition to the professional circuit. However, this time around, Cranny insists the team is inundated with talented prospects ahead of the MMA SuperCup.
“At the last world championships, we took a very young team, a lot of our more experienced amateurs decided to turn professional through COVID-19 because IMMAF was closed to us because of travel restrictions,” Cranny said. “So it was a great opportunity to take athletes we might not have taken just yet and see how they handled the biggest tournament of our sport in the world and I couldn’t have been prouder.
“Kyle Mayocchi and Coopar Smith showed great skill and composure and came very close to winning medals,” Cranny said. “The whole team did well, two of our more experienced athletes, Troy Furno and Auryn Pamley, put on amazing displays but the stand out for me was Erin Carter, not because she won a silver medal but anyone that knows MMA can watch her and see she could go all the way, as could so many of our team but there’s something about Erin. For her age, she is so talented and composed. Keep an eye on her at the next world championships.”