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Conor McGregor will sponsor the entire Irish youth team to participate in the 2021 International Mixed-Martial Arts Federation Youth MMA Championships.
IMMAF’s 2021 Youth MMA Championships for 12 to 18-year-old’s will take place in Bulgaria at the EFE Marinela from July 29th to August 1st.
The former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight champion’s coach and Irish Mixed-Martial Arts Association president John Kavanagh broke the news to the kids.
The moment the Elite Irish Cadet MMA Team found out from IMMAA President @coach_kavanagh that @thenotoriousmma has offered to pay the full price of each Cadet athlete and their coaches trip to the @immafed Youth World Championships 🇨🇮#IMMAA #MMAIreland #IrishMMA #IMMAF pic.twitter.com/3yBxzisi2b
— IMMAA (@IMMAAOnline) June 26, 2021
McGregor will cover the entry fees ad pay for the flights and accommodation of the 27 youths and 20 coaches that are travelling so that they can take part in the tournament.
‘The Notorious’ sent the kids a message after the announcement: “Wishing the Irish squad the very best of luck in their quest at the world championships this year! From the fighters to the coaches, I know the future of our fighting nation is in excellent hands! Fight with the pride of the Emerald Isle, team! We are all with you! Good luck!”
The group cannot qualify for any funding to represent Ireland as MMA is not yet officially recognised as a sport in this country.
Families had already started fundraising to ease the financial cost of the trip for the competitors and their coaches.
McGregor’s pledge eases the worries of those involved and allows those that deserve to go to the World Championships to travel.
IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said to the IMMAF website that “it’s fantastic news for all the athletes, coaches and the Irish MMA community that Conor has shown his passion for the sport in this way and is helping pave the way for the next ‘Conor’.
We at IMMAF are appreciative of Conor’s support of grassroots athlete development and his demonstration of support for John Kavanagh’s work in the MMA community, as President of the Irish Mixed Martial Arts Association.
The value of this endorsement extends beyond the money in terms of the focus and sense of purpose it gives to the team. This is what IMMAF is all about, working in communities to deliver value from MMA for social good.”
The full list of youth athletes travelling to Bulgaria can be seen here.