Randy Couture, Dan Henderson & Joe Stevenson join Olympic MMA movement

UFC veterans form USFL Special Oversight Committee

UFC Hall of Fame members Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, and UFC veteran Joe Stevenson form Special Oversight Committee to the United States Fight League. USFL serves as the youth development affiliate for the USA Mixed Martial Arts Kick International Federation (UMMAF) of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF.)

The IMMAF is a UFC-partnered global sanctioning body for amateur mixed martial arts with a goal of Olympic recognition for the sport. It hopes to debut MMA as a demonstration sport at the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

The trio will be responsible for reviewing rules, regulations, and practices of the USFL with an emphasis on keeping the sport safe and suitable for youth. Each individual brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the organization.

Couture entered the UFC Hall of Fame in 2006 and was the first fighter to win titles in two different weight classes (heavyweight and light heavyweight.) Henderson was enshrined in the Fight Wing of the UFC Hall of Fame earlier in 2018 for his UFC 139 showdown against Marico Hua in 2011.

Stevenson was the welterweight winner for the second season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2005. He also won Fight of the Night honors four times and Submission of the Night honors twice.

“The future of mixed martial arts parallels with the development of our youth’s safety in our sport. Just like mixed martial arts is a melting pot of combative arts, so is the development of our adolescent participants. Safety, sportsmanship, integrity, honor and many other factors must be taken into consideration. We hope with our wealth of experience we are able to circumnavigate many of the negatives that may occur,” Stevenson said.

Regarding pankration being suitable for youth, Dr. Adam Brooks and Dr. John Rodriguez of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery concluded a four year study on the USFL, showing an average injury rate of just 1.3 percent. This figure is based on the industry standard one thousand athletic exposures for measuring sports injuries.

Injury rates were identical between boys and girls and there have been zero concussions. Dr. Brooks presented this information to the Association of Ringside Physicians on October 27, 2018. Full results of the study are available online at FightLeague.org. Dr. Brooks will continue to survey the USFL for future research and to assist in
development in best practices for this young sport.

Continuing to set the industry standard for the health and safety of youth participants the USFL has launched an online training sequence as one of the first non-Olympic National Governing bodies to meet the standard of care under the National Safe Sport Act of 2017.

Misagh Norouzi
Misagh Norouzi is a Muay Thai fighter from Perth, Australia. He is an author at FIGHTMAG.

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