The Cayman Islands has suddenly become the launching pad for mixed martial arts in the Caribbean and Central America and sports tourism in the region will ultimately be the winner.
A meeting was held last week in Grand Cayman to form a regional mixed martial arts association with representatives from Jamaica, Bahamas, two groups from Honduras and the Cayman Islands sharing ideas on how raise the profile of combat sports and particularly MMA.
The intention is to promote all combat arts including karate, judo, grappling, boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Chinese kickboxing, Muay Thai, FAST Defence, amateur MMA and many others.
Former karate world champion Bob Daigle organised the meeting to coincide with the visit of MMA stars Danny Davis Jr and Derek Weaver who gave seminars to kids at Clifton Hunter school and passed on combat tips to adults and juniors alike in two seminars before a keenly contested grappling contest concluded their visit last weekend.
“The two main goals we have is to raise the level of skill in this region of the world and to work together to support each other’s sporting events,” Daigle said. “Hosting martial arts sporting events in the Caribbean and Central America is beneficial to everyone.
“Not only is it exciting for the competitors it also boosts the economy.
“Slavic Moskalev from Jamaica told us that he has spoken to several martial arts groups in Jamaica about forming an MMA sporting association and proposed events in Cayman and Bahamas and the feedback he has received is positive. Jamaica will support us in great numbers.
“The first event takes place in the Bahamas in January. Dr. Kent Bazard, the event organiser, has invited us and we have accepted. Our new association will support this event in every way possible.
“The martial arts leaders in Honduras, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands will encourage as many athletes to fly to Nassau to support this event. In 2013 we expect martial arts in the Caribbean and Central America to explode in popularity.”
Daigle is appreciative of the many sponsors and supporters he attracted to make the whole event successful. “We thank Aqua Beach, Burger King, Red Bull and World Gym for supplying a gym membership for Danny and Derek.
“We are also grateful to the boxing association, Lisa Ebanks at the Villas of the Galleon, 7 Mile Beach Resort, Coconut Car rentals, Erich Bosch at Cambridge Real Estate, Bud light, Red Sail Sports, Pools By Us, Cayman Kickboxing Academy and Tyson Tatum.
“A special thanks to the print and broadcast media for all their support and to the major sponsor of last week’s events, Cayman Airways. They sponsored three tickets from Cayman Brac, one ticket from Miami and one from Jamaica.
“Cayman Airways in return had three additional tickets purchased from the Brac, one from Miami and one from Honduras.”
Daigle expects large numbers of airline tickets to sell from Honduras and Panama next year for the Cayman Islands Mixed Martial Arts Championships. “We are currently uniting all of Central America to promote MMA sports tourism here.
“Our new friends in Honduras are reaching out to all the countries near Cayman Airways gate way cities. Anyone interested in playing a part in the Cayman Islands Mixed Martial Arts Association email me at [email protected]
“Not only will our national airline benefit from ticket sales coming from Central America, Jamaica, Cayman Brac, Miami, Dallas, Panama, Tampa and New York they will also see ticket sales going to these locations from the competitors and officials travelling from here.”
For more information, contact bob daigle on [email protected]