The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) has announced the addition of seven nations from three continents to its membership at its latest Board meeting.
Angola, Guyana, Ivory Coast, Malta, Senegal, Sierra Leone and St Lucia were all approved as new Member Federations of IMMAF during the meeting.
A final competition calendar was also agreed, with the 2021 Youth World Championships in Istanbul in Turkey set to mark the of IMMAF-sanctioned mixed martial arts events.
It will be followed by the 2021 European Senior and Junior Open Championships in Russia from August 16 to 21, with the season culminating with the 2021 Senior and Junior World Championships in Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan from November 27 to December 4.
The IMMAF Board of Directors also approved the addition of three new members to its Athletes' Commission.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin, Northern Ireland's Jack Corr and Malaysia's Colleen Augustin have all joined Commission.
Griffin is a former UFC Light Heavyweight champion and retired from MMA in 2013.
Corr has competed at three European and three World Championships at both junior and senior level and won bronze at the Junior European Championships in 2018.
Augustin is a world bronze medallist, an Asia Open champion and a well-established sporting figure in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.
"This latest Board meeting shows how hard the IMMAF teams have been working, despite the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 crisis and we are making great progress in all areas, from members services and development to communications and governance, and with the strong support of Federations and volunteers who share our passion for amateur MMA," said IMMAF President Kerrith Brown.
"But above all, I am excited that we will soon be able to connect again with athletes and Federation staff at our events.
"Like the athletes, I have missed IMMAF competitions and can't wait to take part in live sport again."
IMMAF chief executive Densign White also updated the Board on the recommendations of governance reform from an independent expert in 2020, which is near completion.
IMMAF communications director Isobel Carnwath updated the Board on the 2021 IMMAF communications strategy and plan, highlighting potential campaigns to boost the profile of the governing body and MMA.