Duchess of Northumberland presents medals at major MMA event

The Duchess was on hand to present medals at the 2015 IMMAF European Open Championships of Amateur MMA. Picture by Marc Moggridge.
The Duchess was on hand to present medals at the 2015 IMMAF European Open Championships of Amateur MMA. Picture by Marc Moggridge.

Mixed martial arts fan the Duchess of Northumberland attended a major competition and presented medals to fighters.

The Duchess was one of a number of dignitaries at the 2015 IMMAF European Open Championships of Amateur Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), which was staged at the Walsall Sports Centre last weekend. Hosted by the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation, the tournament showcased 154 athletes in the largest ever competition of its kind.

The Championship Finals included a ceremony after each match, in which gold, silver and bronze medals and flowers were presented to athletes on the podium and national anthems were played.

Other people to award medals included six-time Olympian Tessa Sanderson, who also got to experience corner team duties, when she joined UK Team coaches Nigel Burgess and John Maguire to corner British athletes.

Team Finland scored the most gold medals (three) while Team Sweden earned the largest overall total of medals (eight). Team UK received the second biggest count of awards (seven), with a total of 15 countries securing medals.

The event was filmed for a five part, two hour highlights series for Extreme Sports Channel and UFC FIGHT PASS. Further broadcast deals are being finalised and all competition matches will be available soon on the IMMAF YouTube channel.

The Duchess, a practising martial arts enthusiast, said: "I am full of admiration for the contestants who reached this stage in the IMMAF European Championships. I am a great supporter of MMA and appreciate how much hard work, self-discipline and dedication each athlete has put into their sport."

The Duchess has previously talked about her interest in MMA, saying how 'it can be a force for good for so many people and communities'.