International Mixed Martial Arts Federation judge Clemens Werner of Germany has made his officiating debut with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He was one of the judges in the UFC events on UFC Fight Island on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
“Due to the coronavirus, we have had to go through two 48-hour quarantines and several COVID test,” Werner revealed. “The UFC is setting the highest standards in the MMA world by providing a safe environment for MMA contests.”
Famously featuring more than 500 matches in five days, the IMMAF World Championships is attended by up to 100 IMMAF licensed officials. Werner’s fellow IMMAF judge Vito Paolillo of Italy also made his UFC officiating debut on the UFC Fight Island.
Under the tutelage of world-renowned mixed martial arts referee Marc Goddard, the director of IMMAF’s regulatory affairs, the two IMMAF alumni have honed their knowledge and experience through the international governing body’s progression pathway for officials since 2015. Werner was certified on IMMAF judges and referees courses and has gone on to judge 1500 bouts.
“I’m so happy that both Vito’s and Clemens’ hard work, dedication and portrayal of the qualities required to be an official have been recognized on the biggest stage and this opportunity granted,” Goddard said. “They have both worked diligently, taking advantage of all the opportunities presented to them over a number of years both at IMMAF and with me across many professional events throughout Europe, the Middle East and beyond. I am proud to see their journey along IMMAF’s educational pathway for officials culminate on the world’s biggest MMA stage and for these guys it’s just the beginning of the next stage of their officiating careers.”
Werner is grateful to be one of the few officials to work at the historical UFC Fight Island events. He said, “At the current time with the corona restrictions inhibiting most of national and international shows, it is a privilege to be able to follow my passion to judge and better than that, to judge four UFC shows within three weeks.”
“IMMAF paved the way for my development as an official,” Werner continued. “In addition to what I learnt on the IMMAF Officials Course with Marc Goddard, the experience that I have gained through nine IMMAF championships around the world has been invaluable.”
“The challenges of a whole week of judging at IMMAF Championships has provided great preparation for professional shows,” the German MMA judge added. “My biggest thanks goes to Marc Goddard, the IMMAF lead official, for his leadership, friendship and the opportunities he offers me.”
To be eligible to work at the championships, officials must continue to renew their licenses through ongoing professional education. For inquiries about IMMAF judges and referees certification courses, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
At “UFC 251,” Werner was one of the two judges who scored Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski, 31, of Australia and Max “Blessed” Holloway, 28, of Hawaii 48 and 47, respectively. One judge also scored it 48-47 but in favor of Volkanovski.