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UFC/MMA News: Draconian law effectively bans MMA in France

448   //    01 Nov 2016, 16:51 IST
French MMA fighters like Kongo can’t ply their trade in their home country any longer

Bad news folks! Don’t expect to see the UFC in France anytime soon. It has effectively been banned, following a new set of rules implemented by the French Sports Ministry. The new guidelines for combat sports events, while never mentioning MMA by name, will deliver a knockout punch to the sport in the country. 

While several techniques, which are outlawed by the new rules are already considered illegal in the unified rules of MMA, such as groin strikes, hair pulling and biting, the others would likely defang the sport. In particular, the ban on ground-and-pound (strikes on the ground) will deliver a killer blow to the sport.

The new rules would also require the contests to be held within a ring and not the usual cage; effectively ruling out any UFC event.

Jean-Luc Rouge, head of the French Judo Federation [FJF], said that any Judo coach teaching MMA would be removed from the federation. He went on to say that MMA was a sport fit for Jihadists. Such strong rhetoric coming from the FJF certainly does not bode well for the future of MMA in France.

The official French MMA Federation, CFMMA, reacted with an announcement saying that they would challenge the new laws by the French Sports Ministry in court. 

Many of France’s top MMA fighters including Bellator heavyweight Cheick Kongo, Tom Duquesnoy and Mansour Barnaoui, have set their sights on a career in the US; while desperate for their sport to be treated seriously in their homeland. 

In a previous interview with MMAJunkie, Cheick Kongo said,

“People think it's a messy sport just for bullies, or people [who fight] with no skills. We've got no respect, no control, no anything. No rules. And they keep the old UFC in mind. When we have the time to share a good discussion about the subject, they will learn and realise that we're just different.”

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