UFC, Octagon, banning
Photo by Antonio Fucito

The French Government has today passed new regulations, which will effectively make Mixed Martial Arts illegal in the country, due to the banning of several key elements of the sport.

A press release from the French Sports Ministry titled “Decree relating to technical regulations and security for public combat sport events” has laid out the new guidelines the country will follow moving forward which includes the banning the use of a cage as well as several common MMA techniques which will no longer being permitted in combat sports in the country. The press release has outlined the following changes that need to be applied to any combat sport event taking place but make no specific mention of the specific sport.

“Fights will take place on a carpet or in a ring with three or four ropes. The corners of the ring will be protected.”

“The following techniques are strictly outlawed and will lead to immediate disqualification:

“Punches, kicks or strikes with the knees against a fighter on the ground; any strike with the elbow; headbutts; blows to the genitals, the spine, the back of the head or the throat; putting the fingers in the eyes, mouth or nose;

“Pulling the hair; biting; throwing (the opponent) intentionally onto the head or neck; throwing the opponent out of the ring.”

CFMMA, the official French MMA Federation have since let be known that they intend to challenge the new laws through the court systems however this may prove even more difficult due to the CFMMA not being recognised as an official governing body meaning MMA does not qualify as a regular combat sport in France however they have been petitioning since early 2015 campaigning for themselves and the sport to be recognised by the State.

“It’s amazing given the timing and it is disrespectful,” CFMMA president and one-time PRIDE fighter Bertrand Amoussou told L’Express in response to the report.

“The Ministry takes us for idiots. All countries have recognised MMA in Europe except France and Norway. I hoped it would not come to this but the CFMMA will launch a legal action to contest this decree.”