Don’t expect to see the UFC in France any time soon, as the French Sports ministry has confirmed its ban on mixed martial arts, according to a report by ESPN.
They love the suffering of the cyclists in the Alps during the Tour de France, but not the fisticuffs between fighters in a cage.
The UFC has long been working towards holding an event in France, but they first have to overcome political hurdles that block MMA sanctioning in the country.
Mixed martial arts has been accepted, if not legalized, in most major markets around the globe, but there are still pockets of dissent. Surprisingly, New York is still a major holdout in the United States.
France has been on the UFC’s radar for global growth, but it looks like the country is going the New York route for the time being.
“The policy … has not changed and remains clear. The practice of MMA is not allowed and its events/shows are not permitted,” the French ministry confirmed in the ESPN report.
The ministry’s stance was welcomed by, Carole Bretteville, the presideof the Women’s Committee for Federation Francaise du Sport d’Entreprise.
“I was appalled to find out how UFC was lobbying in France, especially when (told) how UFC has tolerated derogatory statements and attitudes against women,” she said. “We cannot allow such an organization to destroy all the work we have done to promote equality through French sports.”
The UFC has continued to forge ahead in other countries, most notably launching production for The Ultimate Fighter: China.
On an independent level, the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation has also continued to gain steam across the globe, boasting 21 members, including France.