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cheick-kongo-15.jpgFrance is the latest country to join the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation, IMMAF officials today announced.

The country’s national federation that represents MMA, Commission National de Mixed Martial Arts (CNMMA), is a nonprofit that launched in 2009 to support MMA’s development in the European country.

However, the sport currently is banned in France.

“The CNMMA has made progress in the political arena in the last year, and we are confident that the IMMAF membership will encourage the political leaders as well as the French sports community to evaluate and welcome MMA in the near future,” IMMAF board member Bertrand Amoussou stated. “I truly believe that MMA will soon play an important role in the martial arts family here in France.”

The IMMAF, which also welcomed Brazil’s national MMA commission (Comissao Atletica Brasileira de MMA) to its group earlier this year, is a nonprofit body aimed at furthering MMA around the globe. It launched in early 2012 and quickly welcomed the U.S., Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Nepal and the U.K., among others.

The IMMAF has support from the UFC, and UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner chairs the organization’s technical committee.

The UFC has expressed interest in hosting a show in France once MMA is permitted. French fighters such as Cheick Kongo and Cyrille Diabate currently compete for the organization.

(Pictured: Cheick Kongo)

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