After the French Sports Ministry effectively banned MMA in the country through increased regulation, one French fighter is taking a stand.
Nine-time Bellator veteran Karl Amoussou issued a lengthy statement to MMAjunkie and revealed that he will no longer represent his home nation in competition.
A dual citizen, Amoussou said he will now represent Germany moving forward, citing what he considers to be an unfair ban on the sport in France.
You can read the full statement below
After a long night of reflection following the announcement made by the government on banning MMA competition in France, I’ve made a decision myself. As a patriot, I have always been proud of representing my country on an international level and to always try to honor it through my success, but it doesn’t stop there – to also honou it with my values of respect, dignity, courage and fair play, the values that are omnipresent in my sport.
I’ve fought; we fought for the recognition of this sport that we practice, that we love, or by which we are simply passionate. I’ve never accepted and will never accept to be dragged through the mud; I have never accepted being insulted.
Now, the decision that has just been taken is a direct insult to the entire MMA community. Extremely incoherent things have been said about MMA over the years, about the potential damage/harm to human dignity that this sport can cause to us athletes.
What exactly do you take us for, a bunch of blood thirsty savages? A parliamentary inquiry took place. Doctors, sociologists, lawyers, coaches and fighters were heard. I have no doubt as to the content of their comments because they know the sport and that beyond the technical mastery that this sport requests, there is evidence that MMA is safer and less damaging than boxing.
Politicians visited MMA gyms. Were they shocked to see kids enjoying themselves while practicing this sport in such a playful atmosphere? For these reasons, I know that this mission was in vain and that the final nail had already been put on the coffin.
Despite these barriers, France is worldwide represented at the highest level in MMA, counting several fighters among the top 100 and even top 50, with some of them being part of the most prestigious organizations throughout the world and in Europe, and all this without any support from their country.
MMA is a sport that requires incredible technical mastery; the best MMA fighters can potentially fight at world championship level in wrestling, boxing, muay Thai, grappling, etc.
Where French fighters should be congratulated for their performance, they are looked upon with suspicion and disdain by the French governing body. I have been insulted enough, so I’ve decided to no longer represent France in MMA!
Having both French and German nationality, I will from now on represent Germany. If the French government’s position changes, I may reconsider my stance in a few years; meanwhile, I will fight for a country that respects me as a fighter and top athlete.
I am not jumping ship; take this as an act of protest. I strongly believe that in life you have to be respected, and in order to be respected you must refuse to being submissive. I will not put up with it, so it’s time for me take a stand.
UFC officials have openly expressed their interest in someday holding an event in Paris, though this development would certainly seem to push that possibility further away. A request to the UFC for comment on France’s new combat sports rules was not immediately returned.view original article >>