In France, the Comité National olympique et Sportif Français validated the decision of the Ministère des Sports to legalize mixed martial arts in the country under the auspices of the Fédération Française de Boxe on February 7, 2020. The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation and the Comité Français de Mixed Martial Arts were among the governing bodies that responded to the announcement.
“The official announcement by the CNOSF is a crucial step on the path to creating a dynamic MMA structure in France,” IMMAF president Kerrith Brown commented. “The IMMAF will continue to supply constructive support and advice to all the MMA stakeholders.”
This is good news for IMMAF board director Bertrand Amoussou. He also serves as a CFMMA co-president.
“After many years of commitment and hard work by MMA activists in France, it is a major milestone that CNOSF has recognized our sport,” Amoussou said. “We are now looking forward to working hard, and in a unified way, to ensure that the structures set up to govern MMA work as well as possible.”
The decision concludes a tender launched by the Ministère des Sports in 2019 to decide under which federation the sport’s governance would be developed to enable the legalization of MMA in France. In the country, by law, all sports must be governed within the structures of a government recognized federation and meet specific administrative criteria over a number of years.
The interim housing of MMA within a comparative sport’s structures has allowed the Ministère des Sports to fast-track the legalization and regulation of MMA in France while the sport’s stake holding organizations within the country are still in a developmental phase. Now, fight fans are expecting promotions like the Ultimate Fighting Championship, ONE Championship, Bellator MMA and BRAVE Combat Federation to hold events in the country in 2020.
Among the MMA veterans from France are Karl “Psycho” Amoussou, 34, and Moise “Swamp” Rimbon, 42, who competed in the BRAVE CF in 2018 and in 2019, respectively. Here is a clip featuring Karl: