New Laws Officially Ban MMA in France

Posted: October 27, 2016

Updated: October 27, 2016

MMA in France remains illegal after a new set of combat sport regulations set in place by the French Sports Ministry.

The Mixed Martial Arts scene in France has been steadily growing for the past decade. Veteran French fighters such as Cheick Congo and Cyrille Diabate have made tremendous accomplishments in the sport, and a number of young up and coming fighters such as Tom Duquesnoy and Taylor Lapilus are seen by many as future UFC contenders.

Unfortunately, Mixed Martial Arts remains banned in France after the Ministry of Sports made French gambling news by announcing a new set of laws banning all of the fundamental aspects of MMA. One of the new laws states that all combat sports “will take place on a carpet or in a ring with three or four ropes. The corners of the ring will be protected.” This doesn’t exactly kill MMA organizations from operating in France, as some major promotions such as Rizin still use a ring.

Another law, however, makes it completely illegal for any fights to include “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.”

The majority of these techniques are understandably banned from almost all MMA commissions, but the notable inability to strike on the ground and use elbow strikes makes it impossible for MMA promotions to run in France.

What does this mean for the future of MMA in France?

The exact legality of MMA in France has been debated for years, but these new set of laws make it clear; the French government does not want to see MMA in their country. This is bad news for the aforementioned up and comers such as Taylor Lapilus and Tom Duquesnoy, who are both making names for themselves as some of the best European prospects in MMA.

Duquesnoy’s next fight will take place on December 16th in BAMMA, against 24-fight veteran Alan Philpott. Lapulis bounced back from a tough defeat to Erik Perez by scoring a dominant decision victory over Leandro Issa. His next fight has yet to be announced.

While most online sportsbooks in France do not yet offer betting lines for BAMMA (although they should!) nearly all of them offer UFC betting lines. As soon as Lapilus’ next fight is announced, and Tom Duquesnoy makes his way into the UFC, you can bet on them through some great sites such as Intertops. In the meantime, Intertops will offer betting lines on all the major upcoming MMA events such as UFC 205.

The news that MMA in France is officially banned is bad news for fans, but even worse news for French fighters. As of October 2016, only France and Norway still ban MMA, but hopes are high that the CFMMA can eventually convince the Ministry of Sport to change its view on one of the fastest growing sports in the world.

Tell us what you think of MMA being banned in France by leaving a comment below, and make sure to check out Intertops for all the best betting lines in MMA!

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