The legalization of MMA in the country of France will be overseen by the French Boxing Federation (FBF).
“Having requested and analysed all relevant information received from a number of combat federations who were interested in welcoming MMA, we have decided, by an official Ministerial Decision, to delegate the sport of MMA to the French Boxing Federation,” the ministry said in an official statement.
The decision builds on legalization of the sport in France, which began in 2019, by assigning the development of the sport to the FBF in a two year temporary arrangement.
The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) released a statement Tuesday endorsing the French Minister of Sports Roxana Maracineanu’s decision.
“We are delighted to see that Boxing will now be the partner of MMA in France, where it has extremely well established and respected structures,” IMMAF president Kerrith Brown said. “Above all, we believe that by partnering with boxing, MMA will show that it shares a willingness to create the right culture and values, especially in membership and education programmes for athletes, coaches and officials.”
“This is another significant milestone for the sport of amateur MMA,” IMMAF CEO Design White added. “France is a major sporting nation and host of the Olympic Games in 2024, so partnering with boxing will be a massive boost in the growth of MMA in the country. This is a major step in the ongoing campaign by IMMAF for international recognition of MMA as a sport with Olympic values.”
French UFC heavyweight star Francis Ngannou has expressed interest in hosting an MMA event once legalization is complete.