(London.20th September 2015) Last night on 19th September for the very first time on French soil, World Warriors Fighting Championship held a martial arts event under the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and in a caged MMA ring.
‘WWFC Cage Encounter 4’ at the Cirque d’Hiver in Paris marked the fulfilment of a long held dream for France’s mixed martial arts community. Although MMA is not technically illegal in the country, it has in practice been impossible for promoters to secure licenses permitting the use of the caged safety enclosure or strikes on the ground. IMMAF affiliate, the Commission Française de Mixed Martial Arts (CFMMA), has been engaged in a drawn out lobbying campaign for the right to hold MMA competitions.
WWFC made history by utilising an MMA ring in a public event that police refrained from closing down, despite forewarning. With police in attendance, new territory was also charted by the inclusion in the ruleset of strikes on the ground, although elbow strikes were excluded. The event was organized by WWFC promoter Vladimir Teslya.
CFMMA President and IMMAF Board Director Bertrand Amoussou commented:
“We always knew there was a loophole (in the law) but nobody took the risk until yesterday to go so far as to actually organise an MMA event with MMA rules in a cage. This could have been stopped at any time but the police were informed and came only to witness the sportsmanship of MMA.”
The Commission Française de Mixed Martial Arts (CFMMA) commented in a public statement:
“For the first time an event reported to the authorities was held under the Unified Rules of MMA. This sets a legal precedent. We now expect a reaction from the government. However last night it was shown publicly that the fighting is regulated, structured and sanctioned; that the fighters are professionals trained in the various techniques, including those used on the ground; that the audience are people who attend in a spirit of friendly sportsmanship. It is for these reasons that the CFMMA requests again that the state and its highest representative, Francois Hollande, legislate to recognise the existence of this sports discipline, and for it to be permitted under federal guidelines.”
The CFMMA believe that the event, which was sponsored by Adidas Combat Sports, marks the beginning of a new era for MMA in France and predict that the breakthrough may encourage other promoters to hold Unified Rules MMA events. This in turn will make government recognition of mixed martial arts as a sport essential, in order to enable the necessary sanctioning of events.
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