On Monday, Sept. 19, 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 and in a caged MMA ring.

WWFC made history by utilizing an MMA ring in a public event that police refrained from closing down, despite several warnings leading up to the event. But with police in attendance, more history was made as fighters were allowed to use strikes on against their grounded opponents, although elbow strikes were excluded. The event was organized by WWFC promoter Vladimir Teslya.

Commission Française de Mixed Martial Arts (CFMMA), International Mixed Martial Arts Federation affiliate, has been engaging in a drawn out lobbying campaign for the right to hold MMA competitions.

“We always knew there was a loophole (in the law) but nobody took the risk until yesterday to go so far as to actually organize an MMA event with MMA rules in a cage,” stated CFMMA President and IMMAF Board Director Bertrand Amoussou. “This could have been stopped at any time but the police were informed and came only to witness the sportsmanship of MMA.”

Although MMA is not technically illegal in the France, promoters have had difficulties securing licenses permitting the use of the caged safety enclosure or strikes on the ground.

The CFMMA released the following statement regarding the historic event:

“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, marked 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.

About The Author

News Manager

José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.