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Mixed martial arts. A caged sport that wants to find a frame …

The old sea serpent of the legalization of the MMA in competition resurfaced … Tuesday, April 2, the Minister of Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, has indeed opened the door to a legalization of mixed martial arts, this extreme combat sport, ultra-popular with United States, where all shots are allowed or almost – read our box – in the enclosure of a wire cage. The will displayed by the Minister of Sports is that the MMA is "Accompanied to be able to exist". In short, that the recognition of this discipline is framed by a national federation. Three federations would have the appropriate profile to take over the MMA, which is actually a mix of their different practices: the French kickboxing Federation, Muay Thai and associated disciplines, the French Judo Federation (FFJ) and finally the French Federation of fight. On the judo side, the former world champion and president of the FFJ, Jean-Luc Rougé, is not a warm supporter of the MMA. In 2016, he clearly distanced himself from practice in our columns: "Judo is not like the MMA that organizes fights between judokas, boxers, karatekas … whose goal is to hurt, to hit the opponent on the ground. " Her position has not changed since, although the minister's foot call made her react on Wednesday, April 3, having him explain in a statement that "MMA leisure is no problem. (…) Our federation, with some technical adjustments, can quite manage these activities with its clubs and teachers (…) ". On the other hand, for Rougé, there is no question of working with the MMA at the professional level, a discipline where battles are organized by private companies that do not have, among themselves, the same requirements for medical control and monitoring. "

True, since the MMA is also the sport-business rat race between different organizers, the main one of which, the Ultimate Fighting Championship – an American company – is pushing behind the scenes for this kind of modern circus games to be finally recognized in France and become a much more juicy market.

Still, it will be necessary to put an end one day to the hypocrisy of a discipline not recognized by the State but more and more practiced in the Hexagon, with nearly 240 clubs of MMA and nearly 50 000 practitioners claimed by the French Commission of MMA, chaired by a former judoka, Bertrand Amoussou. Also president of the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (Immaf), the latter has been fighting for fifteen years against " the danger " represented by "The absence of graduate teachers who, behind a wrestling display, karate, Thai boxing or other" teach "MMA".

At the head of the French Wrestling Federation, Alain Bertholom, he stands ready to welcome the MMA: "We have a project that is well on its way to hosting the MMA, which was voted by our general assembly in April 2018, more than 80%, specifies the one who also led an MMA observation mission.So we will be ready to respond to what looks like a kind of departmental tender. What is certain is that we must now decide to properly supervise this practice, otherwise there will be, one day or another, problems … "

Frederic Sugnot


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