MMA’s legalization in France pushed back from January 1

Francis Ngannou, Dana White

It seems that the legalization of MMA in France won’t happen as soon as we thought.

As reported by Le Parisien, the legalization of MMA has been postponed to February or even later, not on January 1 as originally planned. The Minister of Youth and Sports of France, Roxana Maracineanu, decided to hear more from French National Olympic and Sports Committee in order to make a call about MMA’s legalization.

This decision should be make on February, but the actual legalization could be delayed even further, and that could be a problem for those promoters who already had mixed martial arts events scheduled in 2020 on French soil.

One of those promoters, Fernand Lopez, head coach of MMA Factory and ARES FC co-founder and matchmaker, already had a plan B though.

The first ARES FC event is going to be hosted in Dakar, Senegal, but the France-based promoter already had Paris on his mind for their second gig.

“This delay is a shame but we expected it. When a force goes in one direction, there is always a counter-force to oppose. The date of March 21 for the ARES 2 will not change. Even if we want to do it in Paris, we have already booked a place in a European city to host the event, if necessary. The Ares machine will not stop.”, Ferand Lopez told Le Parisien.

He is not the only one who was willing to host MMA shows in this unexplored territory, as the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s president Dana White stated during a press conference that the promotion is going to hold its first event in Paris in 2020.

Some fighters, in fact, were already trying to book fights for the Paris card, trading shots on social media.

“How about Paris in March? Or you are too afraid to fall in front of your audience?” asked Alexander Volkov to former UFC title contender Francis Ngannou.

Do you think UFC will still land in France in 2020, or do we still have more waiting on our hands?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/5/2019.