IMMAF President Hoping To Bring MMA To France Soon
Posted by Joseph Lee on 07.12.2014
The judo community opposes it...
In an interview with MMA Junkie, International Mixed Martial Arts Federation President Bertrand Amoussou said that he hopes to bring MMA to France soon, even with opposition from those in the judo community. Here are highlights:
On the judo community being against the sport: "When you have the president of the judo federation (Federation Francaise de Judo) saying that MMA is not a good sport – and this federation has 600,000 people participating in judo, which is huge for France – you listen to them. So we come in after that and say, ‘No, it's not a bad sport.' We need to show them that we are making an effort and are constantly working on regulations and safety and things like that."
On judo being why the government is against MMA: "The judo federation is very strong in France. They are just afraid the MMA will become bigger than judo, so they are pushing for us not be recognized. We've been going through this process for 10 years now explaining and educating, and fortunately there have also been a lot of changes in the media. Three or four years ago, it was written in the media that MMA is a very brutal sport and things like that, but today they're learning more about MMA and they are saying, ‘Come on, it's not as brutal as we thought. We should recognize the sport. There are good people running the sport. Every time they change the government in France, they keep on saying the same thing, that things are changing, so now they need to make the move."
On things starting to change: "People in France are finally hearing the truth about MMA. Five years ago, they might say it was a brutal sport and ask, ‘Why do you have this octagon? Why do you put those people in that type of situation and allow punches on the ground?' But we have statistics and studies we can share with them to show all that we do in the sport for fighter safety. Once they really study it, it's obvious they need to make the move."