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UFC Paris? France to legalize MMA in 2020

Olympic Preview: Paris 2024 Views Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) may at long last make its mixed martial arts (MMA) debut in Paris, now that France’s minister of sport, Roxana Maracineanu, announced the legalization of cage fighting by way of Twitter.

“As of January 1, 2020, MMA will officially exist as a professional and amateur sports practice in France within the framework of defined by [Ministry of Sports] in harmony with the international landscape of this discipline,” Maracineanu wrote.

Not surprisingly, UFC was all over it.

“UFC welcomes today’s announcement by the Ministry of Sports, which is the first step in officially recognizing MMA and integrating the sport into the French sports ecosystem,” UFC executive Lawrence Epstein said (via ESPN). “We will closely follow the progress of the consultation period and pay particular attention to the respect of the integrity of MMA and preservation of its rules by the host federation. We put our global MMA expertise at the disposal of the authorities to make this process a collective construction.”

The race to Paris, which undoubtedly includes Bellator MMA, has officially begun.

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