France's Sports Ministry Says Non Merci to UFC, Upholds Ban on MMA

Kyle Symes@ksymes88Correspondent IIIJuly 22, 2013

Lorenzo Fertitta will have to wait for those croissants while watching UFC cards.

According to a report from ESPN, the French sports ministry has upheld the ban on MMA in the country. A statement was released that effectively shut the door on MMA and the UFC in the country:

"The policy … has not changed and remains clear. The practice of MMA is not allowed and its events/shows are not permitted."

Carole Bretteville, the president of the Women's Committee for Federation Francaise du Sport d'Entreprise, firmly backed the decision based on inequality presented by the UFC.

France works very hard to promote equality in all aspects of life, especially in sports. I was appalled to find out how UFC was lobbying in France, especially when [told] how UFC has tolerated derogatory statements and attitudes against women. We cannot allow such an organisation to destroy all the work we have done to promote equality through French sports.

It looks like Dana White's infamous rant on Loretta Hunt is coming back to bite him in the rear end. There are also antics by fighters that would definitely go against the whole idea of equality—Quinton "Rampage" Jackson getting a little too friendly with a female reporter, for example.

It's not a real surprise that MMA is banned once more in France, either. Although MMA is one of the fastest rising sports in America in popularity, the sport has a rough image overseas. 

Although Fertitta believes France is a massive opportunity for expansion, I don't believe the UFC would want to venture into the market anyway. There are very few, if any, French stars to build a market upon, and we've seen the European press go up in arms over UFC events (anyone remember the headlines about UFC 99?).

The UFC will grow regardless of being accepted into French sports, and with much more economical choices and deeper talent pools available, the UFC won't lose any sleep over this decision.

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