The Ultimate Fighting Championship is a global promotion that brings fighters from every single area of the world. Yeah, this syntax makes sense now, as UFC is finally going to make a long awaited debut on French territory. The venue will be Accor Arena, Paris, France, and the date is September 3rd, 2022.
Marvin Vettori expressed his interest in participating in the main event of the evening. The all-time greatest Italian mixed martial artist is already set to face the former UFC 185-pound belt owner Robert Whittaker, but the date is not finalized yet. The Trentino-born “Italian Dream” would like to take part in a five-round bout.
Alright so I guess since can’t find an opponent any earlier I’m fighting Whittaker in Paris.
You better show the fuck up this time.
Lets do it, I’ve been waiting for too long now
— Marvin Vettori (@MarvinVettori) May 18, 2022
Whittaker responded positively on his Twitter too. Both of these guys are extremely technical. If this battle comes to fruition, the diehard fans could enjoy watching five rounds of tactical war, feints, and modern strikes and movement.
— Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma) May 18, 2022
The Problems Of MMA In France
Unfortunately, France hasn’t been too friendly towards UFC events in the past. Professional MMA competitions were illegal for a very long time. Rules were different. For example, Francis Ngannou had to finish Rashid Benzina via a straight armbar in his pro-MMA debut because ground and pound were not allowed.
France’s Ministry of Sports has upheld a series of rules that effectively prohibit mixed martial arts within the country in 2016. It was ordered that the fights would have to take place on the carpet or in the ring with three or four ropes.
Luckily, the state of France finally legalized the sport of MMA in 2020. The event was postponed due to COVID pandemics, but it will happen this September.
Previous Bellator Events And High-Level French UFC Names
Bellator has already held two events in the capital of France in the past. Last time, it happened on May 6, 2022, when it was headlined by the bout between wrestling phenom Ryan Bader and the legendary French kickboxer Cheick Kongo. Bader outclassed Kongo in a five-round 265-pound affair for a dominant decision win.
Luckily, MMA is now legalized in France, and the sport will continue to grow. There are many high-level French fighters on the roster at the moment – Ciryl Gane, Manon Fiorot, Alan Baudot. The reigning defending 265-pound champ Francis Ngannou is Cameroonian but he made his first MMA steps in MMA Factory Paris, led by legendary coach Fernand Lopez.
What are your thoughts on UFC’s first event in France? Does this make you happy?