Where is MMA Legal and Banned?

MMA is now allowed in practically every country on the planet. Some countries do not recognize or promote mixed martial arts as a sport, but it does not mean it is banned in such countries.

We’ll talk about the legality of MMA bouts around the globe in this article. Although martial arts and combat sports aren’t illegal, MMA has been and continues to be a major issue of debate around the world, though as we’ll see, things are slowly but surely changing.

Which Countries is MMA Legal?

Most countries have made MMA legal, with a few exceptions. 

We have been unable to acquire all of the world’s legislation governing the status of specific martial arts, therefore we will focus on the more developed nations with a history of combat sports. MMA is now legal in the majority of English-speaking countries. Although there have been debates about the usage of cages in the states of Victoria and Western Australia, the sport is now totally legal in all of Australia’s states and territories. Both have outlawed its use at one point but have since re-legalized it.

In the U. S., South Africa, and Singapore, the sport is totally legal. While not illegal, MMA is not officially recognized as a competition in the Republic of Ireland. This does not preclude MMA competitions, but it does have implications for MMA competitors’ legal status as athletes in Ireland.

For a long time, Canada was an outlier, as MMA was outright prohibited in the country for years, and MMA fights were even punishable under the Criminal Code. Over time, individual Canadian states enacted measures legalizing MMA fights, and in 2013, the state passed a bill decriminalizing MMA matches. This certainly didn’t make MMA legal across Canada, but it did allow each state to pass its own legislation on the sport’s legal status.

Brazil is one of the countries where mixed martial arts is recognized as a legitimate sport.

The situation in Europe varies from country to country. Countries such as Belgium and Denmark, for example, do not prohibit MMA, but they also do not advocate it or recognize it as a sport. Bulgaria, Sweden, Portugal, Russia, and Romania recognize MMA as a legal sport, while France recognizes MMA as a legal sport, but due to strong opposition, it is only lawful to a limited extent, as full-contact MMA fighting is outlawed. 

Which Countries is MMA Banned?

There is only one country that can be found that has an outright ban of MMA. Norway is one of the few main countries that has completely banned MMA, making it illegal in the country. 

That covers the most relevant nations in the world, and as we can see, MMA is legal and recognized in the vast majority of major markets, with only a few countries criminalizing it or giving it limited recognition.

The Legal Status of Mixed Martial Arts in the Future

MMA will become a legally recognized sport in much of the world in the near future.

It is already fully legal in the vast majority of major markets, and the number of nations where it has little or no recognition or is banned is tiny and growing. As a result, we anticipate that the current trend will continue, and that MMA fights will be legalized in all nations in due time.