French politician and judoka, David Douillet, was invited yesterday by media outlet, L’Equipe 21, to talk about the Baku 2015 European Games. He was also drawn to comment on the battle instigated by Judo on MMA in France.
The serving MP is significant not only as a former Minister of Sport but also as the most successful French judoka in history, with a record that includes two Olympic titles obtained in 1996 in Atlanta and in 2000 in Sydney. He is also a quadruple World Champion and European Champion. Douillet’s interview with L’Equipe 21 was conducted in his role as official ambassador of the European Games in France.
L’Equipe 21 questioned Douillet about the recent controversial decision by the European Judo Union to relocate the European Judo Championships from Glasgow to Baku, following its disagreement with the British Judo Association about its partnership with the UFC. The politician replied that he disagreed with the decision as he found it too severe. He added that, in his opinion, the decision was not only “bizarre”, but also “undemocratic” and “brutal”.
On the topic of “Judo vs. MMA”, Douillet said that “this new form of Judo” (i.e. MMA) is a progressive “sport of the future”, one that is in constant evolution. He continued to say that given how strong traditional Judo is, it was “absolutely ridiculous” that its representatives should be afraid of the development of a new sport such as MMA. Douillet outlined his belief that Judo has the necessary qualities and should be open minded enough to “support and possibly work in collaboration with this new sport”.
Fellow judoka and IMMAF CEO, Densign White commented:
“I wholeheartedly agree with the comments of David Douillet. It is refreshing to hear a voice of reason. David is such an iconic figure not only from the world of judo but also from French politics, both as an Olympic champion and sports minister. At last we are starting to hear some rational and intellectual dialogue on this topic.”