Lift the Ban Watch: Pennsylvania to Regulate Mixed Martial Arts

York Blog breaks the news with a press release issued by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission announcing the encouraging news:

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania has joined the growing number of states to allow Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, events, now that the State Athletic Commission has approved final regulations for the sport, Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro A. Cortés announced today. The new regulations take effect Feb. 27, 2009.

"I commend the work of the State Athletic Commission on the regulations, which were crafted to ensure participant and spectator safety," Cortés said. "These efforts will assure licensure and testing of participants for communicable diseases, as well as require emergency medical care and insurance for participants. Regulation of the sport also will help ensure that events are orderly and crowd control is maintained."

Cortés noted that MMA has actively sought regulation. Pennsylvania joins a growing number of states, including New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, California, Nevada and Florida that permit Mixed Martial Arts.

The State Athletic Commission anticipates regulating four to five MMA events per month, which may generate as much as $80,000 per year in revenue for the commission. As a self-supporting entity, the State Athletic Commission receives no taxpayer dollars from the state's General Fund.

The commission and staff worked for more than a year to prepare the final regulations, which are commensurate with current boxing rules. Health and safety of the fighters and public protection are key themes of the regulations. Many facets of the sport were addressed, including age and medical requirements, fees, promoter activity, and ring requirements.

Read the whole thing for a full list of regulations.

As for the news itself, it's highly encouraging that not just another state approved MMA to be regulated, but that a state with an exceptionally strong high school and collegiate wrestling pedigree is now jumping into the fold. Over the long run, this will help create more open avenues for amateur wrestlers located in Pennsylvania state limits to climb the ranks of MMA competition. This is all very exciting news. Congratulations, Pennsylvanians.

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