Connecticut became the 47th state in the U.S. to regulate MMA last week and there was much rejoicing. However it looks like a clause in the bill might make it prohibitively expensive for most promoters to put on events in that state. The AP has the scoop:
Despite legislative action to lift Connecticut's ban on mixed martial arts, plans to bring the sport to venues across the state are hanging in limbo because of a provision making promoters liable for health care costs associated with fighters' injuries.
"We wouldn't promote a show within a jurisdiction that would require that," said Joe Cuff, a promoter at Reality Fighting, which currently organizes MMA events at Mohegan Sun. "You're taking on a ton of liability."
The health care provision was backed by Senate President Donald Williams Jr., a Democrat who voted against the main bill Wednesday after preventing the Senate from even considering it in previous years.
Cuff said it is standard procedure for doctors to provide medical inspections at fight events and for promoters to supply insurance to help defer possible health care costs, as they do in boxing. But Williams said such policies often cover only the night of the fight and have a low cap, leaving fighters personally liable for potentially large, long-term medical bills.
All states that regulate MMA events require insurance, but none requires promoters to cover fighters' health care costs, said Steven Greenberg, a spokesman for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, one of the nation's largest MMA promoters. New York is the only other state in the country where professional MMA matches are banned.
Greenberg said that UFC had not yet determined how the health care provision would affect its plans but that it hoped to organize its first MMA fight in Connecticut sometime in 2014."
The UFC provides health insurance to its fighters but is the only promotion to do so.