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Lift The Ban Watch

Below is a snippet from an article that acknowledges the tremendous benefit of state regulation of MMA while also underscoring the current limitations in the system. Most importantly, though, is that the unprecedented growth of the sport is causing state athletic commissions to act. That's a blessing because shady promoters will be hampered in their attempts to make a quick buck by holding tough man contests; yet, if rules are adopted hastily it can be a curse, too. Regulation that's incomplete is still regulation, but it's a far cry from where it needs to be. To wit:

That's why some states are reluctant to allow mixed martial arts competitions in their states. Right now, the competition is illegal in states like Maryland, Michigan, New York, and West Virginia.

Sanctioning groups like the International Sport Combat Federation or ISCF said these stances are a result of a lack of knowledge. ISCF Representative Mike Storm said, "The people who legislate it are probably not aware of the benefits and the safety aspects that they do impose upon themselves in this sport."

Just recently the state of Illinois passed legislation to regulate the professional side of the sport with rules similar to boxing, but they have left amateur competitions unregulated.

Tim Lueckenhoff, the president of the Association of Boxing Commissions , said that's a bad idea because there are so many events nationwide and no one database that tracks fighter injuries. "They can fight from day to day, state to state. They could have medical injuries. They could have been knocked out. They could have been unconscious the day before and nobody knows that information," Lueckenhoff said.

At local amateur competitions promoted by "The Hive" and sanctioned by the ISCF, athletes are required to get checked-out before fights with physicals. Storm said, "We do the specific rules in order to keep the fighters safe. The last thing we want is anyone getting seriously injured in this."

But fighter history is left up to the fighter. Again, there is no centralized database to track fighter injuries. Lueckenhoff said, "The key with this is that there are a unified set of rules."