clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Case For Legalized MMA in Maryland

Pramit Mohapatra makes it:

According to U.S. Census Bureau data for 2006 (the last year data is available), Maryland is ranked number one in the country in median household income. With the rising popularity of the sport, it only makes sense to make sure that this income is spent within the state rather than forcing fans to travel to D.C., Virginia or Atlantic City for the nearest MMA events.

The state is already home to a number of successful academies producing pro talent such as Lloyd Irvin's Academy in Camp Spring and Ground Control in Baltimore. By holding pro MMA competitions in the area, the sport will also be able to attract some of the area's deep pool of athletic talent (that produces bumper crops annually in football and basketball) to MMA.

There's no doubt that Baltimore, Maryland's largest city, is a prime spot for the UFC or any other major MMA promotion looking to hold an event on the East Coast. The city, which has experienced a big-time renaissance this decade, is located ideally off I-95 about midway up the East Coast and within easy driving distance of D.C., Philly and New York.

Baltimore is already home to two major pro sports teams (the Ravens and Orioles) and attracts a number of conventions, concerts, and even professional wrestling events throughout the year. There's also talk of building a brand new arena to replace the aging 1st Mariner Arena. A new arena along with all the new hotel rooms being added in and around the city could easily handle the 15,000-20,000 people who usually descend on the largest MMA events in this country.

Obviously I believe legalized MMA in Baltimore would be a great thing, but I prefer to have it in DC. I'm not sure why promoters haven't jumped on the idea. The symbolic gesture is powerful and there are a ton of underserved MMA fans in the area. And if the UFC can go to awful Newark, there's no reason they can't come here...or Baltimore.