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Lift The Ban Watch: Maryland Edition

Apparently, things aren't going as smoothly as I thought they were:

ANNAPOLIS - The Senate has delayed making a decision on whether to allow brutal mixed martial arts contests in Maryland.

Lawmakers decided Tuesday to put off for one day a decision on whether to regulate sometimes-brutal fights known as mixed martial arts. Currently such contests, sometimes called "ultimate fighting," are illegal in Maryland.

Supporters say the mixed-martial arts contests should be allowed but need oversight by the state agency that also oversees boxing matches. But some senators questioned whether Maryland should allow violent fights, sometimes fought in cages.

I'm not completely surprised by this. As you may recall, I was at the initial Senate hearing on this bill. The committee at that time was friendly, but there were two members who hadn't heard of MMA nor had they even seen a single MMA fight. Worse, the head of the committee described MMA to the rest of the committee as "kickboxing with the addition of wrestling", thereby wholly ignoring submissions. The Senators seemed disinterested, but willing to pass the resolution. My hunch is that upon actually watching footage (which was supplied to them at their request), they got skiddish about the physicality of the sport. Stay tuned.

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