clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lift The Ban Watch: New York, Massachusetts and Kentucky Edition

There's a ton of action in terms of getting the sport legalized. Here goes:

Amateur MMA gets a boost in Kentucky -

A bill passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Steve Beshear will make the growing sport of amateur mixed martial arts ( MMA ) safer in Kentucky.

House Bill 684, sponsored by Rep. Steve Riggs ( D-Louisville ), extends regulations enforced by the Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Authority to amateur MMA bouts. Previously, only professional MMA matches were covered. The bill also establishes a medical review panel for the authority.

The authority's rules help ensure the safety of participants by requiring a medical exam for each competitor, requiring a ringside physician for each match and mandating prompt access to an ambulance, among other measures.

"This was needed legislation, and we are glad it has become law," said Larry Bond, commissioner of the Department of Public Protection, which includes the boxing and wrestling authority. "The legislation will allow some regulation in a contact sport where amateur MMA competitors were exposed to risk and injury by competing in unregulated matches."

More after the jump.

A local politician's effort to squash the sport falls short in Massachusetts:

With Mayor Robert Correia trying to squash a controversial sport the state's declined to regulate, the City Council Tuesday threw a haymaker on his plans to ban "ultimate fighting."

After hearing a dozen protesting advocates of what's loosely called mixed martial arts - from trainers to parents to participants - the council voted a "leave to withdraw" on Correia's draft ordinance.

Rather than continue discussion within its ordinance committee, the council said, in effect, "we're not interested."

"People came from all over the state and their voices were heard," Correia said, criticizing the council's action. "I don't know who spoke for the children of Fall River last night."

"It appeared that the only option was to totally ban mixed martial arts, and I don't feel we had any interest in doing that," said Councilor Cathy Ann Viveiros after proposing not to bring the draft law to their ordinance subcommittee and ask dozens of protesters to return.

Viveiros said she was particularly impressed by parents saying MMA was "working well as an alternative sport," teaching their children discipline, self-protection and self-respect.

And last, but not least, the union lobby in New York could make legalization there a problem:

The hotel workers' union, which claims 90,000 New York members and spent $100,000 on Albany lobbyists last year while making more than $130,000 in New York political donations, mostly to the Democratic and Working Families parties, has also been trying to represent workers at Station Casinos in Las Vegas, off-strip casinos that say they can't afford union pay. Behind the UFC is Zuffa LLC, which donated $25,000 to New York's Democratic Committee last year. Brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta III are behind both the station casinos and the UFC effort.

Union spokesman Eric Sharfstein declined to comment about dealings with Station Casinos and the union's opposition to mixed martial arts in New York.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bloody Elbow Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your MMA and UFC news from Bloody Elbow