Connecticut considering bill to legalize MMA

February 23, 2011

The Hartford Courant reports that lawmakers are considering the introduction of a bill that would sanction mixed martial arts.

Via the Hartford Courant:

State Sen. Joan Hartley, a Democrat from Waterbury who co-chairs the public safety committee, asked at a hearing Tuesday how MMA differed from the professional wrestling shows staged by the Connecticut-based World Wrestling Entertainment. “We’re not scripted entertainment,” responded Marc Ratner, vice president of government and regulatory affairs for Ultimate Fighting Championship, the Las Vegas-based company that promotes most of the top-ranked MMA matches. “These are real fights.”

Hartley said she is open to the idea of sanctioning MMA matches, provided the regulatory requirements don’t burden the state’s budget.

“This bill will put mixed martial arts on an equal footing with boxing, allowing the thousands of MMA fans in Connecticut the opportunity to watch their pastime without leaving the state,” state Rep. Matthew Lesser told the legislature’s public safety committee Tuesday afternoon. “In addition, it would generate economic activity and should be revenue positive.”

A 5 percent tax on MMA gate receipts would bolster the state’s bottom line, Lesser said.

Forty-six states currently sanction MMA competitions. Massachusetts joined the list last year. Vermont and New York are two of four states that have not. And that, say proponents, provides an opportunity for Connecticut, given its proximity to a large base of fans in the Empire State.

Payout Perspective:

A very positive article about the possibility of legalizing MMA in Connecticut. The article did not provide an opposing view on the legalization of MMA with the exception of the usual “human cockfighting” quote. The backers of this bill see this as a way to stimulate the state’s economy. While they are realistic about how much it can assist, they also realize that the state can take advantage of New York’s ban on MMA and solicit the UFC, Strikeforce or other organizations to sponsor events instead of New York.

H/T: Robert Joyner via twitter

3 Responses to “Connecticut considering bill to legalize MMA”

  1. Tweets that mention Connecticut considering bill to legalize MMA : The Business of MMA -- on February 24th, 2011 1:06 AM

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  2. BrainSmasher on February 24th, 2011 9:08 PM

    Isnt this the state that Vince McMahon’s wife is now a politician in? If so wonder what effect she will have?

  3. Steve on February 26th, 2011 2:18 AM

    I know that the McMahons have been covertly trying to stop it. I mean their business has already been decimated since the rise if MMA (though much of that is their own doing) but having MMA in their backyard is more of a moral loss than anything.

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