South Dakota MMA bill passes committee, onto House for vote
February 25, 2013
MMA Junkie reports that South Dakota Senate Bill 84, a bill which would regulate combat sports including MMA in the state is off to the state House of Representatives for a vote. On Monday it was voted unanimously for passage out of the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee.
According to the bill, SB 84 would appoint a 5 person commission. The commission shall have at least one member with actual experience in boxing, kickboxing or MMA. The commission would oversee, “all contests and exhibitions of boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts competitions and sparring exhibitions held in the state of South Dakota.”
The bill would establish licensing fees and fees for events which would in turn fund the athletic commission governing these events.
Although the bill got out of committee, there is still opposition to MMA. Opponents of MMA have tried to pass an amendment which would make boxing and traditional martial arts as the only combat sports regulated in the state. Proponents of the SB 84 can point to an incident at an amateur MMA event last year in which a fighter died shortly after his fight. According to one of its sponsors, the bill was intended to put a halt to unregulated MMA events in the state. This argument had been taken up by Zuffa’s counsel in its lawsuit in New York. It will be interesting to see the debate that will take place when the bill goes to the house.