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.  

Payout Perspective:

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.

5 Responses to “South Dakota MMA bill passes committee, onto House for vote”

  1. Mike on February 26th, 2013 6:16 AM

    I have personally been involved in this and precusors to this bill since 2008. This bills main opposition is from Governor Dennis Dauggard. He has sent me a personal letter stating that he main reason for not appointing the last commission with the passed and signed into law HB 1239 in 2009 was that he didn’t like the sport.

  2. Mike on February 26th, 2013 6:18 AM

    We can use help from Doctors, Professional promotors, state representatives as to the improvement in safety, in their states. you can send emails to me at mike.kilmer

  3. Machiel Van on February 26th, 2013 1:49 PM

    How many states still don’t have legislation to regulate professional MMA? I didn’t even know South Dakota didn’t until this story broke a few days ago.

  4. Andrew Wieczezynski on February 26th, 2013 5:52 PM

    @Machiel Van

    I believe it’s four:

    New York

  5. Jason Cruz on February 26th, 2013 10:54 PM

    @MV, @Andrew is correct

    45 states regulate MMA. The only holdouts:

    South Dakota (legislation pending)
    New York
    Connecticut (legislation pending and there are events on tribal reservations)
    Alaska has no athletic commission so its not per se illegal
    Montana has an athletic commission but does not regulate MMA

    West Virginia, Wyoming and Vermont were the latest to legalize MMA.

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