Just seen this article in my local newspaper thought it was interesting and related to the forum.
LANSING, MI -- State Rep. Harvey Santana is pushing for quick action on his bills that would regulate mixed martial arts bouts in Michigan following the weekend death of a fighter in Port Huron.
"There are fights like this every weekend," Santana, D-Detroit, told MLive. "What are you going to do? Wait for victim number two."
Santana's bills, currently awaiting a vote in the House, would create an advisory commission to oversee amateur MMA, an aggressive and increasingly-popular sport that involves punching, kicking and grappling. The legislation would require promoters to be licensed, carry health insurance for fighters and have a physician on site at fights.
Michigan is one of 13 states to allow amateur MMA fights but not regulate them. Regulation proponents had long feared that a fighter would be killed, and Santana said those fears were realized this weekend.
The Port Huron Times Herald reports that a 35-year-old Canadian fighter collapsed and died Saturday after losing a fight by technical knockout in the third round. An autopsy did not reveal a cause of death, and officials are awaiting a toxicology report.
Santana, noting that the fighter did not undergo a pre-fight medical screening and the promoter did not have an ambulance on hand, said such common-sense regulations could be the difference between life and death.
"This environment is ripe, ripe for these type of things to happen, and that's why we have to regulate it," he said. "Everything could have been prevented. We have to move on these bills."
Ari Adler, a spokesperson for House Speaker Jase Bolger, said there is "no time frame right now" for a vote on the bills, which were reported out of committee last month with recommendation and are similar to a package introduced last year by a Republican lawmaker.
Several MMA fighters testified in support of regulations during the committee hearings. Opponents, including Americans For Prosperity-Michigan, say the state is already over-regulating many occupations.