The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Sports

May 18, 2009

MMA regulation coming to Indiana

Bill takes effect July 1, UFC shows could follow

ANDERSON — The state of Indiana appears to be headed toward full regulation for the sport of mixed martial arts. Senate Bill 160 was drafted primarily by Sen. Dennis Kruse of Auburn. It has been ratified, and regulation for MMA will take effect on the first day of July.

According to mmafacts.com, MMA is currently regulated in 32 states. A bill to add Hawaii to the list has passed that state’s legislature and is scheduled to go into effect later this year.

There are seven remaining states that do not regulate the sport.

They are: New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Rhode Island and Connecticut. However, in the case of Connecticut, the Mohegan Sun casino is on an Indian reservation and has run MMA shows.

There are also five states that have no athletic commission for MMA or boxing. Those are Alaska, Alabama, Wyoming, South Dakota and Maine.

Full regulation is a move those in the sport feel is necessary.

“It’s needed because at the lower levels, you could have the Wild West,” said Indianapolis’ Chris Lytle, an MMA competitor for 10 years and a UFC veteran. “You could have guys that have never fought before fighting guys that have been in the ring 10 times. You’re protecting the competitors, and that’s the main thing.”

“Last year we had something like 175 MMA shows and 25 boxing shows in the state,” said Myron Gerber, the promoter/owner of the Iron Cage Clash promotion. “Regulation is going to be really good (for the sport). It’s about safety of the fighters.

“The one thing we went back and forth on was having a regular MD versus EMT personnel; which was better at a show.”

Gerber estimates total medical personnel, a licensed MD and emergency personnel with an ambulance on site, could run north of $1,000 for promoters.

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