Tennessee on the Brink of Legalizing MMA

According to a recent article in The Daily Times of Tennessee, the state looks to be on the verge of passing a bill next spring that would legalize the sport of MMA. UFC officials seem to be very excited about the prospect of holding a show in either Nashville or Memphis since it’s supposedly a hotbed for fans.

With a bill addressing the issue likely headed to a summer studies committee, Bast said she hopes to have legislation passed by May 2008 and feels events in Tennessee could be held as early as December of next year. Despite numerous bills being proposed on the matter, Bast said the diligence put into the current legislation — including the differentiating between mixed martial arts and boxing — helps it carry more credence.

“Before we go legalizing another combat sport, we wanted to make sure that we got it right the first time,” Bast said. “We didn’t want to legalize it this year and have some of the problems with the boxing boards spill over to the mixed martial arts community.”

If Bast’s prediction holds true, the opportunities that would come with legalization in the state of Tennessee have the UFC excited about the possibilities.

“We would love to come to Nashville or to Memphis. That certainly is one of our goals,” said Marc Ratner, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for the UFC. “And I do believe we will have the sport approved in the next year or less, and we’re anxious to come before the Tennessee legislature when the day comes and try to educate them and talk about it.”

The article also states that Illinois and Michigan both currently have legislation pending concerning the legalization of the sport as well…



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