It’s looking more and more likely that Connecticut won’t be joining the 46 other states that permit and regulate mixed martial arts.
Sen. President Pro Tem Donald Williams said both he and Majority leader Martin Looney remain opposed to a bill that would pave the way for the fast-growing sport in the state.
“This is the first time it’s been before either chamber for a vote,” Williams said. “I don’t think this is something that has been around…even though I’m told many other states do this, I think we want to take a careful look at it before we approve it.”
Connecticut and New York are among the only states that do not permit the intense and increasingly popular sport that blends boxing, wrestling, karate, ju-jitsu and other forms of fighting. Senate Bill 326 would sanction such contests, provided they are regulated.
Williams said both he and Looney met with MMA practitioners and fans. “As they were telling us about it, I pulled out my smart phone and brought up some YouTube videos to take a look at it,” he said.
The way the sport was described by the fans did not match what he saw on the screen, Williams said. “We want to learn more about it,” he said.
Republican U.S. Senator John McCain, who once likened the sport to “human cockfighting.” But another prominent lawmaker, Harry Reid, Democratic Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, is a big fan of the sport, which has a prominent presence in Nevada, Reid’s homestate.