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Connecticut Becomes the 49th State to Legalize MMA

Apr 27, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; UFC co-owner and president Dana White addresses the media during a press conference after UFC 159 at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Craig AmosFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2013

The UFC has made a concerted effort over the past several years to extend the sprawl of its product—the sport of mixed martial arts—both internationally and domestically. 

On the international side of things, the promotion has made some great strides, regularly holding events in the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada and Australia, and venturing into several other countries, such as China, Japan, Germany and Sweden.

The results have also come in the United States where, today, the penultimate domino fell as state 49 of 50 officially legalized MMA.

That state? Connecticut.

The news comes via Marc Ratner's Twitter account:

@MarcRatnerUFC: Connecticut becomes the 49th State to legalize MMA ....NY is the last holdout and we'll get there too!” Woo hoo!!

The enthusiasm in Ratner's tweet is apparent, and the ruling is indeed a boon to the continued growth of the sport.

But, considering that the last remaining holdout is New York, getting Connecticut on board is kind of like catching a minnow instead of a marlin.

Nevertheless, it's a victory that is both pragmatic and symbolic. Pragmatic because aspiring mixed martial artists in Connecticut now have a local venue to develop their craft. Symbolic because it puts New York on an island.

Whether the east coast cultural center feels increased pressure remains to be seen, but it will certainly become more difficult to justify barring something that is accepted in most places around the world and uniformly throughout 49 other states. 

For now though, MMA supporters will have to content themselves with Connecticut. Perhaps not the most monumental of moments, but one that could accelerate the spinning of the wheel.

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