MMA Legalization in Massachusetts

Tony PrestonCorrespondent IOctober 29, 2009

Massachusetts state representatives recently passed legislation to legalize Mixed Martial Arts in the state. This has brought talk of when will the UFC visit Boston and when will Dana White go through with his plan to host an outdoor event at Fenway Park. It is not as easy as it seems though.

Once the governor signs the bill it is not automatically legal for anybody to hold an MMA event. All the bill does it make it legal for MMA events to be held if the community decides that they are okay with MMA events being held in their community.

Another problem that could arise is similar to what happened in Michigan. In December of 2006 the governor signed the bill making MMA legal in Michigan saying that due to the states failing economy bringing a UFC event here would be a major boost. However, the way the bill was worded amateur MMA was legal once the bill took effect in March of 2007, but professional MMA was still illegal until the Unarmed Combat Commission, formerly the Boxing Commission, appointed the MMA members and the commission set the license fee and requirements.

In March of 2009, Dana White said that as soon as Michigan finished putting together the regulations for professional MMA he planned on setting a date to hold a show in the Detroit area. One of his reasons for coming to Detroit was because even with being one of the hardest hit states by the recession, the number of pay per view buys for the Detroit area was one of the top areas in the country. Unfortunately even this has not been enough to motivate the commission to get their act together. The commission meets every three months and the June meeting was canceled due to lack of pending business when it seems there is plenty of pending business.

Now it is October of 2009 and the Unarmed Combat Commission has six of the eleven positions filled, three of the four boxing positions and all three public positions, none of the MMA positions are filled. Also a basic outline of the requirements to be licensed are laid out by changing the words boxer or boxing to MMA fighter or MMA for the MMA section. Also, there are no fees posted for MMA licenses.

Hopefully, this does not happen in Massachusetts, and MMA legislation is quickly passed and all the communities approve MMA so that not only will Boston hold a UFC event but several small local promotions will form.