Massachusetts has become the 42nd state in the country to regulate MMA, as Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed into law today a bill that would allow the Department of Public Safety to oversee regulation of the sport in the state.
“Mixed martial arts events are enormously popular in Massachusetts and held in venues across the state every day. That is why passing legislation to regulate the sport was so important: We want it to be safe for everyone” said State Senator James Timilty, chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security who led the effort to regulate MMA.
The UFC has not held any events in the state, as they do not hold events in states that do not properly regulate MMA. The UFC has worked with members of the Massachusetts Legislature and the Department of Public Safety for over two years to pass legislation to regulate the sport so it could bring events to the state. This legislation will now enable the company to hold events in Massachusetts. Specifically, the legislation mandates safety and medical requirements for every MMA fighter and event held in the state. The events will also bring an economic boost to local communities across Massachusetts that hosts them.
“The chance to fight in front of my hometown crowd has always been a dream of mine,” top lightweight Kenny Florian said, who campaigned to get the legislation passed. “Now it looks like my dream will finally come true”.
UFC President Dana White also expressed his enthusiasm about the legislation passing.
“I am so pumped that the UFC is finally coming to Massachusetts,” White said. “I guarantee that we will put on an incredible UFC event for Boston in 2010.”
The first UFC event in Massachusetts could be held as early as Summer 2010.