Last week House Bill 1388 was approved unanimously in the state of Missouri. The 112-29 vote if approved by the Senate tomorrow, March 20, would add amateur kickboxing, and both amateur and professional mixed martial arts to a list of fighting sports that are under state supervision.
You can view House Bill 1388 at the link below:
Those in favor of the bill point to new safety rules aiming to protect children from potential brain damage, while those against argue the bill could restrict parental rights and cost promoters money.
“Why are we picking and choosing which sports that children can participate in?” asked Rep. Wanda Brown. “It is a parental decision.”
The bill states that no fighters under the age of 18 are allowed to participate “in any professional or amateur event the division regulates, other than amateur kickboxing.”
“This bill seeks to shift the regulation of mixed martial arts from the sanctioning body to the Office of Athletics. I repeat we are shifting the supervision over. We are not adding regulations,” said Rep. David Gregory. “As a matter of fact, this bill seeks to eliminate three other regulations within the industry and only add one. We are going to be getting rid of regulations on announcers and managers and we are also going to be eliminating the requirement of cable companies to report their pay-per-view sales.
“Now the regulation being proposed is not allowing kids under the age of 18 to get their heads bashed in in a cage fight. They can still train, they can still fight in all mixed areas of martial arts, they just can’t ground and pound in a cage.”
Two other sections of the bill prohibit the use of elbow strikes and knee strikes to the head during any amateur MMA match.
The bill would also require promoters to obtain a license by providing “the office a surety bond in the amount of twenty-five thousand dollars or an irrevocable letter of credit in the amount of at least twenty-five thousand dollars.”
The UFC, the largest and most well known MMA organization in the United States, held an all professional fight card at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on January 14 of this year. No dates have been announced for the organization’s return to Missouri.