Friday, February 2, 2007

Mixed-martial arts bouts need oversight

The state auditor has recommended that mixed-martial arts bouts in Hawaii be regulated to protect fighters from injury and the public from potential harm.

"At certain events, attendance has reportedly exceeded capacity, liquor laws are being violated, and security is insufficient to control unruly crowd," Auditor Marion M. Higa said in a report to Gov. Linda Lingle and the state Legislature.

Last year, lawmakers requested that Higa study a proposal to license martial arts events, which grew to 29 in 2005 from eight in 2000.

Although the top fighters can make $50,000 to $75,000 per night, most local fighters fight for free or for a few hundred dollars, Higa said.

The sport is regulated in 24 states. Higa also said that the two main motivations for new regulations were to protect the fighters' health, remove the stigma of no-rules brawling and to provide satisfying entertainment for viewers.

She suggested that the state boxing commission have oversight or that a separate mixed-martial arts commission be established


No comments: