MMA Ban-Watch: New Legislation Would Give Wisconsin Towns the Power to Make MMA Illegal

Pat Barry

Even though Wisconsin has been regulating MMA competition since early 2010, new legislation is being proposed that would give individual Wisconsin towns the power to outlaw the sport. Introduced on October 6th, 2011 Assembly Bill 308 would authorize more than 1,200 Wisconsin towns to enact and enforce an ordinance prohibiting a person from participating in, operating, maintaining, attending or promoting an amateur or professional MMA fighting contest.

The bill was introduced by State Representatives Pat Strachota (R) and Mark Honadel (R), and co-sponsored by State Senator Glenn Grothman (R), although Honadel has reportedly withdrawn his support.

ESPN Milwaukee’s Drew Olson compares the situation to Footloose, and puts all this silliness in perspective:

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That’s right — with unemployment rampant and a $4 billion deficit strangling the budgets for education, health care, infrastructure and other vital functions of government these nozzles are taking time to worry about banning MMA events and preventing hardworking guys like Duke Roufus, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, Olympian Ben Askren and others from pursuing their sport in their home state. Does this strike anyone else as absurd?

Roufusport head trainer Duke Roufus went on The MMA Show With Mauro Ranallo today and spoke out against the legislation, saying it sets a dangerous political precedent — since the state is supposed to oversee municipalities — and wondered why the same state representatives who green-lit MMA in 2010 are now turning their backs on it.

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For more info on AB-308′s history and the current opposition, check out this post on USCombatSports. You can also follow the issue on the Support_WI_MMA Twitter feed, and if you’re a Wisconsin resident, go here for info on how to contact your local legislator and make your voice heard.