Bill to legalize mixed martial arts matches makes its way through committee

Hartford – A bill that would legalize and regulate mixed martial arts matches in the state is poised to pass a second legislative committee this afternoon, despite opposition votes from southeastern Connecticut lawmakers.

Although "MMA" matches are currently allowed at the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos owned by sovereign Indian tribes, they aren't permitted off the reservations in venues such as Hartford's XL Center.

Members of the General Assembly's Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee have until 3 p.m. to vote on the legalization proposal. The bill cleared the public safety committee last month, despite a "no" vote from Rep. Steve Mikutel, D-Griswold.

"It's not something that I am interested in promoting in this state," state Sen. Andrea Stillman, D-Waterford, said today. "I just don't understand the purpose of the activity."

State Rep. Ted Moukawsher, D-Groton, also voted against the bill, as did Rep. Elissa Wright, D-Groton.

"I don't feel comfortable endorsing this kind of combat," Moukawsher said. "It's just brutality masquerading as entertainment."

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