Conn. should legalize mixed martial arts fights

In reading the May 11 editorial, "Birds of prey," opposing the legalizing of mixed martial arts contests in Connecticut, I must respectfully disagree.

Though I am not a fan of this sport, I share a workout facility with people who train diligently for it. From the boxing end I've seen the preparation and training these remarkable athletes undergo, and it is impressive.

The participants not only train drug-free and with a Spartan degree of conviction, they do so with an uncanny sense of safety and respect for one another. Most are soft-spoken and modest, not at all the bellicose bullies uninformed critics portray them to be.

Competitions I've seen on television show that matches are closely monitored by officials who step in and halt lopsided contests before they get out of hand. This is no longer an activity to be compared to the ugly nature of animal fighting, which is run by degenerates.

Dangerous? Yes, it's a contact sport. But it has matured over time, like all the rest. I urge those who disagree - in particular, politicians voting on this issue - to talk with these athletes and their coaches, watch their workouts, then evaluate it (minus hyperbole) before coming to a conclusion.

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