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Despite ‘child porn’ remark by South Dakota legislator, MMA on its way to regulation there

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

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Is it too much to hope for a fight card in front of Mt. Rushmore? (Getty)

It turns out comparing MMA to child porn is not the best lobbying technique. After a congressman in South Dakota rallied against a bill to regulate MMA by calling it "the child porn of sports," the bill still passed through the South Dakota House 50-20.

Steve Hickey, the representative who grabbed plenty of headlines by fighting against MMA's regulation in his state, tried to add an amendment to create a commission that would oversee different disciplines of martial arts but not MMA, because that makes a ton of sense. Wait, no, it doesn't. The South Dakotan House saw the lack of sense in that amendment and defeated it.

After the bill makes a quick stop in the Senate to review the amendments that were passed, the bill will head to the desk of South Dakota governor Dennis Daugaard. He has strongly opposed MMA in the past, but the South Dakota Argus Leader says it will still likely become a law:

Daugaard could sign the bill, veto it, or let it become law without his signature. Both houses of the Legislature passed the fight commission bill with margins sufficient to override any veto.

Hickey's remarks about MMA brought back memories of governments across the country banning "no-holds barred" fighting in the late 90s, and Senator John McCain calling MMA "human cockfighting." Since then, regulation and rules have turned MMA into the sport we know today. It's now regulated in 46 states, and in 2007, McCain even praised MMA's progress.

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