“Connecticut legalizes MMA” is probably not a headline that mixed martial arts fans expected to read today, given the state’s long history of opposing the sport. But Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy, with the aid of lawmakers, changed that on Thursday by lifting the state’s long-running ban.
WTNH.com first reported that Malloy had signed the bill into law late Thursday. Promoters will be able to launch fight cards as early as October 1.
NBC Connecticut added that House Speaker Brendan Sharkey had taken to Twitter shortly following the decision to congratulate MMA fans, stating that the legislation would be “good for the economy too.”
While that may very well be true, not everyone in the fight community was enthusiastic about the bill. Some promoters have shown concerns over a stipulation that would put the burden of healthcare costs on them in the inevitable event of an injury.
Reality Fighting promoter Joe Cuff has already said that RF would not promote a card within the state’s borders due to the potentially huge amount of liability involved.
However, Lorenzo Fertitta, chairman and CEO of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), was more enthusiastic, thanking Malloy for making Connecticut state number 49 to approve of the increasingly popular sport.
“UFC looks forward to coming to Glover Teixeira’s home state of Connecticut,” Fertitta said, referencing the popular light heavyweight.
As for Malloy, he may have signed the bill into law, but don’t think the governor is a fan just yet, as his signature came with the declaration that MMA is “not my bowl of porridge.”
In other recent MMA news, UFC announced today that Josh Koscheck would not be appearing at UFC 163 due to injury, leaving opponent Demian Maia without a fight. The UFC has said there are no plans to find a replacement, but we suggest they reconsider — perhaps this guy?
With the news that Connecticut legalizes MMA, when do you think “ultimate fighting” will make its first appearance?