One man definitely happy about the regulation is UFC bantamweight Brian Bowles, a native of West Virginia (Photo by Dave Mandel, Sherdog.com).
45 out of 48 U.S. States with Regulatory Bodies Now Overseeing MMA
Another major step in the growth of Mixed Martial Arts occurred this week when the West Virginia Legislature passed a bill to regulate the sport. West Virginia is now the 45th of 48 states in the United States with regulatory bodies to approve Mixed Martial Arts, something UFC President Dana White sees with much appreciation and excitement.
“We’ve worked hard to get this sport regulated all over the world, particularly in the United States,” he stated. “I’m really excited to see the sport regulated in West Virginia and look forward to one day bringing a UFC event there.”
With West Virginia now approving the sport, only New York, Vermont and Connecticut remain as the three states which have not regulated MMA. The two states which lack necessary regulatory bodies to oversee the sport are Alaska and Wyoming.
“All of my friends and family in West Virginia always ask when they’re going to get to see me fight in my home state,” West Virginia native and UFC bantamweight Brian Bowles remarked. “Now that the sport is regulated there, I am excited to know that I could one day compete in the Octagon in West Virginia.”
The most glaring omission from the list of states which have not legalized MMA is New York, but an active community has long fought to get the sport regulated there. Currently, a Facebook group entitled “Bring MMA to NY” has over 16,000 members and regularly posts information for MMA fans to help the cause. The page, which can be found at http://www.facebook.com/BringMMAtoNY, also has an ongoing petition for supporters to sign.