mixed martial arts


State lawmakers are scheduled to discuss a new effort to regulate amateur mixed martial arts fighting.

Michigan law currently regulates professional MMA bouts, but not amateur matches.

State Rep. Harvey Santana, D-Detroit, fights in Michigan.

He says state lawmakers didn’t anticipate the growth in amateur MMA fighting when they passed the original regulations several years ago.

mickepe / MorgueFile

Mixed martial arts can be traced far into the history of sport fighting. The full contact sport has competitive roots in Brazil and Japan and allows players to hit and strike one another when standing or on the ground, much like wrestling.

Last Saturday, a 35-year-old mixed martial art fighter died after an amateur fight in Port Huron.

Following the death, State Representative Harvey Santana (D-Detroit) from the 9th district in Detroit was able to push a package of reform bills through the House that would finally regulate amateur MMA fights in the state of Michigan.


A Michigan state house committee meeting this week is expected to draw dozens of Mixed Martial Arts fighters.

State Representative Harvey Santana says there are amateur Mixed Martial Arts events being staged in Michigan every weekend. And he says the way many bouts are staged puts fighters at serious risk.

Santana recalls recently watching an overmatched MMA fighter lose badly.

mickepe / MorgueFile

Amateur mixed martial arts fights may soon be regulated by the state. A bill introduced to the Michigan House would require both promoters and fighters to be licensed by the state. The bill would also create a commission to enforce the rules and investigate complaints.