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In Sports Commentary

Proposed legislation would ban MMA events, like UFC, in the state of Wisconsin.

Effort to ban MMA events in Wisconsin is poor policy


I can hardly believe I'm going to say this, but the bill making its way through the legislature to allow communities to ban Mixed Martial Arts events is a prime example of a bill that ought to be killed.

This is a case of two legislators, Rep. Pat Strachota and Sen. Glenn Grothmann, sucking up to a constituent by introducing a ridiculous piece of legislation. We ought to make them get into a cage and battle each other as punishment.

I have made it clear, time and again, that I am an opponent of MMA shows. I think they are brutal and pander to the basest instincts in all of us. It's nothing like a sport.

I was a strong opponent when MMA forces lobbied and eventually got passed, a bill to regulate the events in Wisconsin. The regulation bill was a specific endorsement of the legality and appropriateness of MMA fights.

Although I'd love to support a ban on these events, this bill is just like all those crazy recall elections, taking a inappropriate step to thwart the will of the people.

We fought this battle. My side lost. MMA is legal in the whole state of Wisconsin. We lick our wounds and go home. That's the way it is supposed to work.

It's like these stupid recalls we seem to be having. You recall someone for something horrible like taking bribes or fixing contracts. I'm not sure that adultery even rises to the level of a recall. But you shouldn't recall someone just because there is a policy difference.

I disagree mightily with Gov. Scott Walker on almost all of his decisions, but I'm not in favor of recalling him. Instead, I am determined that he be beaten the next election. That's the way democracy is supposed to work.

If we start recalling people because we have policy differences, we'll just have a permanent election season and nobody will be happy with that.

This ill-advised MMA law is exactly the same thing: a policy difference. This battle has been fought. There's a lot of stuff for the legislature to be working on but this issue isn't one of them. Strachota and Grothmann would be well advised to forget about this absurd piece of legislation and get to work solving some of Wisconsin's real problems.

The legislation includes the following definition of Mixed Martial Arts: "MMA fighting is defined ... as something which does not include a martial arts match in which the rules prohibit a contestant from striking an opponent's head with the intent to cause unconsciousness or inflict damage."

It doesn't sound much like sport to me. But, like I said, this is a battle that's over. People who insist on continuing to fight it, or who try to circumvent the state law, need a good slap in the head and go back to work to solve some real problems.

Talkbacks

danielnathan | Oct. 26, 2011 at 9:21 a.m. (report)

For once I agree with Begel. on two things! 1 MMA ban is absurd. 2 Recalling Walker wont do a thing. It is our system of catering to campaign donors that needs to be fixed. And the recent Citizens United case takes a giant step in the wrong direction. Walker is doing what every other politician in the country is doing: what their contributors want. If voters believed in values, Feingold would still be in office.

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sandstorm | Oct. 26, 2011 at 7:10 a.m. (report)

"But you shouldn't recall someone just because there is a policy difference." you really think that's what the walker recall is about??? wow. that kind of ignorance is just stunning.

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ScottJoffe | Oct. 25, 2011 at 6:25 p.m. (report)

Thank you Dave Begal for exposing the absurdity of proposed bill AB-308 and the pandering, self-serving politics at work behind it. One question though, if Boxing, Kickboxing, Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and Tae Kwon Do (to name a few diverse martial arts styles incorporated into MMA) are individually considered "sports," how come when combined into one (MMA), you reverse that consideration? It doesn't make any sense whatsoever... Regardless, Wisconsin's entire MMA community appreciates your allegiance on the need to stop AB-308 from progressing any further than it has. BTW: Our next big NAFC MMA show "Unleashed" is Friday, November 18th in the Potawatomi Bingo Casino Expo Center. Call or email if you would like to attend. Promise I won't blow your anti-MMA cover...

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nmballa | Oct. 25, 2011 at 4:16 p.m. (report)

Another example of over reach. By definition of the bill it would effectively ban boxing as well. MMA is a lot more than two persons slugging it out in a cage. It is the absolute definition of a sport encompassing both stamina, speed, athleticism, and skill. Being superior in one does not guarantee you success. Most people have a hard time seeing past the punches. The "skill" requires more than just being able to punch effectively. No other sport IMO has the same level of physical and mental conditioning. There is a reason that it is often compared to chess, the athlete needs to be able to calculate numerous moves ahead, setting their opponent up to catch them in a submission and secure a win. But time is not a luxury in this sport. If an opponent does not react as expected then the whole game plan needs to be altered and the process starts anew. Just my 2 cents.

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Stelio_Kontos | Oct. 25, 2011 at 2:16 p.m. (report)

Do you want my pay pal info for my editing fee, or will you be mailing the check? :)

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