The Michigan House of Representatives Wednesday approved legislation that would regulate amateur mixed martial arts in the state.
Bills 4166 and 4167 both passed by a vote of 106-3 and have now been referred to the state Senate’s committee on regulatory reform. Among other safety requirements, the two-bill package will order promoters to provide an on-site doctor and ambulance at all events and screen all prospective fighters with physical exams and blood tests. If the bills pass in the Senate, they will then be sent to Governor Rick Snyder, who would then either sign the documents into law or veto them.
Professional MMA is currently regulated by the Michigan Unarmed Combat Commission, but amateur MMA remains unmonitored in The Great Lakes State. Due to the lack of commission oversight and concerns over regulation at both the amateur and professional levels, the Association of Boxing Commissions previously asked its members from other states not to license fighters from Michigan as a safety precaution.
This past weekend, an amateur fighter died after competing in an unregulated bout in Port Huron, Mich. Felix Elochukwu Nchikwo, a 35-year-old Nigerian living in Ontario, reportedly collapsed backstage after suffering a third-round technical knockout defeat at an Amateur Fighting Club event. The cause of death has not yet been determined.