Future Of MMA Uncertain in Texas?

STRIKEFORCE, a California-based mixed martial arts promotion company, hosted their "Strikeforce: Houston" event at the Toyota Center last Saturday.

Among the results, Rafael Feijao unexpectedly defeated "King Mo" Lawal by knockout in the third round, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza won a unanimous decision over Tim Kennedy to capture the vacant World Middleweight Championship, and middleweight KJ Noons scored a controversial KO over Jorge Gurgel in the 2nd round.

Oh, and some folks are raising a stink about how the Lone Star State's lack of regulations concerning MMA.

Q: Should Texas be a no-fight zone?

A: The display of questionable officiating during Saturday's Strikeforce event comes down to one key fact about the Texas State Athletic Commission: There's no such thing as a Texas State Athletic Commission. Instead, the state's Department of Licensing and Regulation is responsible for oversight of boxing and mixed martial arts. A seven-member board dictates policy on fight sports and 28 other industries, including electricians and auctioneers. Contrast that with states like New Jersey or Nevada, which employ at least one full-time commission member whose sole duty is to audit prizefighting.

Among their flubs: Lashley was struck multiple times in the back of the head in the climax of the Griggs fight, Noons blasted Gurgel with an illegal knee to punctuate his fight-ending finish, and no drug tests were performed on any of the athletes.

The sport is plenty dangerous even with immaculate oversight. It has no room for a state that can't devote its full authority to regulating it.

Hey now, lack of regulation is working out just fine for the Gulf oil industry.


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