Fighting Sports To See Regulations In SD
by Ashley Kringen, Reporter
March 20, 2013 10:08 PM
On Wednesday, Governor Dennis Daugaard's signature created a state athletic commission to oversee combat sports, such as boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts.
A local gym in Sioux Falls, Next Edge Academy of Martial Arts, supports the Governor's decision for many reasons.
Believe it or not, professional fighters in South Dakota are not required to take blood tests, meaning anyone could be carrying a disease while fighting, such as Hepatitis-C or HIV.
Many said they hope these new regulations will help make the sport safer.
Stephanie Eggink, has been training in boxing since she was 16-years-old.
Her fighting career took her to the top, landing a spot on the USA Women’s Olympic boxing team.
"I love punching, it's a science, it's a chess match," said Eggink.
Now she's switching gears to Mixed Martial Arts.
"When you have verse style verse style, it makes really interesting fights," said Eggink.
Since Eggink has been in South Dakota, there have been no statewide rules or regulations in combat sports.
Until now, Governor Dennis Daugaard is assigning a State Athletic Commission to overlook boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts.
"It's definitely come a long way from the backyard brawling, which is what we're trying to move away from and having regulations involved is going to do that," said Eggink.
Governor Daugaard has been known to not support mixed martial arts fights, calling them violent, however he agreed to appoint the commission if lawmakers passed the bill.
Eggink said she supports the Governor's decision, despite his opinion on MMA.
"That's smart. Whether or not he's a fan of the sport doesn't matter. The sport is going to happen, it's happening everywhere else," said Eggink.
Her coach and owner of Next Edge Academy of Martial Arts, Bruce Hoyer, said the new rules will hopefully require blood tests and health insurance for fighters, bringing state combat sports to a whole new level of safety.
"We've got a lot of talent in the state, but it gets kind of dimmed by the fact that we don't have the regulation," said Hoyer.
Now with a new law in place, Eggink hopes for a knock out career in her home state.
"If I could ever have a fight in South Dakota, that'd be awesome," said Eggink.
Before Wednesday, South Dakota was one of a few states lacking regulations in fighting sports, which is the reason why Eggink has never fought in the state.
Eggink does have an upcoming fight on April 19th in Louisville Kentucky.
The new law has officials with next edge academy working with promoters to plan a regulated fighting event in Sioux Falls next October.