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Brookings Council Talks Potential MMA Ban

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Recently South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signed a bill creating a state athletic commission to oversee combat sports such as boxing, kick boxing and mixed martial arts.


Despite the Governor's signature, some city leaders are still questioning fighting sports as entertainment.


This week the Brookings City Council voted six-to-one to move forward with a discussion involving MMA fights and the possibility of banning them from taking place in city owned buildings, a potential ban that doesn't sit well with everyone.


"I think it's a fairly foolish endeavor on a part of the city council, a waste of time and effort if you will," said Myler .


Leif Myler has lived in Brookings for seven years and as an avid mixed martial arts fan, he sees the positive effects of the sport trending across the world.


"I think it's a constructive way for a lot of these fellas that are going to go out and fight anyway to get it out of their system," said Myler.


However, some council members disagree and question the validity of MMA as a sport.


"You have two people out there, two men and the object is to beat the other one to submission, maybe that sounds too harsh to some people, but that's how I viewed it," said Kubal.


Councilman John Kubal also strongly disagreed with labeling MMA fights as a family friendly event and does not want to promote that activity in Brookings.


"You're literally going to see the beating, you're going to hear all the maddening shots of the crowd, you're going to see the blood," said Kubal.


While some city councilors hope to ban MMA from city owned buildings such as the Swiftel Center,  others feel that could promote more unmonitored violence such as backyard brawls.


"I personally would far rather have an event like that taking place in a monitored regulated atmosphere then having that sort of event happening a bar downtown or an environment that could potentially be a lot less structured," said Councilwoman Jael Thorpe.


For Myler, putting aside his amusement for MMA, he said he hopes the city council spends some time looking at all sides of the debate.


"I hope that they reason through some of the issues such as safety, profitability, weigh it out, balance it down, see what they want to do," said Myler .


There’s a cage fighting event Saturday night at the Swiftel Center and officials at the location said for this event, nearly 1,000 people can attend.

The city council will discuss this topic further soon and from there, they will decide whether to propose a ban limiting MMA in the city.

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