MMA bill looks to bring thriving sport to SC

A bill to legalize Mixed Martial Arts in South Carolina is being sponsored by Representative Eric Bedingfield of Greenville. Bedingfield says the infrastructure is already in place with the boxing regulations and a gaming commission. He also said after looking further into the sport, studies have shown the sport to be safer than boxing.
“So we started to do an evaluation of the sport and found it to be safer than boxing,” said Bedington. “We figured if boxing was good for South Carolina then it shouldn’t be a problem for MMA to be a viable sport here too.”
Bedingfield says there is a great opportunity to fill arenas across the state by hosting MMA events. “We have a lot of venues in the state of South Carolina that could use the business, not unlike the BI-LO Center in Greenville,” he said.
He says the bill has already passed the House and they are confident it will pass the Senate next. According to Bedingfield, “I think chances are good. It passed overwhelmingly in the House. I see no reason for it to be rejected in the Senate. It’s a pretty simple piece of legislation. It is supported by our current athletic commission who oversees boxing, and what not.
“We see it as a very viable tool in South Carolina to entertain.”
Bedingfield is co-sponsoring the bill with Representative Jim Merrill of Daniel Island.