A new bill has been proposed to legalize mixed martial arts in the state of Connecticut.

Introduced by Sen. Andres Ayala and Rep. Charles D. Clemons, House Bill No. 5277 aims to “legalize and regulate professional mixed martial arts matches” and has been referred to the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Security.

A similar bill was introduced in the state Senate last year (Bill 326), passing through several committees before Senate President Donald Williams and Majority Leader Martin Looney declined to move the bill forward for a Senate vote.

In order for H.B. No. 5277 to become law this year, it must first pass through its own set of committees, at which point it must be brought before the House of Representatives for a vote. If the House passes the bill, the Senate must follow suit in order to send the bill to the governor, would either veto the bill or sign it into law.

Connecticut, which has proposed bills to legalize MMA over the past several years, remains one of the few states in which the sport is still illegal. Vermont recently became the 46th state with an athletic commission to give MMA the green light, leaving Connecticut, Montana and New York as the only states yet to pass such legislation. Though MMA is legal in Alaska, the states lack a regulatory body to oversee and regulate the sport.

Despite MMA’s unregulated status in Connecticut, matches have long been held within the state’s borders at Native American-owned casinos, such as Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. The Ultimate Fighting Championship last visited the state in 2005, while Bellator Fighting Championships made its last appearance this past March.

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