Political Fight could KO MMA events in Georgia - WLTZ 38 | Columbus Georgia Regional News & Community

Political Fight could KO MMA events in Georgia

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(CNN) It's been called the fastest growing sport in the world, and mixed martial arts fights have taken hold in the state of Georgia.

But a political decision to fill a vacancy on the board that oversees the sport has become its biggest fight yet.

The secretary of Georgia's Athletic and Entertainment Commission decides whether fighters are evenly matched and if opponents will have a fair fight.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp appointed his deputy secretary, Kelly Farr, to handle the job, vacated when the previous secretary was recruited away by the state of California.
The chairman of the commission opposes the appointment, saying Farr is *not* the man for the job.

Meanwhile, some fighters worry the impasse threatens to kill the mixed martial arts industry in the state. Here are the three sides, in their own words:

"He doesn't have the skills that we require, and we're not going to compromise."

"Because we're so critical about how we match, we're the only state that's not had a fighter die in." 
"I'm fully confident he has the ability to do the job, he's done it before."  
 
"That's what you do every day, that's your love, and then you're told that you're not going to be able to show off that work."

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has said it will only sponsor events in states with a functioning commission.

If Georgia's commission refuses to approve fights with Farr's decisions, UFC has indicated it would no longer host events in Georgia, events that routinely fill hotel rooms and restaurants.

That means 70 to 100 local events a year could be knocked out.

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