West Virginia committee advances MMA rules

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A committee of West Virginia lawmakers has advanced new regulations governing professional and amateur boxing and mixed martial arts after adding language to ensure doctors screen contestants for concussions.

The committee has also added language stating that pro boxers and both professional and amateur MMA fighters get blood tests for HIV and hepatitis.

State Athletic Commission Chairman Leon Ramsey told the committee that the regulatory commission has adopted those provisions and the doctors and contestants already have to sign forms about past concussions.

The regulations follow state laws in 2011 legalizing professional MMA and in 2015 legalizing amateur MMA.

They specify safety measures like prohibiting anyone under 18 from state-sanctioned fights and specify licensing fees for professionals.

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