Bare-knuckle boxing, kickboxing bill advances

Expanded fight options took a step closer to authorization in Nebraska when a bill that would regulate two new sports advanced from general file March 29.

LB70, introduced by Omaha Sen. Justin Wayne, would authorize the state athletic commissioner to regulate professional kickboxing and bare-knuckle boxing. The commissioner currently regulates professional mixed martial arts and boxing.

Sen. Justin Wayne
Sen. Justin Wayne

Several other states regulate these emerging sports, Wayne said, and the Legislature’s fiscal office projects that the bill would generate $8,000 in revenue in fiscal year 2022-23.

“Both of these sports are a growing industry,” he said.

A General Affairs Committee amendment would exclude the two sports from a requirement in current law that contestants must wear eight-ounce gloves while competing.

Lawmakers adopted the amendment 42-0 and advanced LB70 to select file on a 39-0 vote.

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