South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard says he opposes a bill that would create a state athletic commission because it would legitimize mixed martial arts fights, events he says are so violent they don't deserve to be called sports.
The Senate State Affairs Committee on Friday approved a bill that would create a commission to supervise boxing, kick boxing and mixed martial arts competitions.
The bill's main sponsor, Sen. Mark Johnston of Sioux Falls, says those fights need to be regulated to protect the safety of athletes. He says mixed martial arts is a sport, and unregulated events are already occurring in South Dakota.
But Daugaard says he is offended that the state would legitimize what he calls cage fighting. He says it's absurd to call such violence a sport.