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Missouri House votes to ban children from mixed martial arts

SBG file photo [Glenn Pinkerton/Las Vegas News Bureau]

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Missouri House has passed a proposal that would ban children 17 and younger from participating in mixed martial arts or professional kickboxing.

The bill, approved Thursday in a 112-29 vote, would put amateur kickboxing and both professional and mixed martial arts under state supervision. In an amateur mixed martial arts contest, elbow strikes to the head would no longer be allowed, nor would knee strikes to the head during the first five bouts. However, contestants could agree to allow knee strikes after that.

Proponents say the rules will protect children from potential brain damage.

Opponents say the bill creates unnecessary regulations and infringes on parental rights.

The bill now moves to the Senate.

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