Thailand bans mixed martial arts

Thailand bans mixed martial arts

Discipline deemed to be too 'brutal'

The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) confirmed yesterday that it has banned mixed martial arts (MMA).

Mixed martial arts (MMA) has been banned in Thailand.

"It is brutal and it is not boxing," said SAT deputy governor Sakol Wannapong who oversees professional sports.

"It is against the 1999 boxing law."

SAT officials met this week to discuss whether holding an MMA event was lawful or not following a request from a private company and they finally agreed that under the 1999 boxing law, it is unlawful to stage an MMA event in Thailand.

"Organising a MMA event here would hurt the image of Muay Thai," Sakol said.

There have been two MMA events held in Bangkok and neither were approved by the SAT, according to Sakol.

He said the SAT was asking the Interior Ministry's legal advisors to consider action against any MMA organisers.

"If you want to do this kind of business, you should do it in another country," Sakol said.

"Organising MMA here could mislead the public into believing that Muay Thai is brutal."

MMA is a full contact combat sport that allows the use of both striking and grappling techniques, while standing and on the ground, including boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai, kickboxing, taekwondo, karate, judo and other styles.

Buakaw can't fight

The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) said yesterday that Muay Thai superstar Buakaw Banchamek (formerly Buakaw Por Pramuk) can't take part in next month's Thai Fight unless he formally registers his new camp with the authorities.

Buakaw has severed ties with former camp Por Pramuk and has since set up his own camp.

He has also changed his fight name to Buakaw Banchamek following the split.

SAT deputy governor Sakol Wannapong said Buakaw cannot fight until he files a complaint with the SAT which will investigate if Buakaw was unfairly treated by Por Pramuk.

If his claim is proven true, then he will be allowed to fight, Sakol said.

The Thai Fight event will be held in Pattaya on April 17 and Sakol said Buakaw still has time to clear up his legal problems.

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