Pa. considers head strikes in amateur MMA bouts

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Amateur mixed martial arts fighters in Pennsylvania would be able to strike the head of an opponent who’s on the mat under a new regulation making its way through the state approval process.

Professional MMA athletes are allowed to use the “ground and pound” technique, but Pennsylvania currently bans it from amateur fights. State Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele said Friday the ban is making Pennsylvania less attractive as it seeks to lure MMA events.

Several other states now permit amateurs to use the ground and pound technique.

A state review board has approved a regulation that would allow amateurs to obtain waivers if they meet certain criteria. The attorney general’s office still has to sign off.

The sport combines elements of karate, judo, jujitsu and kickboxing.

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