- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 2, 2005

BOSTON (AP) - City officials have pulled the plug on an “ultimate fighting” event and are threatening to ban the kicking and punching bouts, saying they incite crowds and threaten public safety.

Police and licensing officials blocked a competition that had been planned for tomorrow even though ultimate fighting is legal and is regulated by the Massachusetts Boxing Commission.

“This is not something the city of Boston is going to sanction at this point,” said Patricia Malone, head of the city’s licensing department. The fighting is “extremely dangerous” and “incites the crowd. It’s definitely a public safety issue,” she said.

Ultimate fighting features brawlers inside caged rings. Fights are won by knockout or submission, which usually occurs when a participant is trapped in a dangerous hold. It is legal in most states, but is banned in Illinois and St. Paul, Minn.

“It’s basically a mix of 10 styles of fighting that are all legal,” said Pat Schultz, 29, a participant from Wareham. “I think the sport might be getting a bad rap from people who don’t know about it.”

Six hundred tickets had been sold for the event, said promoter Mike Varner.

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