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Bill aims at MMA


State bill to control mixed martial arts



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Four fighters with CFX wear their game faces in this promotional shot. Courtesy Internet image/Cage Fighting Xtreme. (click for larger version)
November 10, 2009
Seen by some as senseless and by others as an elite competition, Mixed Martial Arts is among the fastest growing sports in the country.

Here in Massachusetts, MMA outfits have popped up in several communities and attracted fighters from all walks of life, including Southbridge's own George Papoutsidis, who, with just one appearance so far, has already made a name for himself in one such organization, Cage Fighting Xtreme (CFX).

Making his MMA debut a couple months back, Papoutsidis was in the ring less than 20 seconds when he popped his right elbow. He won over legions of fans by refusing to leave the ring and making the on-site physician pop his elbow back in place, a sight that made even Boston Celtic big man Glenn "Big Baby" Davis, sitting ringside, wince in disbelief.

Papoutsidis wasn't allowed to continue, though, with officials insisting safety comes first.

That, say those behind a recently approved House bill, is precisely why the sport needs to be state sanctioned.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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