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Cage fighting heads underground
Cage fighters Steve Kennedy, Grady Stewart and Xavier Lucas say the cage is much safer than any alternative. Picture: Ian Munro/The West Australian

Perth mixed martial arts fighters fear the State Government's ban on cage fighting will push the sport underground.

In Victoria, the only other Australian State to ban cage fights, reports say illegal MMA fights are booming, with fans reportedly paying $300 a night to watch.

The Victorian Opposition said it would lift the ban to ensure doctors and referees were at bouts.

WA Sports Minister Terry Waldron confirmed last week cages in MMA contests would be outlawed from early March despite the Combat Sports Commission recommending they remain legal.

WA's MMA community is frustrated with the decision, claiming the cage is much safer than a boxing ring. Perth fighter Xavier Lucas feared the sport would be forced underground and lose professionalism.

Underground it would have different rules, more injuries and attract the wrong type of person.

But Australian Medical Association WA vice-president Michael Gannon said the State Government had not gone far enough.

It could ban all MMA fights because they had almost no rules, could result in serious injuries and had no place in a civilised society.

The West Australian

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