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Boston City Council President Wants Kids Banned From UFC Events

BOSTON (CBS) - The Boston City Council is considering age limits on attendance at the Ultimate Fighting Championships in the city.

Comment: Daily Talker - For Or Against The Ban?

Council President Steve Murphy wants to ban children under the age of 18 from Mixed Martial Arts shows like the UFC Fight Night Saturday at the TD Garden.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Lana Jones reports

Boston City Council President Wants Kids Banned From UFC Events

It's too late to ban anyone from this weekend's event, but if Murphy has his way, the next time the UFC comes to town, no kids will be allowed.

At a city council hearing Tuesday, Wheelock College professor Diane Levin, an expert on the impact of violent entertainment on children, said kids learn harmful lessons from cage fighting.

"What seemed extreme 20 years ago seems almost tame today," Levin told councilors.

"They behave more violently after viewing it in their play and how they treat others. They're less likely to sympathize with victims of violence."

But UFC Lobbyist Michael Mersch told the council they've never tried to ban people from watching the Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox or Celtics.

"I think it's no different than the violence exhibited at a baseball, football, basketball, or hockey game. That's a decision for the parents to make whether that is an activity that should be allowed," Mersch said.

"It's sad that those thoughts are still going on in people's minds. Hopefully over time we can show this is martial arts in its purest form and it will do nothing but good for the children," Conor McGregor, a UFC fighter from Ireland currently training in Boston, told WBZ-TV.

Massachusetts law already states that children 16 and under can't attend live amateur and professional cage fighting events without a parent.

UFC officials say they support that law.

If Murphy's proposal makes it through the city council, it would still need the approval of the state legislature.


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