The land of cockfighting bans the human variation:
“It is brutal and it is not boxing,” said SAT deputy governor Sakol Wannapong who oversees professional sports. “It is against the 1999 boxing law.”
SAT officials met this week to discuss whether holding an MMA event was lawful or not following a request from a private company and they finally agreed that under the 1999 boxing law, it is unlawful to stage an MMA event in Thailand.
“Organising a MMA event here would hurt the image of Muay Thai,” Sakol said.
There have been two MMA events held in Bangkok and neither were approved by the SAT, according to Sakol. He said the SAT was asking the Interior Ministry’s legal advisors to consider action against any MMA organisers.
“If you want to do this kind of business, you should do it in another country,” Sakol said. “Organising MMA here could mislead the public into believing that Muay Thai is brutal.”
Rumor is the Muay Thai industry in Thailand was the driving force behind the government’s decision to ban MMA – probably out of fear that the sport could become competition. Isn’t it great to know that special interests are subverting freedom in other countries too?