A bill legalizing mixed martial arts in the state of New York has finally passed the New York State Assembly, and now moves on to the desk of Governor Andrew Cuomo to be signed into law. The law takes effect 120 days after it is signed, giving time for the New York State Athletic Commission to adopt rules, license promoters, trainers, fighters, judges, and more, and put the framework in place to host professional MMA events.
After a lengthy debate on the floor – featuring outlandish arguments in opposition trying to connect the sport to everything from gay porn to sexual molestation – the bill was finally brought to a vote, ending 113 to 25 in favor.
The bill lifts the ban put in place in reactionary fashion back in 1997, and finally brings regulation to a sport that’s been going on at the amateur level unregulated for years.
The timetable will open the door to the UFC to bring an event to Madison Square Garden in November should the commission work in a timely fashion to adopt their rules and regulations.
Penick’s Analysis: It took far too long, but the final holdout state in the U.S. will now allow professional MMA. The UFC will move quickly to hit MSG first, and from there they promise to bring Fight Night events to cities like Buffalo and Albany. Fans and fighters in New York will get some hometown events now, and this issue can stop being a national talking point moving forward.
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