UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta has released a statement via press release reacting to the New York State Assembly finally passing a bill to legalize mixed martial arts in the state. Per the release, the UFC is committing to bring four events to the state of New York per year in each of the first three years after the bill becomes law.
Here’s Fertitta’s full statement:
“This has been a long time coming and on behalf of our New York UFC athletes and fans, I want to offer heartfelt thanks to Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Morelle and all the Members of the Assembly – Democrats and Republicans – who voted for this bill.
“Joe Morelle has worked tirelessly to educate his colleagues and build support for legalizing professional MMA and regulating both professional and amateur MMA. He has worked closely with Senator Joe Griffo, who has shepherded this effort in the Senate, where the bill has passed with strong bipartisan support for the last seven years, and MMA fans owe both a huge debt of gratitude.
“New York’s amazing arenas – upstate and downstate – have worked with us to advocate passage of this bill. So, too, have restaurants, hotels, businesses and others who recognize the economic value professional MMA can bring to New York. Our athletes have been extraordinary. More than 20 have been to Albany to help educate legislators about the fastest growing sport in the world. And our fans have been phenomenal. Through letters and phone calls, rallies and social media, New York’s MMA and UFC fans have lent their voices of support. It took a while, but their voices have been heard.
“While there are still additional steps that have to occur before professional MMA becomes a reality in New York, I want to assure our fans that if Governor Cuomo signs the bill into law and the State Athletic Commission puts in place the appropriate regulations, we look forward to hosting our first New York event in the world’s most famous arena – Madison Square Garden, home to so many epic sporting events throughout the decades. We also look forward to scheduling events in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Albany, and Brooklyn. We are excited.”
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]
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