MMA fans in the Empire State may soon be able to catch UFC event live in their hometown. New York governor David Paterson is looking to propose legislation to legalize the sport in his next budget plan, set to be revealed on January 19th. Assemblyman Jonathan Bing noted that denying MMA access to Madison Square Garden is costing the state up to $50 million per year.
“It really makes no sense that we can put billboards up in Times Square to advertise an event when we can’t host it down the street in Madison Square Garden,” Bing told DNAinfo.com.
However, Assemblyman Bob Reilly opposes the plan and say’s he will voice his objections to the governor.
“This sport is so violent it’s no way to raise revenues,” Reilly told the Albany Time-Union.
Reilly went on to say he is open to compromise on the issue, stating he would consider proposing an alternate bill that would legalize the sport as long as the violence is toned down.
The debate comes after the banning of MMA in New York in 1997. Several attempts to legalize the sport have been made through the years, and now it looks like the state is coming closer then ever to legalize mixed martial arts.