twitter google

The Daily Line: The War For MMA Legalization In New York

You’ve got to give credit to the UFC for working the angles.

It was announced recently that the UFC – stalling out in attempts to get mixed martial arts legalized in New York – has filed a lawsuit against the state claiming that the ban on MMA is a violation of the first amendment. Dubbing MMA’s prohibition “the Ban,” the UFC alleges that preventing fighters the right to express themselves through their chosen art is a direct violation of the constitution. An article on the UFC’s website explains it thus: “the lawsuit alleges the Ban infringes upon the rights of the fighters who want to publicly exhibit their skills as professionals and express themselves before a live audience.”

That article also listed the following points as evidence that the ban on MMA is both irrational and unconstitutional:

-The Ban was originally imposed in 1997, at a time when MMA was unregulated and prohibited in many other states. Today, MMA is a highly-regulated, broadly popular sport, which experts and supporting safety data verify is as safe as or safer than many sports and activities that are legal in New York, including boxing, football and rodeo.

-MMA is widely available on television in New York, and many New Yorkers lawfully train and spar in MMA.

-Live professional MMA can take place in virtually every state except New York.

-The individual martial arts that comprise MMA, including kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, judo, boxing and wrestling, are legal and performed live regularly in New York – it is only their combination, performed live by professionals, that is banned in New York.

As with the prohibition of many things in our nation’s past and present, the ban on MMA in New York truly is irrational, unfair and unconstitutional. That boxing and professional wrestling be allowed to exist in the Empire State and MMA shunned makes no sense and exposes clear, fundamental flaws in the way we get things done. Fighting irrationality always proves difficult, but luckily it appears as though the UFC is willing to badger the state indefinitely – which is a good thing, as the war for MMA’s legalization in New York has become one of attrition.