2011 was a huge year for MMA, with the UFC absorbing Strikeforce, spreading to new international markets and joining forces with Fox, but for all the progress that the sport has made, legalization in the state of New York remains elusive.
Largely thanks to the efforts of the UFC, MMA came close to finally being sanctioned in the state more than once this year, but ultimately never made it onto a bill that was passed by the state senate. Despite repeated setbacks, getting MMA sanctioned in New York has remained a high priority for the UFC, their most recent move to essentially sue the state alleging that the ban on MMA violates the first amendment.
Speaking with MMAFightCorner recently, UFC president Dana White asserted that MMA will be legalized in New York and that it’s going to happen this year.
“We’re so close,” White said. “It’s going to happen, and I guarantee you it’s going to happen this year.”
And for the promotion’s first show in the state after legalization – which would no doubt take place at Madison Square Garden – White is looking at none other than UFC light heavyweight champ and New York native Jonny “Bones” Jones.
“It’s going to depend on when it happens, timing and everything else, but obviously, it would be nice to go in there with, probably, Jon Jones,” he said.