Could 2012 finally be the year MMA is legalized in the State of New York? It certainly looks more hopeful than years past.
The bill to permit the sport in New York has passed the Senate and now is awaiting a decision from the State Assembly which has opposed similar legislation for seven years straight. With the recent legalization of Vermont, the Empire State is one of four states banning mixed martial arts but this year’s chances look a little brighter for a few reasons.
The first being that some key Assemblymen who have hindered MMA’s progress may no longer be an issue moving forward. Speaker Sheldon Silver, for instance has said that while he is not in favor of the violent nature of the sport, its huge TV presence makes a state ban more irrelevant.
“We may be better off having strict regulation,” the Manhattan Democrat remarked.
Another great opponent of the sport, Assemblymen Bob Reilly is also retiring this year and with Ronda Rousey lobbying for you, the prospect of cagefighting in the Big Apple just got a whole lot better.
“The proponents are getting savvier. They send a beautiful woman to our floor yesterday, rather than the threatening, bulky men,” said Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell referring to Rousey’s appearance on the Capitol last week.
Whatever the case may be, the UFC is ready to jump on the opportunity to throw down in New York as soon as the bill is approved. Dana White has fielded numerous questions on the subject as this weekend’s card takes place just miles outside NYC. He is targeting one of the most historic venues for the UFC’s arrival to the state.
“As soon as we get New York done, I mean as soon as we get New York done, we’ll be at Madison Square Garden and we’ll also take the fights to Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester and all these other cities here in the state,” said White.
Will MMA be legalized in New York this year? Let us know what you think.