It’s that time of the year again when the wheels and gears of the New York State government apparatus begin creaking to life – which also means it’s that time of the year when the battle to get the ban on professional MMA lifted is once more rekindled anew. Where do we stand this year in Albany, where the legislative side of this conflict is waged? The usual trappings of politics (i.e., scandal and retirements) has swapped out some supporters, but the bills that would ideally transform into favorable law in the coming months have been submitted for their usual journeys through the process. A few things worth noting for this week:
- Governor Andrew Cuomo will announce his budget on Tuesday. In an ideal world, the Governor including mixed martial arts revenue as part of his fiscal plan would be a route where the usual legislative morass is circumvented, but the reality of it is that Governor Cuomo hasn’t yet indicated he has that level of support for the sport, and it’s not 100% that if he were to include it in his budget the legislature would let that particular item stand (when Governor Patterson included MMA on his budget, the legislated vetoed that item). However, as per this campaign contributions disclosure sheet, Zuffa did donate $10,000 to Governor Cuomo’s war chest last week, so maybe the theory that “every little bit helps” will eventually bear fruit.
- According to this poll conducted by Global Strategy Group, support for MMA is on the rise.
- Amateur MMA events continue throughout the state, sprouting up where before there were only kickboxing events and sanctioned by, well, just about every organization imaginable. Here are some fights from “No Mercy”, a show at a catering hall on Long Island this past weekend.
- This coming Sunday there will be an underground show (i.e., completely unsanctioned event) in Queens. Yes, I’ll be there to cover it.
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