It seems that mixed martial arts is finally going to be legal in New York. If it happens, this is a watershed moment for the sport.Some thought this was never going to happen, but the UFC has taken its lobbyists and used them like a saber, cutting through a jungle of Culinary Union red tape. The Octagon willcome to New York — this is going to happen.
But let’s take a deep breath real quick; the New York MMA bill hasn’t passed yet, but the news on Tuesday confirms that it has enough Democrat and Republican votes to make its way to the state Assembly floor next week.
This is the UFC’s official statement on the matter, via Vice President of Global Business Development and Government Relations Michael J. Britt:
“We want to thank Speaker Heastie and of course we also need to thank Majority Leader Morelle, who has worked tirelessly to educate his colleagues and build support on both sides of the aisle, but particularly among Assembly Democrats. Our thanks, as well, go to those legislators in both houses and both parties who have supported this effort over the years.
“This is a big step forward for MMA, the athletes and the huge fan base the sport enjoys in New York, however, there are still more steps before New York finally crosses the hurdle to legalize professional MMA. We look forward to working with the chairs of the committees and all Assemblymembers to provide them with any information they may need as they address the bill to legalize and regulate MMA.”
For years, it’s been a goal of UFC to host a show in Madison Square Garden, and now it looks like we might see that before the end of 2016. Hell, they were planning on holding an event regardless of legality; that’s how silly this whole “mixed martial arts is illegal in New York” thing was. But forget the past, let’s think about the amazing cards of the near future. With New York natives Jon Jones and Chris Weidman fighting in the next few months, they could probably be on a fall or end of the year NYC card. Maybe a New Year’s Eve show in New York City, anyone?
The possibilities are endless.