MMA once again is one step away from being legalized in New York. In a vote today in New York state, the Senate passed a bill to regulate MMA by an overwhelming 44-16 vote. Several senators argued to end the ban and regulate the sport in the only state that still doesn’t have the sport regulated.
“Every other state is doing it, it’s high time New York acts”, stated Senate Democrat Timothy Kennedy to MMA journalist Jim Genia.
This is the fifth time that the MMA bill has gotten through the State Senate, but has stalled in the House due to Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver. The speaker has repeatedly blocked the bill from getting voted onto the floor, where Republican supporters say the bill has more than enough support to pass.
Silver has been steadfast in his view saying he doesn’t approve of the sport and claims that there hasn’t been enough support from Democrats to bring the bill up to vote.
“We once again thank the State Senate – Democrats and Republicans – for giving overwhelming approval to legislation to legalize and regulate MMA in New York State, the last place in North America where professional MMA remains illegal,” said UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta in a press release.
“The attention turns yet again to the assembly. Hopefully the assembly will finally recognize that enacting this law is the right thing for the millions of fans, the right thing for ensuring the safety of amateur and professional MMA athletes, the right thing for tourism and economic development, the right thing for the arenas and the union jobs they provide.
“I have no choice but to be cautiously optimistic. Mr. [Silver], make 2014 the year this gets done.”
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Will MMA finally be seen in the largest market in the United States or will Silver be stubborn once again to his state who can use the economic boost?