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Bill to lift ban on MMA in NY moves forward - 04/05/13

The bill to overturn the ban on Mixed Martial Arts, in New York State, is now moving through the Assembly.

On Thursday the legislation was submitted to the Tourism Committee. The bill is sponsored by Assemblyman Joe Morelle, D-Rochester. Morelle is also the Majority Leader of the Assembly. The bill will have to clear a couple of committees before it comes to the floor for vote by the full body.

The bill to allow MMA was already passed by the Senate earlier this year.

Professional Mixed Martial Arts events are illegal in the state however amateur events are legal under the current law.

There have been numerous attempts to have the ban on MMA overturned for several years but the bill has always stalled in the Assembly. Speaker Sheldon Silver has been against lifting the ban but was quoted earlier this year as saying "as some point it (MMA) will be legal in New York."

The Ultimate Fighting Championship, the largest most popular MMA league, has been behind the push to legalize the sport. The UFC has dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobby money over the past decade.

While in Albany last month, officials for the UFC said an upstate even could generate as much as $11 million in economic revenue for the region it is held in.


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