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Poll: NY voters want MMA legalized - 04/12/13

More New York residence are in favor of legalizing Mixed Martial Arts than those who are not, according to a new Siena Poll released Friday.

According to the poll 43% of voters say they want the sport legalized, while 33% say they do not. Another 24% "did not know" or "refused" the question, the poll stated.

A bill to lift the ban in New York passed the senate earlier this year. Last week Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, D-Rochester, introduced the bill in the Tourism Committee of the assembly. The bill, needing 76 assemblymember votes to become law, has 64 sponsors.

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.

According to the Siena Poll more Democrats, 46% want the sport legalized than Republicans 40%.


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