The state of New York has finally legalized the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) after a 19-year ban. The New York State Assembly voted to lift the ban on Tuesday with a winning vote of 113-25.
The state Senate has passed a bill for mixed martial arts legalization in the past eight years but it is the first time that state Assembly has voted in favor of the motion. The bill only needs the signature of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
According to ESPN, Gov. Cuomo’s signature is just a formality since he has previously supported mixed martial arts. The UFC, which is the biggest MMA promotion in the world, expressed its gratitude to the state of New York via Twitter.
— UFC (@ufc) March 22, 2016
UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta released a statement regarding the legalization of professional mixed martial arts in the state of New York. He thanked all the supporters of the sport including those who were instrumental in the process.
“This has been a long time coming and on behalf of our New York UFC athletes and fans, I want to offer heartfelt thanks to Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Morelle and all the Members of the Assembly, Democrats and Republicans, who voted for this bill,” Fertitta said, per MMA Mania.
He also noted that the UFC is planning to have an event at the famous Madison Square Garden in New York City at the end of the year. Fertitta added that other events in Albany, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Utica will also be scheduled in the future.
Many mixed martial arts fighters were very happy with the announcement including New York native and former middleweight champion, Chris Weidman. Other MMA fighters from the state include Jon Jones, Rashad Evans and Uriah Hall.
I’ve waited a long time for today and couldn’t be more excited to have MMA legal in my hometown of New York!! pic.twitter.com/uoxIpPbcQ4
— Chris Weidman (@ChrisWeidmanUFC) March 22, 2016
Photo Courtesy: Bad intentionz/Wikimedia