New York State Assembly Passes Bill to Lift Ban on MMA, UFC And Bellator Comment
By FCF Staff
After years of campaigning and lobbying, professional mixed-martial-arts appears to be finally headed to New York State.
Today, the the state’s assembly passed a bill that calls for the sanctioning of pro MMA in the jurisdiction. According to multiple reports, the bill passed by a 113 to 25 voting margin.
Up next, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, who has expressed support for the sport, will need to sign off on the bill. Once that happens, the New York athletic commission will have 120 days to adopt and enact regulations for professional, MMA fights.
In a follow up statement from the UFC, the promotion’s Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein was quoted saying:
“New York is a great market for us,” Epstein said. “We know that because we know the number of Pay-Per-Views that we do in the state. We know the television ratings that we garner from fans in the state, and New York has two distinct markets that are both really important to the UFC. One of course is New York City, which has Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center. It’s an international city, the most important media market globally, obviously a trend setter globally, and that’s important for us because we’re going to be able to do big and important events in New York City.”
Bellator also released a statement regarding the news, and President Scott Coker relayed:
“The New York Assembly’s vote to legalize MMA is a watershed moment for this incredible sport. As someone who has been promoting combat sports for more than 30 years, this is a very exciting time for mixed martial arts. We at Bellator MMA are very much looking forward to hosting an event in the ‘Crown Jewel of America,’ New York. Two Bellator champions, Liam McGeary and Marcos Galvao call New York home and I know it means a great deal to the both of them, as it does for the entire promotion. We’ve already been in contact with the great people at the Barclays Center and several other incredible venues, and we can’t wait bring our world-class athletes and action-packed shows to an arena in the Empire State soon.”
The ban on pro MMA in New York was originally passed in 1997.