A bill to legalize professional mixed martial arts bouts in New York is being sent to the State Assembly.
This is the 4th time the State Senate has passed the bill which has never been passed by the Assembly. It would make legal MMA prizefighting for both males and females and for New York venues to hold professional matches. Currently, only amateur events can be staged, like the recent Art of Combat exhibition at the Veterans Memorial Arena in January. Local Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo is one of the sponsors in her Chamber. While she doesn't personally care for the sport, she says New York is missing out on a potential source of revenue.
Lupardo says, "A lot of people are interested in it, a lot of people are going out of state to enjoy these competitions, and it would be great to keep that business here, it helps everyone around it."
This is the first year when Governor Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Shel Silver have been willing to consider the bill. MMA prizefighting is legal in almost every state besides New York and Connecticut.