Fans in the New York City area turned out in droves last Sunday (August 2) to attend the first ever New York Mixed Martial Arts Expo held at the Uniondale Marriot in Long Island, New York.
Sponsored by the Fighter Warehouse NY, the event helped push for sanctioning of MMA in the state of New York where it is currently unregulated. A full size cage was on hand for live demonstrations from local MMA schools.
In addition, some of the biggest names in mixed martial arts were on hand to sign autographs including Jamie "C-4" Varner, Jens "Lil' Evil" Pulver and Andrei "The Pitbull" Arlovski.
Assemblymen Rob Walker was even spotted posing for pictures in front of an 8-foot sign that had the New York city skyline and the Empire State Building dead center with the words "Help legalize MMA in New York" written on it.
The UFC has been lobbying hard to bring mixed martial arts to "The Empire State" and this expo not only helped raise awareness, but it also helped raise money for disabled veterans through the "Wounded Warriors" charity.
Bill A.2009-B, created with the intention to legalize and regulate MMA in the state of New York, recently passed 14-6 in the Assembly’s Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports and is currently under review by the Codes Committee.
It may now be a matter of when, not if, the bill passes -- much to the chagrin of Democratic Assemblyman and MMA hater Bob Reilly.