Despite the best efforts of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), former Governor David Paterson and even one Frank Shamrock, the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) is still outlawed in the state of New York.
That's part of the reason why events like UFC on FOX 3 are relegated to nearby venues like New Jersey's IZOD Center and not Madison Square Garden (MSG), despite the kind of revenue it would generate for "The World's Most Famous Arena."
Part of that has to do with legislation of yesteryear and regulatory scare tactics that have men boarding up their windows while the women and children cower under the bed. Who needs a zombie apocalypse when you have mixed martial artists wandering the streets?
Like any major change in state law, sometimes the only thing on your side is time. Such is the case with the UFC, as its best chance of getting into one of the last remaining anti-MMA strongholds is simply outlasting the current regime.
That includes New York Assemblyman Bob Reilly, who refers to the sport of cagefighting as a "glorification of brutality and violence." According to the The Troy Record, he will not seek a fifth term in the upcoming election.
"I get in, do my thing, and I get out," he said. "That's what I'm doing, getting out. There's a difference between what I see as a citizen legislator and someone who makes a career of it. It's not a bad thing, it's just not me."
One of early pieces of legislation was a proposal to take pensions away from elected officials who get convicted of crimes and sent to prison. In recent years he has become the face and voice in the legislature for preventing mixed martial arts from being held in the state. His position, one which he describes as the boy with the finger in the dike, has brought him national and now international attention.
Egg, meet face.
New York MMA fans still get to enjoy live events, but currently bring their checkbooks across the Hudson and even as far as Philadelphia, which is easily accessible through NY Penn Station. But for how much longer?
That remains to be seen.