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MMA in New York: UFC issues statement on upcoming Assembly vote

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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) got some good news on Tuesday after New York State Assembly revealed it will vote on a bill to regulate mixed martial arts (MMA) sometime next week; however, it must first get through a trio of committees: Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development, then Codes, followed by Ways and Means.

From UFC Vice President of Global Business Development and Government Relations Michael J Britt.

"We want to thank Speaker Heastie and of course we also need to thank Majority Leader Morelle, who has worked tirelessly to educate his colleagues and build support on both sides of the aisle, but particularly among Assembly Democrats. Our thanks, as well, go to those legislators in both houses and both parties who have supported this effort over the years.

"This is a big step forward for MMA, the athletes and the huge fan base the sport enjoys in New York, however, there are still more steps before New York finally crosses the hurdle to legalize professional MMA. We look forward to working with the chairs of the committees and all Assembly members to provide them with any information they may need as they address the bill to legalize and regulate MMA."

The bill needs a simple majority of 76 votes to pass, according to NY Newsday, and would then go to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's office for his signature.

UFC was so confident it would be regulated in New York, it went so far as to book a major pay-per-view (PPV) event for next month in Madison Square Garden. Unfortunately, the lawsuit filed against the longstanding MMA ban was fruitless, and now the promotion is dependent on the upcoming Assembly vote.

Safe to say someone is feeling optimistic.

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