After years of failed attempts to break into New York -- thanks to politics and "gangsters" -- Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will now be able to take its product to "The Big Apple."
That's because The New York State Assembly unanimously voted for a bill earlier today (Mar. 22, 2016) to allow mixed martial arts (MMA) to be regulated in the state following a very lengthy debate. And it wasn't even close, as the final vote was 113 for and 25 against.
New York imposed a ban on MMA in 1997, and ZUFFA officials have been doing everything in its legal power to reverse it to hold an event in "The Empire State."
Over the years UFC president Dana White and company CEO, Lorenzo Fertitta, as well as several fighters on the roster -- Ronda Rousey included -- had been lobbying for the ban to be lifted. Now, it seems all of their efforts have paid off.
If at first you don't succeed.
Of course, Governor Andrew Cuomo still has to officially sign off on the bill, but it's safe to assume he will, as he has long been an advocate to legalize MMA in NYC.
As for when the promotion actually expects to stage its first event, likely at Madison Square Garden, that remains to be seen, though it had already tried to book an event for April 23, 2016 at famed MSG.
That said, the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) has 120 days to adopt guidelines before an actual event can go down in "The Big Apple." Still, it's safe to assume the the higher-ups at ZUFFA have already started the brainstorming process of when to stage the first-ever UFC event in NYC.
A good day indeed.