Today was a historic day for the UFC and MMA as the sport has finally been made legal by the state of New York.
New York was the only state to still ban the sport and the long battle to lift that finally came to an end today when the Bill to legalise and regulate it was passed. The outcome was 113-25 votes in favour of the legalisation and will now be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his approval.
UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta stated: “This has been a long time coming and on behalf of our New York UFC athletes and fans, I want to offer heartfelt thanks to Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Morelle and all the Members of the Assembly – Democrats and Republicans – who voted for this bill.”
“Our athletes have been extraordinary. More than 20 have been to Albany to help educate legislators about the fastest growing sport in the world. And our fans have been phenomenal. Through letters and phone calls, rallies and social media, New York’s MMA and UFC fans have lent their voices of support. It took a while, but their voices have been heard.”
The UFC has said that it is committed to holding at least four events per year in New York for the first three years after professional MMA is legalized and regulated in New York.
Lorenzo Fertitta added: “While there are still additional steps that have to occur before professional MMA becomes a reality in New York, I want to assure our fans that if Governor Cuomo signs the bill into law and the State Athletic Commission puts in place the appropriate regulations, we look forward to hosting our first New York event in the world’s most famous arena – Madison Square Garden, home to so many epic sporting events throughout the decades,” Fertitta said. “We also look forward to scheduling events in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Albany, and Brooklyn. We are excited.”