5 Facts About MMA Legalization in New York
It is still hard to believe that it is against the law for the State of New York to host professional mixed martial arts competition. Though the battle to legalize professional MMA in New York in hopes to have a UFC event at Madison Square Garden has been going on for several years, it seems Zuffa might have scored a little bit of a win recently (via Fightline).
Here are 5 key points that summarize this maddening situation.
1. Connecticut is the only other state in which MMA is not only illegal, but also not regulated by an athletic commission.
2. The law that bans professional MMA in New York was enacted in 1997, back when there were nowhere near as many rules and regulations in the UFC as there are today. The UFC lacked weight classes and the myriad of rules that prevent serious injuries during this time.
3. Since 2008, virtually every effort to lobby the New York State legislature to repeal the law has been delayed or ignored, despite the obvious economic gains NY would experience if they were to host UFC events. It was not until November of 2011 that Zuffa was able to file a lawsuit against the State of New York citing Constitutional Violations to legalize pro MMA.
4. The current law bans professional MMA from being overseen and regulated by the New York State Athletic Commission. Zuffa recently gained permission to seek another sanctioning body that, if approved, could in fact oversee amateur and eventually professional MMA events in New York. Candidates for possible sanctioning bodies include the World Karate Association (since renamed the World Kickboxing Association, or the "WKA"), the Professional Karate Association and the U.S. Judo Association among others.
5. UFC President Dana White is so optimistic about legalization that he believes the UFC will have its first event at Madison Square Garden as soon as next November.