The fight to legalize the world’s fastest growing sport, mixed martial arts (MMA), in the Empire State has seemed to have more success than ever this year, with many close to the situation thinking we may actually see MMA in New York in the near future.
The bill, which now includes more prolific insurance for fighters, passed the Senate as it has in many of the previous years, but where it always hits a road block is in the Assembly. Now some fans, media members, and promoters may be worried as this was supposed to be the last week of Assembly decisions, with no decision coming on the MMA bill, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the bill won’t be passed.
The Assembly session has been extended, and Majority Leader Joe Morelle, who is a sponsor of the bill, spoke with MMAFighting, noting that he remains hopeful and that a decision should be made next week:
“I certainly remain hopeful,” said Morelle in speaking to reporters about the bill that he sponsored. “We had a couple of members who could not be here for family reasons, so I didn’t want to take a chance,. We’re right on the cusp here. I knew I had the votes today, but I talked to the speaker and he said he’s certainly willing to entertain it next week, as we’re trying to close down other issues today.”
According to MMAFighting, Morelle is not the only one who remains hopeful, as UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Marc Ratner, also remains optimistic. He recently voiced his opinion that the bill would passed, saying that he believed that around 100 members were in favor of the bill, which only needs 76 members to be passed.
If the bill is actually passed through the Senate, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo would need to sign on the dotted line for it to become a law, but Cuomo is thought to be in favor of legalizing the sport.
With UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertita promising four shows a year in New York, and middleweight king Chris Weidman ready to defend his title at the historic Madison Square Garden, will we finally see the Octagon head to the Empire State?