The fight to legalize mixed martial arts (MMA) in New York continues. The bill, which details regulation of the sport in the Empire State, was expected to be decided on this week, but no word has come through just yet. Having been passed through the Senate, the bill now needs to go through the Assembly where problems have always been met, but things are looking brighter this year.
Although many are hopeful, it seems as if another day has gone by without the bill being addressed in the Assembly according to Newsday’s Mark La Monica:
No MMA bill on today’s NY Assembly calendar of bills to be voted on. At least not yet.
— Mark La Monica (@LaMonicaMark) June 23, 2015
However, UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner remains optimistic, telling MMAJunkie Radio that he believes the bill has the amount of votes it needs:
“No guarantees of anything, but I very much believe we have the votes if we get it on the assembly floor,” Ratner today said.
One problem may be that New York has multiple important issues being decided on in the Assembly, and Ratner understands that, saying that although MMA may be the most important thing to him, there may be more serious issues that take precedent. However, he claims that if another day goes by, he will still remain optimistic:
“There’s much bigger things going on in the legislature there,” he said. “There’s a big rent control problem that they’re trying to fix, and that’s holding up other bills.
“If I take a take a step back, I understand that MMA is not the biggest thing in legislature in New York. It may be the biggest thing to myself and to the sport, but there’s other things that have to be done. But I guess I’m cautiously optimistic today’s the day. If they have to go another day, I’ll be optimistic tomorrow. But we’re still in the race.”
And if the bill does not get voted on, then what happens? Well it could be added to a group of bills that would need to be passed by New York Governor Cuomo, who’s apparently in favor of MMA. For the first time in years, it seems as if our sport could finally enter New York, and Ratner will be waiting with his music tuned:
“I’m just sitting by the phone and I’m listening to Chicago’s greatest hits, which is not relevant to New York,” Ratner said. “But I do have queued up Billy Joel just in case, for ‘New York State of Mind.’”