New York has long been a key state to turn its cheek to the sport, dating back to 1997 when Gov. George Pataki signed legislation barring “ultimate fighting” in the Empire State.
”To have someone who wins by using choke holds and kicking people while they are down, is not someone our children should be looking to emulate,” Mr. Pataki told The New York Times in 1997.
The New York State Athletic Commission has upheld the law for ten years, policing numerous promoters that have tried to hold events statewide. A small circuit of amateur events has been launched in recent years, with organizers claiming both the legislation and the NYSAC have no jurisdiction over them.
The Massachusetts Boxing Commission currently does not have legislation to oversee MMA in the state. Events are still held under the promoter’s authority, but must get their town’s approval. On average, two to four MMA events are held in the state each month.
There isn’t much to add here except that I’m keeping my fingers crossed as much as the next MMA fan. It also is worth pointing out that while I don’t think the UFC is as altruistic about their intentions as they tend to lead on, getting the sport legalized and regulated in key markets is a critical step towards advancing the UFC brand and exposing untapped markets to the MMA product at large.
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