History made today, Sep. 1, 2016: New York MMA regulations in place
Earlier this year the great state of New York FINALLY welcomed mixed martial arts with open arms after the Empire State became the nation’s last state to pass legislation that will allow the sport to operate on both the amateur and professional levels.
After years of back and forth between politicians who opposed sanctioning and fans and officials who were in favor of the combat sport, today, September 1, 2016 history has been written.
“Today, New York State opens its doors to mixed martial arts, and begins writing a new chapter in our rich history as a mecca for combat athletes,” said New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado. “These regulations will protect the health and safety of combat athletes in New York State, and enhance the experience of combative sports for fans and competitors alike.”
According to NYFights.com: “The Commission had previously put forth proposed regulations and provided a 45-day public comment period for stakeholder feedback before approving the final rules. The Department received several comments to this rulemaking. Some identified purely technical issues and others provided suggestions to amend proposed language in order to clarify intent and meaning. Many such suggestions were accepted and have been incorporated into the text.”
There are aspects of the new law that should make combat sports safer in New York. It creates standards for amateur mixed martial arts, which was previously legal but unregulated (in a way).
The legal ban put in place in 1997 that prohibited professional MMA in New York technically took with it all combat sports apart from boxing, however, select bodies, such as the United States Muay Thai Association (USMTA) and the World Kickboxing Association, were allowed to sanction “martial arts” competitions within the state. To the letter of the law, by the admission of the New York State Attorney General’s office, amateur MMA fell under the category of “martial arts.”
“Today starts a new day where fighters’ safety and regulation will be at the forefront. In New York Aggressive Combat Championships has been and always will be proud to put fighters first,” said Tom Kilkenny, one of the promoters for ACC.
The sport is expected to bring $137 million to the state’s economy. Both the UFC and World Series of Fighting already have events planned for New York later this year.