New York Senate Passes MMA Bill
The New York State Senate passed the MMA Bill, a bill to legalize Mixed Martial Arts in the State of New York, May 14.
Today’s vote, at 44-16 in favor is the fifth-year straight the bill has gone through the state’s Senate however the bill must now pass in the state’s Assembly in order to become law. It’s in the same stage as the past several years and is expected to stall there once again.
New York is the only state or province in North America where professional MMA is illegal. New York State does allow amateur MMA through a partnership with the select bodies.
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, are 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 falls under the category of “martial arts.”
Let’s hope the Assembly uses their heads and realizes how big of an economic impact passing the bill could be to the state. A fight in Madison Square Garden could be the biggest mixed martial arts sporting event in the history of the sport.