UFC taking New York state to court over MMA ban

UFC taking New York state to court over MMA ban

by Stephen Rex Brown

New York Daily News http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ufc-sues-overturn-ban-events-new-york-article-1.2377077

*** MyMMANews edited the article because the NY Daily News refers to the UFC as a sport vice an organization.


The Ultimate Fighting Championship is taking the state of New York to court.

The UFC, the largest promoter of mixed martial arts that has long sought to hold events in the lucrative New York market, sued Monday in Manhattan Federal Court, alleging that a law banning it from the state “is so badly written that neither ordinary persons nor state officials are able to say with any certainty what it permits and what it prohibits.”

MMA events have been deemed illegal since the state passed a law governing “combative sport” in 1996.

But the UFC notes that other leagues that hold events that could be considered “mixed martial arts” are exempt from the statute, which “has proven to be putty in the hands of state officials,” papers argue.

The suit asks a judge to declare the law unconstitutionally vague, setting the stage for MMA cards in the Empire State.

In March UFC superstar Ronda Rousey lobbied lawmakers in Albany and expressed hope a bill would pass allowing the events to take place in New York as they do in 49 other states.

Her optimism was not well founded.

A bill reforming the law did not have enough support  in the State Assembly and died at the end of the legislative session. Sponsors of the bill expressed hope they could get it passed early next year.This is the second time the UFC has sued the state. Earlier this year its suit filed for nearly identical reasons in 2011 was dismissed on technical grounds.

In her dismissal Judge Kimba Wood told UFC lawyers they might consider “filing new vagueness claims.”

The new suit names State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as a defendant. His office declined to comment.

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