Get ready to rumble, NYC. Interesting they finally lifted the ban. Check out why.
Following a nearly 20-year battle, New York finally has lifted the ban on mixed martial arts, joining the other 49 states that already allow and regulate the sport.
The vote went down on Tuesday with the New York State Assembly approving the measure by a vote of 113-25
It’s been a long fight to finally see MMA take place in New York after former governor George Pataki first banned the sport in 1997.
At the time, MMA was still a largely unregulated sport with few rules to govern the athletes dishing out punishment inside the cage. State athletic commissions in New Jersey and eventually Nevada helped adopt a new rule set that became the standard for MMA and slowly but surely the sport became legal across the United States.
Still, New York was the lone holdout, with the vote to legalize MMA passing in the State Senate each of the past seven years but ultimately fizzling out before being voted on by the Assembly.
Several members of the assembly spoke out in favor of and against the bill passing before the vote took place.
“The sport has evolved considerably in the last two decades,” Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, the sponsor of the MMA bill, said after acknowledging he was against the sport being legalized in New York for many years.
While there were a few voices who were loudly against MMA being legalized in New York, it appeared the majority of the assembly was on board with ban being lifted. However, the debate raged on for more than three hours as members of the assembly bounced back and forth with arguments about legalizing MMA in New York.
“It’s time to legalize mixed martial arts in the state of New York,” Republican Assemblyman Dean Murray stated.