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Looking for some fisticuffs this afternoon? Too bad! But the next best thing is taking place in the New York Senate where the body is debating legalizing mixed martial arts.
Sen. Joseph Griffo is answering the questions of Sen. Liz Krueger about the finer points of choking out an opponent. Krueger is also concerned about neo-Nazis being involved in MMA.
The Ultimate Fighting Championships, which is the largest MMA organization, has been lobbying hard for five years to get New York to sanction the sport; most other states have already done so. The UFC donated over $105,000 to Cuomo in his first 18 months in office.
The UFC has high hopes that this will be the year they get to hold an event in the state, since a number of the biggest opponents of the sport in the Assembly have retired and it also has a pending lawsuit that claims the state ban on MMA is unconstitutional.
The UFC claims its events will bring millions in revenue and tourism dollars to the state, and has commited to holding events not only in the city but in upstate and western New York.
A number of MMA stars are the capitol for the vote, including UFC women's champion Ronda Rousey.
State Government Editor of The Gotham Gazette