I'm not really sure if this is news or masochism anymore, but the New York State Senate has passed a bill that proposes the regulation and legalization of mixed martial arts competition in the state.
Bill S.1707-A will now land at the feet of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who's been opposed to the movement in the past, but may be changing his tune. The bill has a ways to go before becoming a law, but UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta expressed optimism that it will be in a press release sent out today.
"We would like to thank the New York State Senate for passing the bill to legalize and regulate MMA for the third time in the last three years," said Fertitta. "We are hopeful the third time will be the charm with the State Assembly. The bill received overwhelming and bipartisan support and we would especially like to recognize the leadership of the Senate sponsor Joseph Griffo.? ?
"Over the next two months, we will focus our efforts on convincing Assembly leadership that this bill, now sponsored by Assemblyman Joe Morelle – who is a Monroe County native just like UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones – should be brought to the floor of the Assembly for a vote, where we are convinced it will have strong bipartisan support."??
The UFC have been very actively involved with legalization efforts in New York, frequently campaigning to see their sport finally welcomed into one of the historically largest fight markets in the country.
The NY State Senate has passed similar bills twice, only to see them shot down before making it to law.
Get more great MMA news and analysis over at Fightline.