Yesterday, the New York State Senate passed their version of the bill that would lift the ban on pro MMA. Hooray, throw some confetti in the air and eat a Ring Ding. Here's the Senate fellating themselves over the accomplishment - http://www.nysenate.gov/press-release/senate-approves-legislation-mixed-martial-arts-bouts-0 - and if you're keeping score, this is the third year in a row that the smarter half of the New York State legislature has done the right thing and made efforts to sanction the sport. But now we're again at the familiar juncture where everything grinds to a halt. That right, I'm talking about the Assembly, where Bob Reilly did his thing and got to the MMA bill stalled in a committee, and where Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has been able to quietly quell the movement by sending the annual bills to red-tape purgatory. So yeah, after so many years of crossing my fingers and hoping and sacrificing small animals to Ares the God of War - and being let the fuck down each and every time - I can't even pretend to be excited that the MMA bill made it through the Senate anymore.
Is there no hope this year for those of us waiting for the sport to be sanctioned? Sure, there's hope. Reilly is retiring, and the Albany Times Union got this nice quote from Speaker Silver:
"I have mixed feelings about [mixed martial arts].... On the one hand I do believe it's rather violent and it sets a tone for people. On the other hand, you can turn on the television and see it, a child can see it from their homes on a regular TV. And we're one of the few states that don't legalize it... Obviously legalization comes with regulation, and we may be better off having regulation."
Granted, Speaker Silver could be thawing on the issue. But at this point, who knows? I sure don't. The only things I know are that the UCL continues to churn out underground shows, the athletic commission no longer cares (or is even pretending that they could do something about it if they did care), and other promotions are weaseling their way in to do shows of their own.
Oh, New York. You suck sometimes.
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