Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pro MMA Will Come to New York This Year - Here's Why


It's been a long and arduous trek to get the ban on professional MMA lifted in New York, but it looks like the end of the road is near. Here's why:

  • Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver - the man hailed as MMA's biggest obstacle in the legislature - was arrested last week on corruption charges, and though he vowed to step back and let five other Assemblymen carry on his duties while he fights for his legal life, he announced yesterday he'd be stepping down completely. Replacing him as Speaker on an interim basis will be Majority Leader Joe Morelle, who sponsored last year's MMA bill. 
  • Majority Leader Morelle will only be interim Speaker until February 10, when the Assembly votes for someone to assume that role on a more permanent basis. Possible candidates for the position are Morelle, Assemblyman Keith Wright, Assemblyman Joe Lentol, Assemblyman Denny Farrell, and Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan. Wright, Lentol and Farrell have all proven to be MMA supporters. Assemblywoman Nolan is the only one of the bunch to have come out against having the sport here. Yes, these are strong odds that favor movement on this year's MMA bill.
  • While the impasse in the legislature is breaking, there's still another avenue of change that could be providing safe passage very soon. I'm of course talking about Zuffa's lawsuit against the State Attorney General. Read about it here.
All of the above reasons point to big changes looming on the horizon. How confident am I that we'll be seeing pro MMA in New York this year? Well, let's just say that I've already picked out a nice dress shirt to wear for when the UFC comes to Madison Square Garden and Bellator comes to the Barclay's Center.

And damn will I look good.

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