"Good morning, NY."
With that tweet just after 10 AM EST Tuesday morning, the UFC formally announced that parent company Zuffa has filed a lawsuit against New York State officials "challenging the constitutionality of the state law banning live professional MMA events and associated activities"
From the UFC:
Specifically, the lawsuit alleges the Ban infringes upon the rights of the fighters who want to publicly exhibit their skills as professionals and express themselves before a live audience, the rights of fans who would like to experience live professional MMA events, and the rights of those who train, publicize or otherwise advance MMA in New York.
They cite that the ban on MMA in New York that was originally imposed in 1997 was done when the sport was unregulated and that MMA is "safe as or safer than many sports and activities that are legal in New York, including boxing, football and rodeo."
14 additional plaintiffs joined Zuffa in challenging the ban including UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar, Brian Stann, Matt Hamill, Gina Carano and two members of the SB Nation family of MMA websites in Beth and Donna Hurrle of Gals Guide To MMA.
From their post announcing their involvement:
According to the complaint, "The Live Professional MMA Ban is written so broadly that, in addition to prohibiting the constitutionally protected activity of professional MMA fighters and fans, it also prohibits myriad other forms of speech and expression that are protected by the First Amendment, both inside and outside of New York." The fact that Beth and I blog about MMA in NY, that UFC billboards appear in TImes Square, and that UFC viewing parties take place at Madison Square Garden can all be considered violations of the ban.
More on this story as it progresses.