A major obstacle in the way of legalizing and bringing MMA to the state of New York was cleared this afternoon when the NY State Senate passed Bill S1707A (by a margin of 42-18) to "authorize and sanction" mixed martial arts in New York.
The bill passing the Senate is a good sign, but not the final challenge MMA will face in New York.
Now the bill will make its way to the New York State Assembly for approval, and if they vote yes then MMA will be sanctioned in the state.
Dana White tweeted in celebration moments ago:
So what does this mean? Is MMA good to go in NYC? Not so fast. Martin went on to say:
The biggest issue is that MMA has come before the Assembly before after being approved by the Senate and then voted down.
Assemblyman Bob Reilly has continuously battled against MMA being sanctioned in the state, and he will likely once again be a major antagonist to try and keep the sport from getting through this time as well.
The bill will be presented to the State Assembly next, and if it’s approved there then MMA will officially be sanctioned in New York.
Unfortunately, Reilly, who has stubbornly and often even blindly protested the sport of MMA coming to his state, still has a say in the matter.
Mike Chiapetta of MMA Fighting also wrote about what else needs to happen for MMA to become officially legal in NY:
If the Assembly did pass the bill, it would be sent to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. If he signed it into law, there would still be at least a 90-day wait until events were sanctioned in the state, time which would allow the New York athletic commission to prepare its personnel to properly supervise an event.
What can we, as MMA fans, do to help? You can call Assemblyman Reilly's Office at: 1-518-371-0568. Remember that you will draw more flies with honey. Be nice. Leave a respectful message stating that you disagree with Assemblyman Reilly's stance on MMA in New York, and that you believe there should be sanctioned MMA events in the state.