Madison Square Garden - Michael Heiman
The ABC has issued a letter to New York's Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State and others to explain the issues with the current ban on MMA in the state.
Despite MMA still being banned in the state of New York, the UFC has been looking into putting on a fight later this year at Madison Square Garden. The UFC was a part of a group that filed a legal action against New York for the ban on the sport in late 2011, an action which the New York attorney general sought to have dismissed.
In response to New York's continued stance opposing the regulation of the sport in the state, the Association of Boxing Commissions -- through their legal representation -- issued a letter today to Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, as well as several other high ranking New York politicians.
Here's the open to the letter:
We write on behalf of our client, the Association of Boxing Commissions (the "Association"), to address certain serious safety risks presented by New York Unconsolidated Laws 8905-a (the "MMA Statute"). The MMA Statute effectively bans most professional MMA bouts. However, under the Office of the New York Attorney General's (the "NYAG") own construction of the MMA Statute, the provision also permits "amateur" MMA bouts to be held within New York State wholly without regulator supervision or the enforcement of safety standards.
In a pending action related to the constitutionality of the MMA Statute, the NYAG has argued that the regulatory regime imposed by the MMA Statute promotes safety. In fact, New York State's choice to allow wholly unregulated MMA amateur bouts has created a grave safety risk to both athletes and spectators not only within this State, but indeed throughout North America.
Similarly, with respect to "professional" combat sports, we write to urge the Secretary of State and the Governor to immediately implement regulations promulgated by the New York State Athletic Commission ("NYSAC) - pursuant to its authority under the MMA Statute - that will permit the NYSAC to review and determine which private entities are properly vested with "exempt" status under the MMA Statute, entitling and enabling it to at least indirectly regulate certain professional combat sports that are already ocurring in this State. Otherwise, these "exempt" organizations are sanctioning "professional" combat sports in New York with impunity.
To be clear, the ABC is the association that oversees all the state athletic commissions to ensure that there is uniformity in rules, reporting, etc. They're the entity that told their members to no longer recognize fights or fighters from Michigan because of their reporting issues. Michigan was basically forced into stopping their nonsense so that they weren't effectively shut down.
It's unlikely that this changes anything in the state. But it does show solidarity from major players in the fight game nationally.
You can read the full PDF of the letter right here:
It goes into depth about the safety concerns, inadequacy of the current set-up and the other major issues with the current MMA Statute in the state.