That New York has been the battleground state in MMA regulation over the past several years is not news to anyone. New York has held out for years against popular opinion (and economic benefit) on legalizing the sport on a professional level.
A loophole of sorts does allow amateur mixed martial arts bouts. That loophole has served to make New York a dangerous spot in the MMA world.
"There have been many contestants who have been banned from regulated combative sport in New Jersey because of subdural hematoma, hepatitis C, HIV, detached retinas, and other medical concerns who have competed freely in amateur MMA and kickboxing in New York under the direct supervision of state-approved sanctioning bodies, or at shows without such direct supervision," he says.
He can't name these athletes—New Jersey privacy laws and federal HIPAA regulations prevent that—but according to him, dozens of them have fought and bled in New York rings and cages.
The article goes on to talk about other concerns with results not being reported, thus other commissions can't act in the best interest of the fighter's safety, poorly trained officials, poorly run events and so on.
The argument has been made that the legalization of MMA in New York is as much about fighter safety as anything, and the idea that fighters are competing in seriously dangerous conditions seems to back that up.