The UFC will have to wait to crack the New York market. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
The bid to legalize mixed martial arts in New York has died in the State Assembly for the fourth consecutive year, as Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has declined to bring the bill before the floor for a vote, according to a report from the New York Daily News.
The current legislative session ends this week, meaning MMA will remain illegal in the Empire State for at least another year, despite once again passing through the State Senate. According to the Daily News report, Silver held a “contentious closed-door” meeting with his Democratic conference on June 18, after which he verified that the bill would not be placed on the floor for a vote.
Connecticut recently became the 49th state to legalize MMA, leaving New York as the lone state in the union to still ban the sport. The Ultimate Fighting Championship has long lobbied for MMA regulation in New York but has been met with resistance, primarily from the Las Vegas-based Culinary Workers Union 226. The union has been engaged in a dispute with Station Casinos, which are owned by Zuffa founders Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta.
UFC officials have openly pined for the opportunity to host an event at Madison Square Garden, New York City’s most famous venue. Several major UFC talents have also spoken out in favor of regulation in the state, including UFC light heavyweight king and native New Yorker Jon Jones, as well as UFC bantamweight queen Ronda Rousey, who testified before the State Senate in support of the bill in 2012.
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