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Can MMA Be Saved By The Bell?

Junior Dos Santos battles Mirko Cro Cop
Jon Kopaloff, Getty Images

Last week, the Speaker of the Assembly made remarks to the media that supposedly killed the proposal to legalize MMA in the state of New York. But earlier today, a small group of politicians told Sheldon Silver “not so fast.”

The Assembly Codes Committee voted on and passed the MMA Bill in flying colors, by a margin of 17-3. Even though this landslide vote was expected, it is a small victory that eliminates yet another challenge in the fight to legalize MMA in New York.

The proposal now has 3 more hurdles to clear before it can be signed into law by Governor Cuomo: the Assembly Way & Means Committee, the Assembly Rules Committee and a vote from the entire State Assembly. That covers the good news from today, but there was a small dose of bad news.

Anderson Silva vs. Forrest Griffin
Jon Kopaloff, Getty Images

MMAfighting.com writer Mike Chiappetta reported that a new poll was conducted by the Siena Research Institute (SRI), located on the campus of Siena College in Loudonville. SRI asked over 800 people if MMA should be legalized in the state of New York: results showed that 55 percent of the voters said no.

With exactly one week left until the end of the Legislative calendar (June 20), the minutes and seconds are ticking away for MMA to be legalized in New York State. Despite the apparent support within the State Assembly, this shocking revelation by the Siena Research Institute begs the question: can MMA be saved by the bell? In my opinion, I think MMA fans across the state (like myself) should adopt the saying made popular by former Mets pitcher Tug McGraw: “Ya Gotta Believe!”

Cain Velasquez vs. Ben Rothwell
Jon Kopaloff, Getty Images

On Monday morning, the NY Daily News published an Op/Ed piece written by UFC president Dana White. In his letter, White talked about the misleading reputation that proceeds MMA regarding fighter safety, as well as laid out the potential financial impact MMA events would have for the state.

Honestly people, the facts speak for themselves. Despite recent rules put into place by the NFL and MLB, the UFC and Mixed Martial Arts has already been proactive with concussions and drug testing for a decade. If you go back and watch all fights in the history of the UFC, no serious or life-threatening injuries have occured. There has never been a single incidentin the UFC similar to that of Darryl Stingley or Dennis Byrd, never.

And oh yeah, to add the cherry on top of just how important it is for New York to legalize MMA, the current UFC Light Heavweight Champion is named Jon “Bones” Jones. He was born and raised in Rochester, graduated from Union-Endicott High School and was a 2005 NYS Wrestling champion. Below this story is the audio of a commercial we are currently playing on-air with Jon Jones asking for your support to legalize MMA, check it out people.

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