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MMA Might Have To Wait Another Year

Michael Bisping kicks Jorge Rivera
Mark Kolbe, Getty Images

When you were a kid, did you ever have an older brother or sister wave a cookie in front of you? Do you remember what usually happened 5 seconds later: they would eat it right in front of you. Well once again, MMA fans in New York State have been deceived by their elected officials. writer Mike Chiappetta and NY Daily News writer Kenneth Lovett both report that NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has sealed the fate of this year’s bill to legalize MMA.

When asked if the proposal would be approved before the end of the current legislative session, Silver said:

“There does not appear to be widespread support in the Assembly for this legislation.”

George Sotiropoulos punches Dennis Silver
Mark Kolbe, Getty Images

Silver, a Democrat out of Manhattan, has spent the last 34 years in the State Assembly and has been the Speaker since 1994. Because of his long tenure and the immense respect he has from politicians in the Assembly, Silver has the power to do whatever he wants based on his own morals and beliefs.

Despite Silver’s comments, there is still a small glimour of hope for MAA to be legalized by the June 20 deadline. Last month, the bill passed through the State Senate easily by a 42-18 margin, and then sailed through a 16-3 vote by the Assembly’s Tourism committee earlier this week. The proposal is expected to be passed almost immediately by the Assembly Codes committee and appears to have growing support from other Assemblymen.

  • Assembly Codes Committee chairman Joseph Lentol: “Every other state seems to think this is a good idea.”
  • Democrat Andrew Hevesi has called it “illogical and irrational” that the state would turn its back on the revenue the sport would generate during a fiscal crisis.

New York is one of just three states out of the 48 with athletic commissions that does not sanction mixed martial arts.

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