After a long, exhausting legal battle spanning many years, the legalization of MMA inÂ New York now looks set to become a reality in the very near future.
"This has been a long time coming and on behalf of our New York UFC athletes and fans, I want to offer heartfelt thanks to Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Morelle and all the Members of the Assembly - Democrats and Republicans - who voted for this bill," said UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta.
The NY Assembly voted to make MMA legal in their state on March 22nd on a bipartisan vote of 113 votes to 25.Â The bill will now be passed on to GovernorÂ Andrew Cuomo, who has already expressed his intention to sign it. From there, the New York State Athletic Commission has 120 days to adopt guidelines.
If all goes smoothly then the UFC should be holding the first ever MMA event at Madison Square Garden before the end of the year.
Fertitta added: "While there are still additional steps that have to occur before professional MMA becomes a reality in New York, I want to assure our fans that if Governor Cuomo signs the bill into law and the State Athletic Commission puts in place the appropriate regulations, we look forward to hosting our first New York eventÂ in the world's most famous arena - Madison Square Garden, home to so many epic sporting events throughout the decades.Â We also look forward to scheduling events in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Albany, and Brooklyn. We are excited."