The UFC continues to grow on a worldwide level, but there are still popular areas within the United States where mixed martial arts (MMA) has yet to be approved. The Assembly Committee on Tourism, Arts and Sports Development for the state of New York continues to deny the bill because they feel that there is too much brutality in MMA.
New York is the nation’s third most populous state in the United States, so you know for sure that the UFC will continue battling their way through in order to get that bill passed. President of the UFC Dana White insists that bringing this sport to the ‘Big Apple’ could only mean extra revenue (studies show an approximate $11.5 Million in earnings). The money acquired by the state of New York could benefit them greatly, especially during this rough economy. MMA experts insist that it is only a matter of months before the sport is legalized in New York.
In July of 2008, Melvina Lathan was appointed as chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC). The 18-year pro-boxing judge approves the combat sport, but she expects to have some extra staff to help her with the workload. After all, a new sport requires a lot more responsibility.
Here are a few important quotes regarding the legalization of mixed martial arts in the state of New York:
Melvina Lathan (NYSAC Chairman):
"I’d like to encourage more conversation about MMA…unless it’s regulated there’s no way to insure the health, safety and
protocol issues are all in place. I love boxing, but there’s room for
Marc Ratner (UFC Vice President for Government and Regulatory Affairs):
"At a time when the New York economy is in crisis, it would be a
mistake for the state to miss out on the considerable revenue that our
events would generate…we are eager to bring both the excitement of our new sport as well as its major tax and tourist revenue to New York State."
Dana White (UFC President):
"I’m very confident we’re going to be in New York in 2009…It’s going to be fun when we roll into New York…Our events have brought millions of dollars in tax and tourist revenue to nearly every city we have held an event…we are constantly breaking arena records for concession sales,
merchandise and ticket sales. We’re thrilled about the prospect of
bringing our sport to New York and hope that legislators will recognize
the tremendous economic opportunity it represents…we’ll do the city and then Buffalo"
Randy "The Natural" Couture (Former UFC heavyweight champion):
"It’s an uneducated view that somehow thinks the sport is dangerous or barbaric…If you look at our track record, it speaks for itself. We’ve had no
deaths in the UFC. I’ve seen a couple of broken bones over the course
of a 12-year career, one of which was my arm. Those are things that
heal. You see minor cuts and all the things you’re used to seeing in
combative sports. You see an occasional knockout. The submission holds
are very controlled. They’re very technical and tactical. They’re not
that invasive. Guys tap out, get up and live to fight again another
(props to ESPN.com)