Advocates for mixed-martial arts are in Albany today to lobby state lawmakers in the hope they would legalize the sport this year.
The sport, which opponents criticize for being too brutal, is currently banned in New York. But MMA supporters believe legalizing the sport can bring much-needed revenue to the state, especially the upstate areas.
Representatives from Ultimate Fighting Championship will be in Albany for most of the day giving demonstrations, meeting with legislators and speaking with the press.
Gov. David Paterson was a proponent of legalize MMA events, but the measure failed last year. Neither the Assembly, or Gov. Andrew Cuomo included MMA as a provision in their separate budget plans. The Senate’s provision does include the measure.
From their press release:
Ultimate Fighting Championship® President Dana White, UFC Owner & CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, local UFC Athlete and gym owner Renzo Gracie, current UFC Lightweight champion Frankie Edgar Jr, UFC athlete and Utica native Matt Hamill, and local NYU fight Doctor Todd Schlifstein will meet with Albany legislators Tuesday, March 15th to urge the regulation of mixed martial arts (MMA) in New York and highlight the millions annually in revenue the sport would bring to New York.
Renzo Gracie, Frankie Edgar, Matt Hamill and Dana White will then address the media and hold an MMA community expo, with Edgar and Hamill sparring, for teens from Albany’s Journeyman Wrestling School at the Washington Avenue Armory. Albany area youths from the local Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA, and Boy Scouts will attend.