“Sugar” Rashad Evans, a Niagara Falls native who once held Ultimate Fighting Championship’s light heavyweight belt, is set to arrive at the Capitol at any moment to make a last-minute push for the legalization of mixed martial arts events in his home state, according to a UFC spokesman.
Evans will join a number of UFC executives and representatives in pushing the Assembly to take up a bill that would allow promoters to put on mixed-martial arts competitions, with the state taking a cut of ticket receipts and establishing a permitting system through the state Athletic Commission.
The Senate passed the bill last month.
In addition to Evans, Rochester-native Jon “Bones” Jones cut a radio advertisement that played this morning on the Albany airwaves. In the ad, Jones, who went to high school in Broome County and now lives in Ithaca, speaks of his love for the sport and his dream of being able to fight in his home state. Jones also made a trip to the Capitol last month.
Assembly Democrats haven’t been sold on the idea of legalizing mixed-martial arts, and a Siena poll released today found that more New Yorkers oppose the idea than support it.