Will MMA Ever Be Legal in New York?

| May 22, 2011

Even with the success of MMA over the past five years, it still has not claimed the reputation it rightfully deserves. While millions of fans cannot hardly wait until the few weeks finally end in between UFC and Strikeforce cards, there are still many cities and states in the US that have yet to jump on the MMA wagon. Many feel it is unsafe, and even not regulated properly. Certainly UFC President Dana White has argued this point to the end stating that it is so regulated for a professional sport that it puts many other nationally televised ones to shame. Perhaps it is simply just the danger that the sport without a doubt brings to the table as being an MMA fighter is no walk in the park that scares some law makers off, but at the end of the day it is a sport and a business no less.

For a very long time, the UFC has been dancing around the state of New York and trying its best to get them on the roster of great places to hold fights. However, thus far they have yet to get onboard. Dana has offered the state of holding two UFC cards there annually, which would certainly bring plenty of revenue in for the area, in exchange for sanctioning the sport of MMA in New York. These two cards annually would be held at the famous Madison Square Garden and one more somewhere in upstate New York.

New York has never been a fan of MMA, which does seem odd considering it is a huge city for the sport of Boxing, but is completely against MMA. Back in 1997, the state actually completely banned the sport and is moving forward to do so once again. It truly doesn’t add up to most fans, of which New York has a huge market ready to support MMA in their home towns with the cards having the potential to bring in over twenty million dollars a year. New Jersey has jumped on board and has proven how successful MMA can be along the east coast. The New Jersey area being so close to so many neighborhoods in New York, has opened its doors to MMA and profited handsomely from doing so. For the many fans that cannot obtain a great MMA show in New York, they hop on a short road trip to Jersey and get the MMA fix they need for now.

Strikeforce will be holding a large venue in New Jersey shortly, making it even more obvious that there is in fact a market for MMA there. Will this profit gain from holding MMA events in New York change any opinions for those in control to change it? The lobbyists and assemblymen that once referred to MMA as “barbaric” could always attend a few fights and then form their rules and opinions off of those experiences, but that day may never come any time soon. It appears that for now, New York residents will just have to wait it out and hopefully at some point the MMA ban will come to an end there. There may be a silver lining to this cloud as MMA was illegal in several states for years, and currently has less than a handful to permit the sport.

Todd Erwin is an avid participant, writer, and fan of MMA. He is also the owner and operator of CheapFightGear.com which is an online store and blog which is a great resource for anyone looking to get up to the minute MMA news or to purchase quality and affordable Fight Gear, MMA Training Gear and MMA gloves.

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Category: MMA News

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