Thursday, June 6, 2013
MMA on the way?
By Greg Newman
Connecticut's state senate voted 26-9 in favor of a bill legalizing MMA on Wednesday, a bill that had previously passed 117-26 in the state assembly.
Once the bill is signed by Governor Dan Malloy -- which is considered a formality -- New York will have the distinction of being the only state banning MMA (it is unregulated in Montana and Alaska, but legal).
Does this make it more likely that New York passes Assembly Bill 6506? Probably not.
UFC president Dana White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta are among those who have been less than optimistic that the MMA bill will ever come to a vote in the state, largely due to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
It seems that if Assembly Bill 6506, or any bill of its ilk, came to a straight yea-or-nay vote, the vote would be lopsided in favor of legalizing MMA. Getting the bill on the agenda, however, is the problem.
So does that mean there is no hope for legal MMA in New York? Not quite.
Silver is facing pressure to resign. A Quinnipiac University poll found that 51 percent of New York State voters believe Silver should step down in the wake of his perceived mishandling of a sexual harassment scandal.
If Silver, the most vocal MMA opponent in New York, were to relinquish power and the bill passed a full assembly vote, we could see MMA at MSG sooner rather than later.
But don't hold your breath.