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MMA in New York Update: 4/3/11

With West Virginia recently hopping aboard the sanctioned MMA train, only Vermont, Connecticut and New York remain as holdouts – and of those three, New York is still far and away the most contentious. Well, MMA Convert’s got your updated “MMA in New York” scorecard right here:

– Last weekend, attorney Justin Klein (a.k.a. “the Fight Lawyer“) went head-to-head against anti-MMA proponent Assemblyman Bob Reilly on the Hot97 “Street Soldiers” radio show, and as debates go, Klein scored a definite TKO victory. For those who don’t know, Klein has long been an asset to the “MMA in New York” movement, and in recent months has been everywhere from shaking hands in Albany to sitting in on roundtable discussions to pressing flesh with a variety of industry types, all the while getting the well-informed word out.

– Last week the New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Assembly and Senate ironed out a budget. It did not include a provision to lift the ban on professional MMA, but it also did not include the governor’s suggested elimination of the salary of the athletic commission chairperson. As Commissioner Melvina Lathan is a big supporter of MMA, this can only be considered a good thing.

– In yesterday’s New York Times there was an op-ed piece by the editor-in-chief of Men’s Health magazine calling for the sanctioning of MMA in New York. David Zinczenko, in his tenure as the popular magazine’s boss, has been steadfast in his belief that MMA was not worthy of the cover of his publication. But that’s all changed now, as he believes the sport is safe and viable. “I’ve changed my policy,” he says. “This month Men’s Health features the UFC’s reigning welterweight title holder, Georges St. Pierre, on its cover. Sometimes the more raw and visceral a sport appears, the more humane it may actually be.” Amen, brother. And welcome aboard.

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