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New York MMA Update: Last Gasp for 2011 Session

Time is running out on the 2011 legislative session in New York, which means the hopes for sanctioned MMA in the Empire State are rapidly dwindling.  Cue UFC president Dana White and his impassioned guest op-ed in today’s New York Daily News!

With only a few days left for a bill to become a law, and the current MMA bill mired in committees in the State Assembly, it’s do or die time if this thing is going to get done – and most insiders are leaning towards the “die” side of the equation.  White, however, continues on with the crusade.

“I won’t pretend to be objective.  I run the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the single most popular MMA promotion company.  While I think that our fans here in New York and the city would profit immensely from legalization, it will also certainly affect my bottom line.

But the benefits go far beyond my business.  Brining MMA to New York would make public policy sense in a city and state that need jobs and tax revenue badly.”

White goes on to trumpet the sport’s plethora of rules and safety record, and he cites the steep economic impact his organization visited upon Toronto for UFC 129 – you know, all the usual talking points.

Unfortunately, despite White’s message (and a strong grassroots movement’s call to arms), a recent poll might muck things up to a terminal degree.  Mike Chiappetta has the details, but the gist of it is 55% of 819 New Yorkers polled are against regulating the sport.

There are five days left in the legislative session, so the MMA bill must get approved by two committees and go to the floor of the Assembly for a vote in quick, slam-dunk fashion.  Regardless of this poll’s veracity, it creates room for debate, and with five days left, debate can kill.

Despite White’s words, the outlook for MMA in New York remains grim.

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