The New York State Senate on Tuesday passed a bill to regulate mixed martial arts in the Empire State for the fifth consecutive year.
Bill S6502 passed by a vote of 43-17, with one senator excusing himself from the vote. The bill will now head to the State Assembly, where it has died in each of the last four years after State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver declined to bring the bill forward for a vote.
Last year, Connecticut became the 49th state to legalize MMA, leaving New York as the only state in which the sport is banned. The Ultimate Fighting Championship has lobbied for regulation in New York for several years, recruiting some of its best-known talent to speak out in favor of regulation in the state, including light heavyweight champion and native New Yorker Jon Jones, as well as bantamweight queen Ronda Rousey. However, those efforts have thus far not yielded the organization’s desired result.
The UFC held its first and only event in New York years prior to Zuffa acquiring the promotion from Semaphore Entertainment Group, when UFC 7 took place at Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo in September 1995. Marco Ruas used a well-rounded attack to win the show’s eight-man tournament that night, and Ken Shamrock drew with sambo practitioner Oleg Taktarov in a 33-minute marathon over Shamrock’s “Superfight” title.