WSOF Praises Legalization of MMA in N.Y., Plans to Bring Event to State ‘Very Soon’

By Tristen Critchfield Mar 23, 2016
UFC isn’t the only Las Vegas-based organization happy to see mixed martial arts legal in New York.

The MMA bill passed in the New York State Assembly on Tuesday also opened the doors for World Series of Fighting to hold an event in the state sometime in the near future.

"This is an exciting and historic day for our great sport,” WSOF CEO Carlos Silva said in a statement. “Those who have been lobbying for the legalization of MMA in NY State, including World Series of Fighting's new COO Michael Mersch, should be commended for their persistence and commitment to seeing through the passage of legislation that will finally allow fans to watch live MMA in the Empire State, and fighters to compete there. We recently opened an office in Manhattan so, along with our television partner, NBC, we are looking forward to bringing our brand of professional MMA to New York very soon.”

The promotion announced the hiring of Mersch on Tuesday. The new WSOF executive, who served as the UFC’s senior vice president of legal and business affairs from 2007 to 2015, was a major part of the Zuffa-owned company’s efforts to legalize the sport in New York during his tenure there.

WSOF has ventured to the East Coast in the past, holding events in both Connecticut and Massachusetts. It is currently unclear when it would be able to plant its flag in New York, as the MMA bill must first be signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Then the New York State Athletic Commission will have 120 days to adopt a set of rules and regulations.


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