The UFC is closer to hosting events in New York. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
By a vote of 42-18, the New York State Senate on Monday voted to regulate the sport of mixed martial arts in The Empire State.
The passage of the bill was hailed as a breakthrough by UFC President Dana White, though it still must pass the State Assembly and receive the signature of Gov. Andrew Cuomo before it becomes law. Similar bills have passed twice before, only to stall elsewhere in the state legislature. New York remains one of six states that do not regulate MMA.
The UFC has had a full-court press on the state for quite some time. The promotion held a press conference at Madison Square Garden in January, promising the state two UFC events within the first year of legalization. If the bill is passed by lawmakers and signed by the governor, there will still be a 90-day waiting period before events can be sanctioned.
The vote in the state senate brings fighters like UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and former UFC welterweight champion Matt Serra one step closer to competing inside the Octagon in their home state.