Report: New York MMA Bill Dies Again in State Assembly


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It appears that New Yorkers will have to wait at least another year to see mixed martial arts regulated in The Empire State.

Quoting New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, The New York Daily News reported Tuesday that the bill to legalize MMA will not receive a vote in the State Assembly this year. Following the Assembly Democratic conference, which took place behind closed doors, Silver told The Daily News that the bill lacked the necessary support to be placed on the floor for a vote.

An anonymous member of the conference told The Daily News that eight people spoke in favor of the bill, while eight spoke in opposition. Following the speakers, Silver reportedly took a vote, which he said looked even at about 25 votes apiece. One Assembly member then apparently complained that the vote did not look even to her. Silver took another vote, which reportedly produced roughly 60 votes in favor of the legislation against the 25 opposed. According to the report, Silver then stated that others had expressed opposition privately and that the votes were not there to pass the bill if it were to be sent to the floor.

“It will not come to the floor this year,” Silver told The Daily News. “[The conference] was pretty evenly divided. I think [the bill] is evolving. I don’t think two years ago that it was a 50-50 proposition.”

As in previous years, the most recent version of the bill passed through the State Senate prior to dying in the Assembly. Though Assemblyman Bob Reilly has become the de facto face of those opposed to legalizing MMA in New York, Silver is the man who has controlled the legislation’s fate. As Assembly Speaker, Silver alone decides which bills will be brought to the floor for a vote.

The news comes in spite of UFC and Strikeforce parent company Zuffa’s considerable efforts to facilitate the process of legalizing MMA in New York. The company’s most recent attempt to sway New York lawmakers came last month, when Strikeforce women’s champion Ronda Rousey testified before the Senate prior to the legislative body passing the bill.

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