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
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
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
Rousey testified before the Senate prior to the legislative
body passing the bill.