Nearly one month after the Connecticut House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation that would legalize mixed martial arts in the Constitution State, the Connecticut Senate passed the bill by a vote of 26-9.
If Gov. Dannel Malloy signs the bill into law, Connecticut will become the 49th state to legalize mixed martial arts. That will leave New York as the only state where professional MMA is illegal.
UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said Wednesday that the New York State Assembly should vote on the MMA legalization bill.
"Assuming Governor Dan Malloy signs the bill into law, Connecticut will become the 49th state to legalize MMA. There will be only one state in the entire United States of America where professional MMA will remain illegal. I know New York likes to think of itself as a leader but when it comes to the fastest growing sport in the nation, New York is now the only outlier," Feritta said in a statement.
"Not only will New York be the only state to ban professional MMA, it will continue to be the only state to allow amateur MMA – albeit unregulated and potentially dangerous – while banning professional MMA. It’s time, New York. The Senate has passed the bill four years in a row by overwhelming bipartisan majorities. It’s time for the Assembly to allow the bill to be voted upon. It’s time for New York to legalize and regulate MMA."
The New York State Senate passed the MMA legalization bill in March. In April, Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle introduced the MMA bill in the Assembly. The Assembly bill has more than 60 cosponsors. But with about two weeks to go in the 2013 legislative session, it's unclear if Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will bring the measure to the floor for a vote. (Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, urged Silver to allow a vote on the MMA legalization bill.)
UFC President Dana White chimed in Wednesday night with his view on the situation in New York.
Hey I have a question for everyone, who looks stupid on this map? twitter.com/danawhite/stat…— Dana White (@danawhite) June 6, 2013
Fertitta said in March that UFC would hold four events in New York each year for the first three years after MMA is legalized in the state. UFC events and other MMA bouts would generate $100 million in economic activity in the first two years the sport is legal in New York, Fertitta said.