In an interview given to MMAFightCorner, Dana White didn’t beat around the bush when discussing the possibility of finally legalizing mixed martial arts in New York. If you recall, the UFC recently filed a law suit against New York, claiming that the “Empire State” was in breach of their first amendment rights to peacefully assemble. Specifically, Zuffa lawyers have been attempting to prove that mixed martial arts is a form of entertainment, like any other sport, and therefore cannot be criminalized.
Well, it seems we may have finally reached the mountaintop, so to speak, as the UFC President seems more than confident that 2012 will be the year that New Yorkers near and far will finally be able to sit down and watch MMA from somewhere other than their couches:
We’re so close. It’s going to happen, and I guarantee you it’s going to happen this year. It’s going to depend on when it happens, timing and everything else, but obviously, it would be nice to go in there with, probably, Jon Jones.
Let us be the first to say, it’s about fucking time. In June, the New York State Senate voted an overwhelming 42-18 to pass Bill S.1707-A, which would legalize the sport once and for all. This came after a similar bill was passed in the NY Assembly Committee with a vote of 14-6 back in 2009, all at the disgust of NY State Assemblyman Bob Reilly, who may or may not have received campaign contributions for his efforts to kill the bill before it gained any steam *cough* he did *cough*. Since then, several NY legislators have come forward in favor of legalizing the sport, including Buffalo Senator Mark Grisanti, who stated that it would not only help create jobs in a stagnant market, but could help boost tourism, being that New York is just an earshot away from Toronto.
And bringing in a guy like Jon Jones, who is not only a native of the state (he was born in Rochester), but a near guarantee in terms of putting on an exciting fight, seems like the best move for the UFC. But although DW seems confident, which by all means he should, we are going to hold off on our celebrations, because if history has proved one thing, it’s that it only takes one misinformed d-bag to ruin a party, also known as the Andy Dick Effect.