Despite calling it my home for some 22 years, I have long since given up on the idea of MMA being legalized in New York. We’ve had the carrot dangled in front of us several times before, sure, but when push came to shove, the rug was always pulled out from under us thanks to what I can only describe as “bureaucratic big-whiggery bullshit.” I blame you for all of this, Bob Reilly, you rat-faced c*cksucker.
While the fight towards professional MMA legalization in NY rages on, there have been some small steps made over the years, mainly in the realm of amatuer MMA. Unfortunately, the lack of anything resembling regulation has created something of a health crisis, with athletes that have previously tested positive for everything from HIV to Hepatitis C flooding the state to compete in unsanctioned MMA and kickboxing matches after being banned from doing so in states with actual regulation. As Jim Genia wrote in a recent piece for Deadspin:
Nick Lembo, chief counsel for the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board and overseer of all things MMA in the Garden State, lays out the issue as straightforwardly as anyone could.
“There have been many contestants who have been banned from regulated combative sport in New Jersey because of subdural hematoma, hepatitis C, HIV, detached retinas, and other medical concerns who have competed freely in amateur MMA and kickboxing in New York under the direct supervision of state-approved sanctioning bodies, or at shows without such direct supervision,” he says.
He can’t name these athletes—New Jersey privacy laws and federal HIPAA regulations prevent that—but according to him, dozens of them have fought and bled in New York rings and cages.