(Video courtesy of WNY)
New York State Assembly isn’t scheduled to resume until January, but that isn’t stopping politicians in the Empire State from rallying in the meantime for legalizing mixed martial arts when the next session starts.
Several senators and Assembly members have spoken out publicly in support of the sport in recent weeks, which could bring the issue to the forefront when Assembly is back in session in two months.
Buffalo Senator Mark Grisanti, who met with UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta yesterday, says that it’s ridiculous that New York is dragging its feet when it comes to sanctioning the sport that is regulated in all but a handful of states in the U.S. and less than a half dozen Canadian provinces. Grisanti pointed to the economic benefits of having MMA in the state, noting that it could create jobs and inject an influx of cash into the New York economy as one of the big reasons for giving the popular combat sport the nod.
“Being that we’re so close to Toronto and southern Ontario, I would suspect that we would get a lot of that draw from our neighboring country [as well],” Grisanti explained.
You might recall that the bill stalled out last session before it could reach a final vote because the 2011 Assembly session ended before one could take place. Some argue that the opponents of the bill dragged their feet in pushing the process along to prevent a vote from happening, but it’s unlikely they will be able to put off the inevitable next year. Let’s just hope that voting members will look at the big picture and not take douchebag Assemblyman Bob Reilly’s word at face value, considering he has ulterior motives since he received sizeable campaign contributions from the culinary union — you know, the group that’s been trying to shut down the UFC because they don’t like the fact that the Fertittas won’t allow their Station Casino workers to unionize.
Maybe he’ll asphyxiate on egg nog over the holidays and we won’t have to worry about him meddling with the vote.