(Image #5 on a Google search of “Canada MMA.” Therefore, relevant.)
Good news, Potato Nation! Thanks to some legal mumbo jumbo (although I’m told it was more “mumbo” than “jumbo”), our beloved sport has taken another giant step forward in the fight to become legalized in all 50 states. And Canada.
Yesterday, a bill to legalize mixed martial arts was passed in the Connecticut State Senate by a margin of 26-9, after passing in the State Assembly by a vote of 117-26 on May 7th. Although the bill still has to be signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy, the UFC’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, Marc Ratner (a.k.a the man who was also behind the recent marijuana threshold increase for international UFC events), told MMAFighting that he is more than optimistic for the bill’s chances:
Today is a real big day for the sport. I want people to understand there are 47 states that have athletic commissions that have approved the sport, and two states without commissions that allow the sport.
We feel very confident [the bill] will be with the overwhelming support.
Additionally, a bill that aimed to clarify the legality of MMA in Canada also passed 267-9 in Canada’s House of Commons yesterday. You might be saying, “Wait…MMA illegal in Canada? Then how UFC?” While you should probably learn how to use transitional words before moving forward in life, we’ll allow Dave Meltzer to explain Canada’s previously hazy laws regarding MMA:
A bill that formally changed the criminal code in Canada to remove the grey area regarding whether mixed martial arts is legal passed 267-9 in Canada’s House of Commons, The bill amends an 1880′s law that stated that prize fighting was illegal in Canada. That law was amended in 1934 to legalize boxing. The law had been interpreted in various ways throughout the country. Many provinces that had allowed MMA events, interpreted it by saying that in 1934, there was no such thing as MMA, that they could interpret the amendment of allowing fighting within the realm of a professionally regulated sport, to cover it. But in other provinces, most notably Saskatchewan and British Columbia, there was more uncertainty about what was and wasn’t legal.
Although two major obstacles have been cleared with the passing of these bills, what does this mean for the never-ending battle to legalize MMA in New York? Simply put: Not Much.
As you damn well know, the bill to legalize the sport in New York was killed by the State Assembly last year. With this year’s Assembly session set to end on June 20th, it looks like we can expect more of the same. The bill was set to be heard yesterday, but in typical NY fashion, it wasn’t. At this point, Ratner is just hoping that the bill makes it to the floor to be voted on, which is literally the best we can hope for nowadays:
It was supposed to be heard yesterday in conference by the Democrats in the Assembly, but it wasn’t.
Next week, it’ll be heard. All we want is a vote. If we get out of the conference and have a vote, we’ll win. It would be very sad if it gets stuck in committee.
I hope you’re happy, New York: You now join such prestigious company as Montana and Alaska in the fight against the legalization of MMA. At least Montana and Alaska have the excuse of simply not having athletic commissions to regulate the sport (in fact, neither of the two states have laws prohibiting MMA events from taking place). You, on the other hand, are stubbornly backing a law that was passed in 1997 during the height of the “human cockfighting” debate and are doing so with the support of the most crooked worker’s union in the goddamn country. And now, even when a state that has legislation pertaining to what defines a pickle legalizes the sport, you still remain steadfast in your childish ignorance. I can’t even look at you anymore.