Dana White encouraged by New York governor's words on MMA

Esther Lin

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated Tuesday that he has no moral objection to the legalization of mixed martial arts in his state. He even went so far as to say he's watched a fight from time to time.

For the sport's biggest promoter, UFC president Dana White, this was welcome news. Speaking on Jim Rome's nationally syndicated radio show Wednesday, White repeated his vow to bring MMA to the state in 2013.

"Yeah, its obviously music to my ears," White said. "I'm very confident that it's going to happen this year and get this thing done, and hold an event in New York this year."

A bill repealing the 1997 law which bans MMA in the Empire State has already passed the state Senate. The big question mark now is whether it will be called up for a vote in the Assembly, where the bill has stalled and died for the past several years.

Still, Cuomo's opinion indicates that if the bill can get through the Assembly, he's not going to keep it from being signed into law.

White, for his part, says that by the time the UFC puts on an event in the Big Apple, people will wonder why the sport was banned in the first place.

"After we roll into New York, put on an event, and leave, New York will wish they got this thing done five years ago," he said.

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