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New York Won't Legalize Mixed Martial Arts: 'We Ban Cockfighting and Dog Fighting'

Despite intense lobbying on the part of the UFC, mixed martial arts won't make it to New York any time soon.

The Albany Times Union reports (via Bloody Elbow) that the State Assembly's Tourism Committee will not move forward on a bill to legalize MMA, which was banned in New York in 1997.

Assemblyman Bob Reilly, a Democrat from the village of Colonie in Albany County, was a key proponent of keeping the ban in place. The Times Union quotes him as saying, "We ban cockfighting and dog fighting - should we allow humans to enter a cage to knee, kick, and punch each other?"

I have left phone and e-mail messages with Assemblyman Reilly's office requesting an interview.

This is a major blow to the top brass in the UFC, who thought their investments of time and money would lead the state to lift the ban, paving the way for Madison Square Garden to become a major mixed martial arts venue, just as it has been a major boxing venue for decades. For now, it looks like those lobbying efforts have failed.

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