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New York Assemblyman Wants to Keep UFC Out, But You Can't Stop Progress

Will we ever see a UFC event at Madison Square Garden?

Definitely, if UFC fans get their way -- so many fans are clamoring for it that the UFC could sell out the Garden in minutes. But definitely not, if Assemblyman Bob Reilly gets his way -- he is the chief advocate for keeping mixed martial arts illegal in New York, and he says he's not giving up the fight.

Ben Fowlkes did an interview with Reilly at Cage Potato in which Reilly brings out the same tired old arguments against legalizing MMA, all of which show a fundamental ignorance of what MMA is and why its fans enjoy it. Sample quote from Reilly:
Most people I know find it offensive to see a woman grab another woman by the hair and knee her in the stomach. I find that offensive. Even the proponents of Ultimate Fighting indicate this is widespread among high school students, that they go into their basements and imitate this kind of stuff. That's exactly what we're trying to prevent in other legislation.
Yes, because all of the states where MMA is legal have seen a shocking surge in women grabbing other women by the hair and kneeing them in the stomachs. About the only thing Reilly says that I agree with is that Melvina Lathan, the chair of the New York State Athletic Commission, isn't qualified to be the person arguing on behalf of legalizing MMA. Lathan said when she got her job that she would make legalizing MMA a priority, and she hasn't gotten the job done.

But the good news comes in Fowlkes' piece at SI.com, in which he contrasts Reilly's anti-MMA sentiment with the confidence of UFC vice president of government and regulatory affairs Marc Ratner, who says, flatly, that MMA will be legalized in New York. I believe he's right, and I believe the UFC will be in New York some day soon, no matter how hard the Bob Reillys of the world fight against it.