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New York Secretary of State Embraces MMA

Behind the scenes, New York Secretary of State Lorraine Cortes-Vazquez has long been a proponent of mixed martial arts: In 2008 she was involved in removing Ron Scott Stevens as chairman of the New York State Athletic Commission because he didn't embrace the campaign to legalize MMA, and replacing him with MMA proponent Melvina Lathan.

This week Cortes-Vazquez has come out very publicly in favor of legalizing MMA.

In an op-ed in the Albany Times-Union, Cortes-Vazquez wrote that it's time for New York, which has criminalized MMA since 1997, to legalize and regulate it.

"I believe that legalizing these competitions presents an opportunity for regulating the sport while allowing the state to realize the economic benefits of hosting MMA competitions," Cortes-Vazquez writes.

Cortes Vazquez portrays her view as "a reasoned middle ground" because politicians love portraying themselves as finding "middle ground." But the truth is, the text of her op-ed makes clear that she's not really in the "middle" of people who want the sport to be legal and people who want it to be illegal at all: She's completely in favor of legalizing.

That's good news. A repeal of New York's MMA ban is long overdue, and as Brent Brookhouse writes, repealing the ban is no longer a question of "if," it's a question of "when."