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Government Inaction Continues to Stall UFC at MSG

If you're one of the tens of thousands of UFC fans who want to see a show at Madison Square Garden, or one of the millions of MMA fans who wants to see the sport legalized in New York, you should read this Wall Street Journal piece by R.M. Schneiderman, even though you're not going to like it.

It seems that Bob Reilly, the New York assemblyman who knows he hates MMA even though he has demonstrated in multiple interviews that he doesn't know much about it, is continuing to succeed at stalling the sport's legalization in the state.

Schneiderman writes:
Unfortunately for MMA fans, the sport is still embroiled in the state's budget wrangling. A provision to legalize MMA is currently in the state senate's version of the budget bill, but not the state assembly's, and it remains unclear how the process will unfold.

"There are lots of twists and turns left," said Jonathan Bing, a state assemblyman from New York's 73rd district and a strong advocate for legalizing the sport.

One such twist and turn has come via Bob Reilly, an assemblyman from the state's 109th district, who is MMA's chief opponent. He's been trying to separate the MMA provision from the budget process. In February, 48 of his Democratic colleagues joined him and asked for a separate MMA vote in a letter to Sheldon Silver, the speaker of the assembly.
Reilly can't stop progress forever, but he certainly has done an effective job of slowing it down. The UFC will be in Madison Square Garden some day, but don't count on that day coming in 2010.