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Reports: MMA won't be legalized in New York this year

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Another year, another disappointment for the UFC and MMA fans in New York.

For the eighth straight year, the bill to legalize MMA will not be brought to a vote in the New York State Assembly after passing in a landslide in the Senate, according to a report from the Journal News in Westchester. Both Newsday's Mark La Monica and New York-based MMA journalist Jim Genia have also reported that the bill will fail this year.

UFC president Dana White made his feelings on the matter very clear on Twitter.

There was more hope this year than ever before after former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested in January on fraud charges. Silver was the man many believed was behind the MMA bill not being brought to a vote previously. As it turns out, the exact same issue plagued the bill this year and new speaker Carl Heastie did what Silver did the past seven years.

The UFC had locked down a date at Madison Square Garden for Dec. 5. The likely main event would have been native New Yorker Chris Weidman defending his middleweight title against Luke Rockhold. Now, that event will go to either Toronto or Calgary. It's unclear when Weidman will meet Rockhold.

Last week, the MMA bill was revamped to be more all-encompassing, bringing further boxing regulation and better rules for amateur MMA to the table. Some thought that would help MMA get legalized. But it didn't.

The UFC will have to live again by the motto that many New York sports teams do: Wait until next year.

UFC senior vice president of regulatory affairs Marc Ratner was also vocal on Twitter about being spurned yet again in New York. The UFC has spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying for MMA in the state capital of Albany over the years.