Fight to Legalize MMA Back on in the Capitol

Fight to Legalize MMA Back on in the Capitol

Fight to Legalize MMA Back on in the Capitol
January 31, 2014

The battle over mixed-martial arts is back on.

This morning, Ultimate Fighting Championship executives are joining AssemblymanJoe Morelle and state Sen. Joseph Griffo in Albany to once again push for legalization of the controversial sport—but critics are swinging into action, too.

“After a year of men behaving badly in Albany, do our lawmakers really want to send a message to parents and communities in New York that we are going to allow a viciously violent sport into the Empire State?” reads a statewide email going out today as part of a new campaign to keep mixed martial arts out of New York. “Do we really want a sport whose biggest stars have exhibited disgustingly inappropriate behavior towards women and flagrantly used performance-enhancing drugs? Do we really want to legalize Mixed Martial Arts?”

Behind the campaign is the Culinary Workers Union Local 226, a Las Vegas group that has a long-running unionization feud with the owners of Ultimate Fighting Championship, but the email instead takes aim at the brutal side of the sport, including links to “graphic footage” of injuries and stories about misogynistic comments and acts by MMA fighters.

The measure has passed in the state Senate in recent years, but died in the Assembly.

Jon Lentz
is City & State’s editor-in-chief.