Raise your hand if you have heard this one before: The New York State Senate has passed a bill to legalize mixed martial arts. The vote was passed on Tuesday afternoon by way of a 44-16 vote in Albany. It is the fifth straight year that the New York State Senate passed the bill.
Now, the bill must be passed by the Assembly.
The Assembly only has until June 19 to pass the vote through, which has proven to be difficult in the past.
However, UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said in a statement that he is “cautiously optimistic” that the bill can be pushed through and MMA can finally be legalized in the state of New York.
“We once again thank the State Senate – Democrats and Republicans – for giving overwhelming approval to legislation to legalize and regulate MMA in New York State, the last place in North America where professional MMA remains illegal,” Fertitta said in the press release, via MMAFighting.com.
“The attention turns yet again to the Assembly. Hopefully the Assembly will finally recognize that enacting this law is the right thing for the millions of fans, the right thing for ensuring the safety of amateur and professional MMA athletes, the right thing for tourism and economic development, the right thing for the arenas and the union jobs they provide.
“I have no choice but to be cautiously optimistic. Mr. Speaker, make 2014 the year this gets done.”
MMA fans will now have to cross their fingers and hope that the bill can finally get approved. All eyes are now on you, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.