UFC pushes for New York regulation
UFC officials announced their intention to bring two events to New York once the sport is regulated in the state.
UFC President Dana White was joined by UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta for a press conference at the world-famous Madison Square Garden today.
The pair said they were committed to seeing the sport legalized in the state.
“It’s time to bring the fastest growing sport in the world to New York and Madison Square Garden,” White said. “We already know that New York is filled with UFC fans who want to see live UFC events in their home state. With the economic benefits that UFC would bring to New York, it’s time for UFC to do Madison Square Garden.”
White brought along UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar to offer his support.
“I grew up in New Jersey, so fighting in New York City at Madison Square Garden has always been a dream,” Edgar said. “Some of the greatest sports events ever have been held at MSG and it would be an honor to fight in New York. I know the fans here are hungry for it.”
White also presented an economic study – headed by Jamie Springer of HR&A Advisors – that suggested that mixed martial arts events in the state would be able to generate more than $23 million in new spending annually for the local economy.
New York assemblyman Dean Murray offered his support for legalizing the sport and said that he’s working hand-in-hand with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to include MMA regulation on the state’s upcoming budget. Murray said that the economic impact of MMA regulation was too great to ignore.
“In this economic climate, we don’t need to be raising any taxes,” Murray said. “We need a chance to raise revenue, and this is a wonderful chance.”
New York is one of only six states that do not regulate mixed martial arts. The last UFC event held in New York was UFC 7, which was held in Buffalo and featured a Superfight between Ken Shamrock and Oleg Taktarov. Marco Ruas won the UFC 7 tournament by defeating Paul Varelans in the finals.
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