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MMA takes another step in N.Y. by passing again in the State Senate

Steve Cofield

MMA made strides again yesterday in New York as another bill passed through the state's senate. The N.Y. Senate voted 42-18 in favor of Bill S1707A and now it's head to the N.Y. State Assembly where it's consistently stalled in recent years.

Assemblyman Bob Reilly, D-Colonie, has led the charge in the past. The assembly session ends on June 20 with just 12 days of actual working time remaining.

It should be noted that the senate vote in favor of MMA in New York was stronger this time. In June of 2010, it only passed 32-26.

Sen. Joe Griffo, R-Rome, introduced S1707A yesterday.

"We made an attempt in the budget and it was taken out as the final agreement was put together," Griffo told the Albany Times-Union. "It's a good idea because the sport exists. It's a recognized sport, and it would generate economic activity and income for the state of New York, and allow New York State athletes to compete in their home state."

UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta was pleased with the outcome.

"It's time to bring the fastest growing sport in the world to New York. With every passing month, our sport gets more and more popular around the country and in New York," Fertitta said in a release. "We want to thank the State Senate, and we're confident that when Assembly members take an objective look at our safety record, our popularity with their constituents, and the economic benefits and jobs we would bring to the State, they will take the same action and UFC fans will finally be able to see live UFC events in their home state."

The UFC has bolstered its efforts recently in New York by holding two press conferences at Madison Square Garden and sending fighters to Albany on several occasions in 2011. UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones pitched in yesterday. New York is just one of six remaining states that don't allow MMA.

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