Professional MMA may not be legal in New York State yet, and as a result, you might not see Jon Jones throw down in Madison Square Garden in the coming months, but the push to legalize the sport has taken a significant step forward.
If you missed it, a Federal District Court has ruled that ZUFFA (the parent company of the UFC) and other plaintiffs, can move forward with their lawsuit to remove New York’s ban on MMA. Here’s some of what ZUFFA had to say about the ruling in a press release the company’s sent out.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®), and plaintiffs in the Jones v. Schneiderman case, are pleased to announce that yesterday the Federal District Court found that their challenge to the constitutionality of New York’s ban on mixed martial arts (MMA) can go forward. The court recognized that the State Athletic Commission and the Attorney General have repeatedly changed position on whether amateur and professional MMA can occur lawfully in the state of New York, which plaintiffs argue renders the ban unconstitutionally vague. While other claims in the lawsuit were dismissed, the UFC and plaintiffs are prepared to win their case and defeat the ban with the court’s green light on the vagueness challenge.
RM Sports’ Jim Genia also relayed the news in a recent report for Fightline.com, which includes a comprehensive breakdown of the court’s ruling and some of the issues involved.
New York passed a law banning MMA in 1998, and of the 48 states with athletic commissions, it is the only one where professional MMA is not sanctioned. ZUFFA launched a suit in 2001 to get the ban overturned, but since then there’s been plenty of drama and politics, so the ban continues.
Here’s hoping this ruling will finally clear the way to see pro MMA legalized in the state. It will truly be a great day for the sport when it happens.
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