10:28am

Thu April 19, 2012
Regional Coverage

Senate passes bill to legalize mixed martial arts

The effort to legalize mixed martial arts, also known as ultimate fighting, in New York, got a boost in the legislature Wednesday. The Senate passed a bill to legalize the sport, by a vote of 43 to 14, and the Speaker of the Assembly opened the door to possible approval in his house.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says he has “mixed feelings” about mixed martial arts.

“On the one hand I do believe it’s rather violent,” said Silver. “On the other hand, I can turn on my television and see it, every child can see it in their homes on regular TV.”

Silver says New York is one of the few states that still outlaws mixed martial arts, and he speculated that if it were made legal, the state could perhaps regulate the fights more strictly.

The Speaker left the door open to possible passage in his house, saying the “members control the process”, but that in the past the measure has been defeated in committee, and he says so far, there has not been a “groundswell” of support.

Governor Cuomo has been non committal.

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