New York MMA bill defeated in committee

Hey guys, I just came back from the Tourism Committee meeting in the NY State Assembly, and to my surprise, the bill which would regulated MMA in the state was defeated; only 3 people voted for it, with something like 13 against.

One of the Assembly members prefaced the bill with the typical arguments against, calling it savagely brutal, and making the argument that if we ban cockfighting, MMA should be banned too. Other members were so clueless, some asked if there was even a referee involved in the matches! This is surprising, because everybody was under the impression that the bill was going to move to the Assembly floor, however, the Democrats were not prepared for a controversial bill vote, with most not knowing what it even did. There weren't many positive arguments being made in favor of it, other than the sport would pack sports arenas. Even the sponsor of the bill (and committee chairman) Steve Englebright voted against it, without even giving any arguments in favor/opposed to.

The Republicans were prepared to vote in favor, however they were scared off by the majority being so opposed, and so all but our ranking member, Rob Walker, voted against it (Walker was very much in favor, as I had explained exactly to him exactly what the bill did and why its regulated in 30 other states).

Many important members on both sides of the aisle are in support of this bill, including the Republican minority leader. However, it seems that it has not been made a priority conference-wide, and therefore many members are unaware of what MMA even is and are easily swayed by an impassioned argument in opposition. I honestly believe the bill would have moved had the one member not stood up and implored everyone to vote down on the bill (this happens with many bills). Another factor: generation gap. Most members on the committee are very old, and don't understand aspects of the sport. It was as if it the debate was taking place in 1995, prior to regulations.

Very disheartening, and practically ensures that MMA won't be regulated in NY this year. UFC will probably have to start lobbying more of the members individually instead of just going to the leadership, as it is clear the leadership did not communicate the important/justification for such a bill. I get the feeling many members have the mentality of "I'll support it if you support it!", instead of being comfortable with and knowledgeable about what they're voting on.



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I can get you guys the committee roll call by next week. This particular bill can't be taken up again until next year, however there are other bills that are similar which could be taken up in an emergency session later this year, but it's doubtful (plus it would have to be amended). This bill actually went further than most states, and sought to regulate MMA training camps as well.

It is not uncommon for a bill sponsor to vote against his own's a sign that a bill was brought up just so it could be defeated. I'm not sure that was Englebright's intention, I think it was more of a case where he wanted to take the committee's temperature on the bill and see where his members stood on it.

To be fair, out of the three who voted against it, two were Dems and one was Republican. With that said, the Republican conference is much more favorable to this bill than are the Dems. UFC's representatives are really going to have to blitzkrieg the Assembly with informative and educative lobbying efforts next year if they want to get this done. They should also attempt to get the bill on calendar earlier, as this is the end of session and many members were concentrated on "more important" bills which have to be voted on by June 23rd. If this bill would have come up, say, in March, or April, more consideration could have been given to it. This bill took a lot of people by surprise, and that was a major factor in why it was voted down.

You'd be shocked if you knew how little knowledge many of the Assembly members have regarding various bills they vote on. They pay other people to know the bills for them. The only guy I advised on the bill voted for it, because I accurately explained the regulations to him. However, there was no precommittee meeting where I could do the same for all the members, and it wouldn't matter anyway without majority Dem support.



Once again NY proves they are a nation onto themselves.
Why NYers have so much pride I will never know

New York's loss, not MMA's.

 Very disappointing:(


Glad to be out of NYC. Freakin state has become so liberal and full of pussies.. Anyone who wants to be a pro fighter should leave at once.

Its just a matter of time til they pass it, soon they'll due the math & see how much there losing

 Unfortunately the sport can't reach it's full potential until it's heavily promoted in New York.

Too bad.

Sorry to say for all those that worked to get the bill passed, but if the committee was that clueless and lopsided, someone out there didnt do a very good job of presenting a good pro-MMA argument.


New York needs to get a good lobbying team together.

Members from the MMA community including academies, local business, fighters, and doctors need to be organized.

The legislative committee must first be educated on what MMA. A well organized powerpoint type presentation is a good start. This could be followed by testimony from Matt Serra and the UFC reps. Next testimony from local arenas such as MSG and others regarding economic impact. Then testimony regarding health and safety from an experienced ringside physician. Each member of the committee must understand the sport as there is alot of prejudice in the media.

This is the format we used in Tennessee and our bill passed and is waiting to become law.

Good luck.

I think Nitecrawler put it best.

 Isn't there a pro MMA event happening on a reservation on Long Island though???

pisand - 

 Isn't there a pro MMA event happening on a reservation on Long Island though???

short answer, NO

It won't get legalized in NY until MMA ponies up the same money boxing is paying it to NOT sanction MMA


So much for Dana's big announcement.

lol at NY State.

and people wonder why yankees are despised down