Mixed martial arts fights are coming to the lucrative New York arena.
“Thank You NY State Legislature!” tweeted Ultimate Fighting Championship chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta. “We are one step closer to making MMA a reality in New York! #MMA4NY”
New York is the only state where MMA competitions are illegal. Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to sign the bill, according to his spokesman. That will make the sport legal within 120 days, ending the state’s 20 year ban.
Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, lead sponsor of the bill, said in his press release that it “would enhance the safety of all participants” by requiring $1 million accident insurance policies to “cover medical costs associated with life-threatening brain injuries sustained in a match.”
The UFC is already planning to host one or two fights in New York before the end of the year. “In 2016, we bring the Octagon to NY,” tweeted Dave Sholler, UFC vice president of public relations.
The UFC hopes to eventually be able to hosts bouts in Madison Square Garden.
Mixed martial arts is exactly what it sounds like: a combination of different fighting styles. MMA fighters typically specialize in boxing, muay thai and jiu-jitsu, for a combination of upper body strikes and blocking, kicking and grappling.