The New York Senate has confirmed its willingness to legalize mixed martial arts (MMA) in New York state for a second time.
The bill passed the Senate May of last year, only to be knocked out in the Assembly in January of this year.
Banned since 1997, the legislation must gain the Assembly’s approval this time before fans can book their ringside seats.
MMA, which is legal in 47 states including neighboring New Jersey, is no longer the violent, unregulated sport it was in its infancy.
“In nearly 20 years, it has grown into an international phenomenon. It’s long past time to look into officially sanctioning this sport in New York,” Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, who has supported the bill for four years, said in a statement.
“There are significant tourist and tax revenue dollars flowing to neighboring states who are hosting these events. I want that revenue coming here,” he added.
A 2008 study cited by Griffo suggests that an MMA fight in New York City would generate $11.5 million in economic activity.
In November of last year Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) sued the state of New York to try and force the legalization to no avail.