MMA could soon be legal in New York

Posted at 11:24 PM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-26 08:43:18-05

Professional MMA fighting could be one step closer to becoming legal here in New York State.

New York is currently the only state where professional MMA is illegal.

"We have a large amateur team but they can't fight professionally in New York state so we have a lot of really talented amateurs that we'd like to showcase as professionals," MMA coach Erik Herbert said. "We can't do that until New York state legalizes it. So if they do we're going to be pretty excited."

The State Senate has passed a bill legalizing it for six years straight, but each time, it stalled in the Assembly. A big reason why: how dangerous the sport is perceived to be.

"I've been hurt worse doing other things than fighting," Herbert said. "I'm not going to say it's not a tough sport but to me, truthfully and honestly, I don't think it's any more tough or violent than football."

On Tuesday, the bill comes out of committee, which is the first step of signing it into law.

Executives from UFC also plan on holding a pair of news conferences Tuesday to discuss current efforts to bring the popular sport to the Empire State.

Those will take place in Syracuse and Albany Tuesday, and in Buffalo and Rochester on Wednesday.

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