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UFC suing New York State to remove ban on MMA

By NICOLE HART

MANHATTAN, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Ultimate Fighting Championship has been battling a fight of their own with New York State for years and now, the U.F.C has decided to sue the Empire State for violating their first amendment rights.

Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, is a popular sport that has taken the country by storm. New York, however, is one of three states that has yet to legalize the sport.

Back in June, a bill was passed in the State Senate to overturn the ban, which has been in place since 1977. Once it passed the Senate, the next step was the New York State Assembly. While the passage of the bill sounded promising to the U.F.C, the bill never hit the floor to be voted on.

Many lawmakers say the sport sends a violent message and are adamantly opposed to legalizing MMA.

However, not all lawmakers are against allowing the sport into the state. State Senator Joseph Griffo defends the U.F.C saying, "It is an organized sport. It is much more refined and changed since its origins, so that you're ensuring safety and also a number of other things that have to be taken into consideration for the fighting and the fans."

Griffo goes on to say, "I believe that this bill should come up for a vote, that the people should have an opportunity to debate the bill. I believe that there is an economic benefit to this state, to allow this in this state and particularly because various elements of MMA are already allowed."

The U.F.C calls the law "flat-out irrational."

Currently, live-fighting is not allowed in the state. Components of MMA, such as Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Karate and Kenpo are allowed.

If allowed in, MMA could generate millions of dollars of revenue for New York State.

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