Lorenzo Fertitta, UFC Chairman & CEO
On Assembly Failure to Pass MMA Bill
“While our disappointment cannot be overstated, our commitment to seeing New York legalize the fastest growing sport in the nation and the world is intact and undeterred. We continue to strongly believe that legalizing and regulating MMA in New York is the right thing for the state economically, the right thing for the millions of fans in New York and the right thing for the safety and benefit of the thousands of professional and amateur MMA athletes across the state.
“UFC is not harmed by not being in New York, as much as we would like to be there for our fans and for the arenas, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses which would see substantial economic benefits from the legalization of MMA in New York.
“However, the thousands of New Yorkers who engage in MMA – at the professional and amateur level – are hurt. Thousands of New Yorkers participate in amateur MMA events in the state every year, and because there is no regulation and oversight, their health and safety are at risk.
“We genuinely feel bad for the hotels, restaurants, gyms, and other businesses that support our effort and have championed this cause. We also feel bad for New York’s arenas – large and small, particularly those upstate – that have worked alongside us to pass the legislation.
“We want to thank Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle – a true champion – and the 73 other Assembly cosponsors who know passing this bill is the right thing to do. We will continue to work with them to educate the rest of their colleagues. And of course our thanks go as well to Senator Joe Griffo and his colleagues.
“This bill has now passed the Senate seven times in the last six years with overwhelming bipartisan majorities. That’s right, strong majorities of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate support this bill. We have never had more support in the Assembly, where there is clearly enough support among Democrats alone to pass the bill and we know if we could only get a vote in the Assembly, we would see strong majorities of Democrats and Republicans supporting the bill.
“Our disappointment with the Assembly’s failure to vote on and pass the bill has never been greater – simply because of the demonstrated support we have among rank and file legislators. However, our resolve to see this through has also never been greater.”
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UFC® is the premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization and largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world. Headquartered in Las Vegas with offices in London, Toronto, Singapore and Sao Paulo, UFC produces more than 40 live events annually that consistently sell out some of the most prestigious arenas around the globe. UFC programming is broadcast in 158 countries and territories to over 1 billion TV households worldwide in 21 different languages. The UFC has a multi-year broadcast agreement with FOX in the U.S., which annually includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network, as well as The Ultimate Fighter® reality television show and thousands of hours of programming on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2. In 2014, UFC launched UFC FIGHT PASS®, a digital subscription service that is available throughout the world with exclusive live events, thousands of fights on-demand and original content. The UFC organization also licenses over 100 UFC GYM® locations, and owns UFC.TV® (offering live event broadcasts and video on-demand around the world), UFC FIT® (an in-home fitness and nutrition program), UFC Magazine, and has a videogame franchise with EA SPORTS, UFC Fight Club®, UFC Fan Expo®, UFC branded apparel, DVDs and Blu-rays and Topps Trading Cards. For more information, visit UFC.com and follow UFC at Facebook.com/UFC, Twitter and Instagram: @UFC.