New York becomes last state to remove ban pro MMA fights

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York has ended its ban on professional mixed martial arts as Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law to regulate the fights.

Cuomo said Thursday at a signing ceremony at Madison Square Garden that the fights will boost the economy. New York was the last state to prohibit the bouts.

The Garden is a potentially lucrative venue for big promotions like Ultimate Fighting Championship, which plans to hold an event there Nov. 12.

The law takes effect in September, giving the State Athletic Commission time to add two members, adopt regulations, train staff and start licensing promoters, trainers and fighters.

The commission already regulates pro boxing. The law also brings amateur MMA, operating unregulated in New York, under state jurisdiction.

The sport's violence drew opposition from some lawmakers. The law requires increased medical coverage for professional fighters in New York.