A lawmaker from Long Island has revived the fight for Ultimate Fighting Championship bouts at Madison Square Garden with hopes that New York State will see the potential for the mixed martial arts sport to generate much-needed tax revenue.
Assemb. Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue), who is co-sponsoring state legislation to allow the sport in New York, held a news conference Friday with UFC president Dana White, former UFC light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, and MSG president Scott O’Neil.
“With 44 states and several countries around the globe regulating mixed martial arts, and reaping the economic rewards of holding exhibitions, New York cannot afford to remain on the sidelines,” said Murray.
“Independent economic studies have verified that just one MMA show in New York City would generate over $11 million,” he said. “MMA exhibitions fill hotel rooms and restaurants over the course of a full weekend, stimulating local businesses.”
The bill Murray is co-sponsoring would regulate the sport to New York. Companion legislation was approved in the state Senate last year, but mixed martial arts was stripped from a budget bill in June and therefore could not be approved despite the support of former Governor David Paterson.
Mixed martial arts has been banned in New York since 1997.
Murray’s company, D & S Advertising Inc, is one of several companies that delivers Long Island Press.