With the New York Assembly on Tuesday passing the bill to legalize mixed martial arts, the champaign corks exploded across the country, but there couldn’t have been as many as there were around the UFC, which has spent the better part of the past eight-and-a-half years lobbying for the legislation.
The bill still has to go before Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature, but that is expected to be a foregone conclusion as he has long voiced support for the measure and had already slotted it into this year’s state budget.
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What may be to many as big of a surprise as the bill’s passage was UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta revealing during a late afternoon conference call with MMAWeekly.com and others on Tuesday that the UFC has plans for not one, but possibly two events in the state of New York by the end of 2016.
“We’re hopeful that (Gov. Cuomo) will sign the bill in fairly short order. We’re hopeful that we’ll be holding one, possibly two events, in New York by the end of the year,” said Fertitta.
The promotion has long targeted Madison Square Garden in New York City for its first event in the state, but depending upon availability, if the UFC does hold two events in the state this year, it’s up in the air which venue and location will host the first UFC event in the state.
“Obviously, New York City is one. The other event would probably be somewhere in upstate New York. It could be anywhere from Albany to Syracuse or even Utica,” said Fertitta. “We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to get at least two in by the end of the year.
“We’re hoping that (Madison Square Garden) ….View full article