Now this man is talking my language. Seeking creative ways to help stimulate the struggling New York economy, Governor David Paterson has urged lawmakers to finally legalize the popular sport of Mixed Martial Arts (also known as Ultimate Fighting).
The governor pointed out the arenas upstate and even Madison Square Garden are dying to host the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) which has made MMA the fastest growing sport in the world.
The laws that ban the sport now were written in the 1990s when the UFC, under different ownership, made its debut in the wrong way.
With almost no rules, the bare knuckle blood sport was quickly criticized by watchdog groups. While it was hard to argue that the UFC was not what they claimed, the company has since instituted a number of new rules and have focused on fighter safety in the octagon, the UFC’s own version of a ring.
Today’s Ultimate Fighters wear gloves, are prohibited from doing a number of things in the ring such as kicking a person while he is down or holding on to the fence of the octagon, and fight only within the their own weight class.
The popularity of the UFC and about-face on fighter safety has made almost every state legalize mixed martial arts, including New Jersey which has hosted a number of mixed martial arts events.
According to Paterson, legalizing the sport would allow Buffalo to generate more than $5 million off of a single event and New York City to generate a quick $11.5 million from hosting a single event.