The fight to have MMA sanctioned in New York hit yet another snag.
If you'll recall, Assemblyman Steven Englebright introduced a bill last week that would legalize the sport in New York. Included was a three-year "Sunset Clause," which essentially allows the legislature to examine MMA's social and economic value down the road. The government would have the option to extend or repeal the law at the end of the third year.
"For now, it's not on the table," he said. "Everything is so crazy with the budget and the budget cuts...there's nothing at this point on it being on the agenda. The budget's going to take up the entire time of the session. It'll get on there, but I only know so much."
Englebright hosted the first meeting on Nov. 12, in which several proponents of the sport, including representatives from the UFC, spoke on the its behalf. Assemblyman Bob Reilly, a vocal critic of the bill who represents Albany and Saratoga counties, said most members of the Tourism, Arts, and Sports Development Committee--tasked to make the first vote on the legislation--were not invited.
The cancellation comes as the UFC's New York lobbying firm, Global Strategy Group, has ramped up efforts to garner public support for the bill. In recent weeks, the bill has caught the attention of several mainstream news outlets, including the New York Times and Newsday. A petition to legalize the sport, drafted by MMA blog site Cage Potato, has made the rounds online.
Kimm was confident the bill would be placed on the agenda for a vote before the close of the session in June.
"It's only a matter of time..we'll get there soon enough," he said.