Fightin' Words

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Gov. Cuomo makes first public MMA comment

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo delivers a State of

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo delivers a State of the State and budget message at Stony Brook University. (Feb. 25, 2013) (Credit: Ed Betz)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo took office in 2011 and has never taken a position on the issue of legalizing mixed martial arts in New York. At least not a public one.

That changed Thursday.

“I think it’s making progress and it’s something that we’re looking at," Cuomo told reporters in Westchester. "It’s a possible source for revenue in New York and we are all about looking for revenue in this state. So if we can bring economic activity in -- shows, etc. -- that’s something we’re very interested it, and we’re reviewing the current proposals.”

That easily can be interpreted as a positive. That Cuomo even addressed the issue is certainly progress.

On Wednesday afternoon, the state Senate voted to pass the bill that would legalize MMA in New York and establish its sanctioning by the state athletic commission. That 's the fourth straight year such a vote has occurred.

Of course, the state Assembly must also approve the bill before Gov. Cuomo could be able to sign it into law. And there was movement on that front as well Wednesday morning.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who last year said there wasn't enough support for it and never brought the bill up for a full vote, said this Wednesday: "At some point there probably will be an approval in this state. I can't tell you when."

Not a ringing endorsement, but by comparison, it's a positive.

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