MMA bill passes NY Senate, Assembly next

UFC president Dana White speaks during a press

UFC president Dana White speaks during a press conference to announce commitment to bring UFC to Madison Square Garden and New York State. (Jan. 13, 2011) (Credit: Getty Images)

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Brace yourselves, MMA fans, for this summer's main event. It's a rematch between mixed martial arts and the New York State Assembly.

The New York State Senate once again passed a bill that would legalize and regulate MMA by a vote of 42-18. The bill, S1707-A, moved to the Assembly, and was referred to the Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development Committee.

"It's time to bring the fastest-growing sport in the world to New York," UFC owner and chairman Lorenzo Fertitta wrote in a statement. "We want to thank the State Senate, and we're confident that when Assembly members take an objective look at our safety record, our popularity with their constituents, and the economic benefits and jobs we would bring to the State, they will take the same action and UFC fans will finally be able to see live UFC events in their home state."

But don't get too excited yet. This same bill passed the State Senate last June by a vote of 32-26 but never even reached the floor of the Assembly for a vote.

Five state senators from Long Island voted for this bill, up from one last June.

"I keep my fingers crossed this thing comes to fruition," said East Meadow's Matt Serra, a former UFC welterweight champion. "I'm going to be 37 in a week, and I don't got legs like Randy Couture. So thank God while I'm still in the game, there is a possibility I can fight in my home state, especially in a place like Madison Square Garden. It would be a dream come true. Fingers are crossed, toes are crossed. Please let it happen. Please let it happen."

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