The state Assembly approved a bill Tuesday to legalize mixed-martial arts fights in New York, removing the last political hurdle to ending the last statewide ban on the sport in the nation.
The bill now goes to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo who is expected to sign it into law. The Democrat said Tuesday he supports MMA “because it is an economic generator.”
The Democrat-dominated Assembly overwhelmingly supported the bill, 113-25, after a three-hour, vigorous debate in which opponents called “human cage fighting” and “barbaric.” The Assembly had blocked MMA legislation for years, citing the violence and a union dispute with the sport’s controlling organization. New York was one of several states in the 1990s to prohibit “ultimate fighting,” as the sport was first known and is the lone one with a ban still in place.
The Republican-led Senate previously approved the legislation.