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Legalizing of mixed-martial arts heads for Assembly approval

Chris Wade celebrates after defeating Cain Carrizosa by

Chris Wade celebrates after defeating Cain Carrizosa by submission due to a choke in the first round of a lightweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 177 in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) Credit: AP / Jeff Chiu

Nineteen years after Gov. George Pataki banned it, mixed martial arts fighting is poised to become legal again in New York.

The state Assembly is expected to overwhelmingly approve a bill to legalize it on Tuesday. The Democrat-led chamber had blocked MMA legislation for years. Now, said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx), it is clear a majority of the house supports legalization.

Pataki, a Republican, signed a law barring “ultimate fighting,” as the sport was then known, making New York one of several states to do so. But it is now the last to keep such a ban in place.

— Yancey Roy

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