It's been over 11 years since Gov. George E. Pataki banned mixed martial arts in New York state. He, at the time said "to have someone who wins by using choke holds and kicking people while they are down is not someone our children should be looking to emulate.” The Ultimate Fighting Championship has yet to back down, and as recently as this past March they unveiled the website MMMFacts.com "to argue that it has transformed the sport into more legitimate, and corporate-sponsored, entertainment."
Today, the UFC, through MMAFacts, released a study basically saying how awesome a UFC event in New York City would be, and that it would result in $11.5 million in economic spending for the state - giving a sweet little injection to the faltering New York economy "by generating tax revenues, creating jobs and boosting tourism industries." The UFC release claims that MMA is regulated in 36 of the 50 states, and it's only a matter of time before New Yorkers get the chance to see it live. They say, "MMA is regulated in 36 states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Florida. Legislators in Albany will consider regulating the sport in New York State when the legislative session begins in January."
The study goes further, breaking down these potential benefits to include promises like an additional 1,850 hotel night stays, the creation of 88 local jobs, and $400,000 in tax revenue. Honestly, New York, if a few UFC battles will keep you from taxing my bridges for another few months...please, book the fights. MMA leagues have clearly surpassed their backyard-wrestling roots, and despite recently controversy over the EliteXC Kimbo Slice fight, it's time we let them grow up.