Joe Robach, along with the New York State Senate, passed legislation to legalize and regulate mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions in New York State. The bill (S.2755), sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo (R-C-I, Rome), would allow single discipline martial arts organizations to hold professional competitions in New York State and gives the state Athletic Commission the jurisdiction to regulate professional mixed martial arts promotions, participants, bouts and exhibitions.

The sport has the fastest growing fan base of any sport in the world. In America, 47 states allow MMA matches including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and Florida. The most notable of the professional MMA leagues, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, is also the most heavily regulated. Since 2001, UFC has employed strenuous rules and regulations to protect its athletes, including medical testing and safety requirements more rigorous than those in professional boxing.

“New York needs to capitalize on opportunities that would continue strengthening our economy,” Joe Robach of the NYS Senate said. “I applaud Senator Griffo for leading the charge to legalize MMA in New York to help create new jobs, generate revenue, and bring our state in line with nearly every other state.”

A 2008 study reported that a UFC event in New York City would generate $11.5 million in new net economic activity: $5.3 million in direct event spending, $1.4 million in non-lodging visitor spending, and $4.9 million in indirect/induced benefits. UFC events would produce substantial employee compensation: UFC events require over 300 staff working on the event, equivalent to the creation of 88 full-time local jobs per event. The 2008 study found that a UFC event in Buffalo would generate $1.7 million in direct event spending, $1.4 million in visitor spending, $2.1 million in indirect/induced benefits.

For more information, contact Joe Robach at his office.