Over 1,000 fans of Mixed Martial Arts are expected to rally today in front of Radio City to call on lawmakers to legalize the sport in New York State.
A study commissioned by Ultimate Fighting Championship, an MMA sports association and production company, found that regulating the sport would generate $23 million in economic activity.
Senate Republicans have included legalizing the sport in this year’s budget, hoping that it would provide a $2.5 million windfall. Assembly Democrats however seem unlikely to support the measure, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has so far declined to take a public position on the matter.
Proponents of keeping the sport illegal say that it borders on the barbaric because the aim is to disable or maim your opponent. MMA is outlawed in only a handful of states other than New York, including Connecticut, Vermont and West Virginia.
Today’s rally is part of a promotion about an upcoming bout between Shogun Rua and Jon Jones