As we reported last week, New York is one of the few states where the sport of mixed martial arts is still illegal. The Ultimate Fighting Championship, MMA’s biggest league, has lobbied for years to get this changed so they could hold lucrative live events at venues like Madison Square Garden.
But so far they have had no luck with politics. So today Zuffa, the league’s parent, took a different tack. The UFC sued New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to overturn that state’s 1997 law banning Mixed Martial Arts on the grounds that the ban violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“This is mixed martial arts, emphasis on the arts,” said Barry Friedman, the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Constituional Law at NYU. “The reason these atheletes are suing is because they have been prevented from their self-expression on some of the biggest stages in the nation.” Read More