ALBANY—Not everyone knows that tomorrow is Bruce Lee's birthday, but for fans of mixed martial arts, it's the perfect excuse for a lobbying trip to Albany.
Advocates of the sport are planning a rally here tomorrow that they claim will bring 10,000 "karate kids" to support the passage of a bill to legalize M.M.A. in New York.
Like parks advocates, supporters of mixed martial arts are making a fiscal argument, not a moral one.
"They would sell out the Garden and the Nassau Coliseum in a heartbeat," said Adam Weiss, a spokesman for the Committee to Legalize Mixed Martial Arts New York State. "Why do something illegal when all the other states are doing it legally, creating jobs and getting tax revenue?"
The rally is somewhat quixotic. Most legislators won't be in Albany on the day before Thanksgiving, and a session of the State Assembly, where the bill currently sits, has not been scheduled.
Last June, a bill in favor of legalizing M.M.A. failed in committee. State Senator Joe Griffo, a Rome Republican who sponsored the bill in the State Senate, said he doesn't expect action this term. "We'll probably have to go through next session again," he said.