Mixed martial arts fails to win OK in N.Y.

May 8, 2012 at 3:33 PM
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ALBANY, N.Y., May 8 (UPI) -- Ultimate Fighting Championship, the biggest organizer of mixed martial arts, criticized a decision to delay a vote on the sport in the New York Legislature.

Marc Ratner, UFC's vice president for regulatory and governmental affairs, said he was "unhappy" with the decision by State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, not to allow a mixed martial arts bill to come to the floor for a vote, the Albany (N.Y.) Times Union reported.

"I know we have the votes, but to not, in baseball terms, get an at bat is patently unfair and un-American," Ratner said.

Silver's decision came after a meeting Monday with other Democrats on whether to legalize mixed martial arts, The New York Times reported.

"The speaker has indicated there is no clear sense of the conference, and the issue is evolving," Michael Whyland, a spokesman for Silver, wrote in an e-mail. "Therefore, it will not come to the floor for a vote this year."

Ratner said New York and Connecticut are the only two states without laws legalizing the sport.

The Republican-controlled New York State Senate has passed measures last month and each of the past two years to legalize the sport, the Times said.

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