Santabarbara: A Historic Day for New York’s MMA Fighters, Fans

“Today is a historic day for New York State, and it’s a day our Mixed Martial Arts athletes and fans have been looking forward to for a long time.”

"For too many years, our Mixed Martial Arts fighters have had to leave the state to compete professionally, bringing fans and tourism dollars with them.”

“For years, we continued the fight to make MMA legal in New York State so that our local athletes could finally get the chance to play the home game and our local communities could see the economic impact it can bring. And today, after years of working to gain support and build momentum, I was very proud to join my Assembly and Senate colleagues, MMA fighters and UFC executives, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo at Madison Square Garden to see the sport’s legalization finally signed into law.”

“This sport is off to become better and safer in New York as we’ve seen in other states, with more local competitions and support industries such as training facilities creating new jobs and more opportunities for our local athletes born and raised in New York.”

“Athletes like Tommy Marcellino of Amsterdam and Guy Hammond from my hometown of Rotterdam are excited to now have this opportunity to compete professionally in their home state, and local competitors are already planning to meet at a local area gym in the coming weeks to discuss the incredible opportunities that lie ahead collectively.”

"Nearly 1,000 people filled the Schenectady Armory when we brought amateur MMA to my district last year, and after the event, the city saw a tremendous economic boost from those who came for MMA and stayed for Downtown Schenectady. We have seen the kind of impact that an amateur event can bring to an upstate city, and we will soon see the tremendous economic benefits of hosting professional competitions in our community and across the state. Our area could see an amazing boost very soon with the possibility of professional MMA bouts coming to Upstate venues as early as this year, and talks about having the first Upstate MMA event take place in Schenectady are already underway.”

“We saw the big names in UFC like Chris Weidman and Ronda Rousey visit us in Albany calling for the sport’s legalization, and that says a lot about our state. We have some of the best athletes in the sport that can compete in 49 other states, but they want to come to New York for our amazing venues and the best fans the world has to offer – and now they’ll get that chance.”

"Today we give athletes around the world the chance to bring their passion to our state and our hometown athletes the chance to play the home game. This sport has been growing without us, and today it takes a giant step forward as New York enters the ring."