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Senate passed bill legalizing professional mixed martial arts

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The state Senate passed legislation on Wednesday, for the third time, that would legalize professional mixed martial arts in the state.

Sponsored by Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome, the bill would give the state Athletic Commission jurisdiction to regulate the sport.

Mr. Griffo said he supports the legalization of MMA because “it’s an economic benefit to the state as well as to the communities where you put on an event.”

The bill would also allow “athletes to compete in their home state,” Mr. Griffo said.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly, where it has not been brought to the floor before.

But Mr. Griffo is optimistic that this year could be different.

“I think there is significant bi-partisan support for the bill,” Mr. Griffo said.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver signaled on Wednesday that he expects the bill to pass the lower house.

According to the Associated Press, Mr. Silver said Assembly Democrats will be discussing the issue behind closed doors to determine the next step.

In a news release, Mr. Griffo noted that 47 states already recognize the sport.

According to the AP report, Mr. Silver said while he is opposed to the sport, he understands that New York may be missing out on an important source of revenue.

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