Reporting Juliet Papa
NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Some state lawmakers think a smackdown might be a good way to raise money for New York.
Senate Republicans in Albany are hoping to legalize mixed martial arts (MMA) in the state for what they believe could be millions of dollars in annual tax revenue. The proposal is likely to meet with heavy opposition from the Democratic-controlled Assembly.
On Wednesday fans of the sport showed up in droves for a rally at Radio City Music Hall aimed to push for the approval of MMA in New York.
“It’s the greatest city in the world and we don’t have Mixed Martial Arts. They have boxing, but I think that’s a sport of the past,” Anthony Henry, of Massapequa, told 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa.
While many have criticized MMA for its excessive violence, Henry argued that the matches were not as barbaric as they were made out to be.
MMA officials also contend the sport is well regulated and that ample precautions are taken to prevent further damage to injured athletes.
Sasha Kramer was at the rally and said there were plenty of misconceptions about the sport.
“I think there’s some sort of old mentality of ‘this is kind of a no rules, random, primitive kind of sport,’ but that’s not the case anymore certainly,” she said.
Other fans offered up solutions to appease critics and said there were further ways to regulate the sport.
“Put an age limit. People are adults, they can make their own decisions and if they want to watch it, they can buy their own tickets,” he said.
The rally comes just days before an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event in Newark on Saturday featuring Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and challenger Jon Jones.
What do you think? Is it time for New York to finally get with the program? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.