Letter to the Editor

By: Robert Wright

Legalizing MMA in New York State

The New York Times

Sports Editor

620 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY

New York, NY 10018

To the Sports Editor:

Re “Mixed Martial Arts Promotion Sues New York State Over Ban,” Sep. 28:

Reuters’ article of how the Ultimate Fighting Championship, colloquially known as the UFC, the leading mixed martial arts promotion company filed a federal lawsuit challenging New York State's law banning its events, the latest effort in a longstanding battle to bring the combat sport to the state. The article explained that the UFC sued in New York State Court because of a failure of a motion to overturn the ban on the sport of mixed-martial arts, or MMA, in the state of New York.

Even though the article was not an opinionated essay, I am writing to agree with the statements made by the UFC. The UFC claims that having MMA banned in the state of New York is unconstitutional and an injustice. MMA should be legalized in New York and not having it legal infringes on everyone’s rights. The state government can rectify this simply by making MMA legal.

An article on mmafighting.com informs readers how legalizing MMA has passed legislation in both Canada and Connecticut. In Canada there was already a law in place prohibiting competitive MMA, however upon further review the case was appealed and turned over, thus allowing MMA again in Canada (Meltzer). In Connecticut, the state senate reviewed a bill to make the sport legal on the very same day as the case in Canada. The senate approved the bill, thus making New York the only state in all of North America where competition MMA is illegal (Meltzer).

Last week, the UFC released a statement saying that an MMA event will be held at Madison Square Garden in April 2016 (Fox Sports). This is a contradictory statement to itself because of the ban placed on the sport in New York. Even though the UFC knows that they may have to cancel this event if the New York state government cannot let go of their hardline stance, the UFC still stands strong in its support of such an event.

Citizens of New York must call out their politicians to persuade them to let go of their hardline stance. They should no longer want their rights to be infringed and they must show their government that they are willing to fight for the legalization of this proud and prosperous sport.

Sincerely, Robert Wright

Works Cited

Martin, Damon. "Despite MMA Ban, UFC Schedules Event at Madison Square Garden." Fox Sports. Fox Sports, 28 Sept. 2015. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. <http://www.foxsports.com/ufc/story/ufc-schedules-event-at-madison-square-garden-in-new-york-despite-mma-ban-092815>.

Meltzer, Dave. "Major Day for MMA Legislation as Bills Pass in Canada and Connecticut." MMA Fighting. Vox Media, 5 June 2013. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. <http://www.mmafighting.com/2013/6/5/4400386/major-day-for-mma-legislation-as-bills-pass-in-canada-and-connecticut>.