Senator Grisanti-(R,I-60) is the co-sponsor of S.2755 which would allow professional Mixed Martial Arts(MMA) events to be held within New York State. On Wednesday, Senator Grisanti voted yes, and the bill passed the Senate by a margin of 47 to 15.
MMA is legal in 47 states and has a huge following based on attendance and pay per view sales alone.
The success of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), the premier MMA League, has brought economic benefits to cities around the country and the globe.
An exhibition in Toronto last spring set a record of $11 million in ticket sales alone with over 50,000 tickets sold. The total impact from weigh-in on Friday until the end of events on Sunday was $35 million.
An independent study done a couple of years ago indicated that Buffalo could reap almost $5 million from one exhibition.
MMA has become a part of mainstream sports - it is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. If violence and the risk of serious injury is a reason the ban is still in effect, activities like boxing, football, ice hockey, downhill skiing, rodeo and even tightrope walking across Niagara Falls should be banned as well.
New York bans professional fights, but allows MMA gyms, amateur fights and other types of martial arts, such as judo and tae-kwon do.
Click the video below to see Senator Grisanti's floor comments as he urges Speaker Silver to bring this bill to the floor.