It has emerged today that Zuffa has scored a massive win in their lawsuit against New York. This victory means that the organisation can now take a huge step towards holding UFC events in the state of New York regardless of whether or not the ban on professional mixed martial arts is lifted by the legislature.
News of the win was first reported by Jim Genia for Fightline.com.
A day of oral arguments pertaining to the State Attorney General’s most recent motion to dismiss Zuffa’s lawsuit was set to take place, but this developed into a realization that the law prohibiting pro MMA did not apply to amateur versions of the sport, and that as per the statute, a pre-approved third-party sanctioning body could oversee MMA events in the state.
This would basically mean that an event could be held by the UFC or any other MMA promotion by utilizing one of the pre-approved sanctioning bodies enumerated in the statute. Those sanctioning bodies include the World Karate Association (since renamed the World Kickboxing Association, a.k.a. the “WKA”), the Professional Karate Association and the U.S. Judo Association, among others.
A statute banning professional MMA in New York has been in place since 1997, but since then the sport has evolved in many ways including the introduction of new rules and weight classes. Efforts to have the ban lifted have been stalled every year since 2008; Zuffa’s lawsuit against the State of New York, citing Constitutional violations, was filed in November, 2011. MMA is now sanctioned in most states within the country, but New York still remains opposed to the sport.
The counsel representing Zuffa’s interests said that if a pre-approved third-party sanctioning body could truly oversee MMA events in the state, then there’d be no further need to pursue the lawsuit. This then prompted the presiding Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S District Court of the Southern District of New York to push both sides to immediately settle.
If Zuffa can find a way to make today’s revelation work for them then we may just see a UFC event at Madison Square Garden this year. Lets keep our fingers crossed.
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