The practices of the New York State Athletic Commission are coming under fire after last week’s mixed martial arts card at the Times Union Center in Albany. In a story posted on, fighters and coaches say they had to wait hours at local hospitals to get stitches because there were no authorized doctors at the arena to suture the cuts from the bouts. A spokesperson for NYSAC said that stitches may be given to combatants “should the promoter enter into an agreement for the provision of suturing care.”

MMA Fight

Professional mixed martial arts is off to a rollicking start in New York, seven months after officials ended the state's long-standing prohibition on the sport.

New York state was the nation's only remaining holdout when it came to hosting professional bouts. That ended in April, when lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed to repeal the ban following extensive lobbying by promoters and stars such as Ronda Rousey.

The law authorizing the sport took effect in September.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a new law legalizing Mixed Martial Arts bouts in the state, making it the last state in the nation to remove prohibitions on professional fights. The new law reverses the ban placed on the bouts in 1997 amid concerns over the safety of fighters.

New York is expected to end its ban on professional mixed martial arts when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs legislation to put the New York State Athletic Commission in charge of the sport. 

Keith Strudler: Fighting The Good Fight

Mar 23, 2016

If you’re a New York State resident and a fan of mixed martial arts, then yesterday was a good day. Yesterday the state assembly removed a nine year ban on the sport, allowing leagues like UFC to bring their events and their fighters to Manhattan, Brooklyn, Albany, and beyond. Yes, if you’ve always fancied boxing too civilized, or football far too restrictive, then MMA – where athletes basically attack each other until one quits or get incapacitated, will satisfy your cravings. The sport has a robust global fan base, as evidenced by sold-out stadiums and arenas for marquis events, not unlike boxing. That includes a small number of highly publicized female athletes, most notably Rhonda Rousey, who last year lost her UFC title to overwhelming underdog to Holly Holm – who by the way also lost the belt to Miesha Tate, an event that cost Holm a possible huge payday for a rematch with Rousey. But, like most sports, the revenue stream is much deeper on the men’s side, even if the salaries are far, far below the mega-dollars given to the world’s top boxers. So there’s no $400 million fight like Mayweather/Pacquiao – at least not yet.


Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, a Capital Region Democrat, says he recently learned that a vote to legalize mixed-martial arts could come as soon as Monday. Santabarbara, who  has been a vocal advocate for bringing the sport to New York, said the bill to regulate it has 80 co-sponsors.

The effort to legalize mixed martial arts, also known as ultimate fighting, in New York, got a boost in the legislature Wednesday. The Senate passed a bill to legalize the sport, by a vote of 43 to 14, and the Speaker of the Assembly opened the door to possible approval in his house.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says he has “mixed feelings” about mixed martial arts.