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Bob Reilly feeling the heat in New York over MMA legislation

By Zach Arnold | January 23, 2010

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Continuing the theme of MMA and politics, this morning’s edition of The Albany Times-Union reports that state assemblyman Bob Reilly is prepared to introduce his own version of an MMA legislation bill.

Here’s the reported catch 22:

Reilly is prepared to introduce a compromise bill that would legalize the sport while requiring rules changes to make it less violent. The changes could include regulations on what fighting styles are permitted; limitations on the use of elbows; and a prohibition against hitting an opponent who’s on his knees.

So, in essence, we have a Quebec athletic commission-style situation here except Reilly wants to water down everything. It’s an attempt to make him look like he’s willing to make a compromise, but it’s very clear that he’s facing heavy political pressure from major players in the state to pass the Unified rules and he knows it.

Throwing a kink into the currently proposed MMA legislation is that MMA events in New York would be taxed at an 8.5% clip versus the 3% clip that boxing events get taxed at. UFC could afford the tax but it’s hard to see how smaller promoters could afford it.

At the end of the day, UFC’s political lobbying efforts are working in New York and eventually the floodgates will open. That is a good thing.

Speaking of UFC success, over 3,500 people have reported signed up for memberships at the first “UFC gym” in the Bay Area. The venue opens on Saturday. It will be obnoxious to hear people tell others that “they train UFC,” but then again maybe some of them will get a fight booking against Tim Sylvia in the future since it seems anyone can these days.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 6 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

6 Responses to “Bob Reilly feeling the heat in New York over MMA legislation”

  1. jr says:

    The Buffalo Bills had 20 players on the injured reserve list this season and none of the NY MMA prohibitionists will mention it.

  2. Jeremy (Not that Jeremy) says:

    8.5% in New York would guarantee that UFC holds one and only one event ever in New York. They’d run the Garden once, and then go back to New Jersey.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    I’m sure the UFC could push for a smaller tax once it becomes legalized. However, they might have no incentive to do so as of right now. That’s a lot of profit to skim off the top, even for a company like Strikeforce. That helps the UFC.

  4. Steve4192 says:

    That tax rate will get lowered.

    The UFC might have to hold one event to prove their economic impact studies are correct, but after that they will get the tax lowered without much problem. They have already been through this with Minnesota and Hawaii, I’m sure they have a lobbying plan already designed for that scenario.

  5. Edward says:

    Hmph. FWIW, the retail sales tax in NY is a whopping 8.875%, so yeah, here’s wondering what the UFC will do if Unified Rules MMA is legalized.

  6. Jeremy (Not that Jeremy) says:

    At this point, New York is just another Everest to climb and best for UFC. It’s not even useful to them except as a symbol.

    It’s a moon shot.


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