The Big Apple is proving to be a big pain. The UFC’s hopes of displaying an Octagon inside the historic Madison Square Garden took a major hit Tuesday when New York Assembly Democrats stripped approval for MMA from a budget bill that lawmakers could have voted on as early as today.
“The majority of voices who spoke about this issue in our conference were not supportive of approving it as part of the budget,” assemblyman Steven Englebright, and mixed martial arts advocate, told the New York Daily News.
Englebright said it’s a long shot the Assembly will revisit the issue despite the fact the state’s Senate has already approved the sport.
Governor Paterson has been the loudest proponent of allowing the sport of MMA into the world’s biggest market. Paterson believes a UFC show in NYC could rake in more than $2 million in tax revenue for the cash-strapped state.
UFC president Dana White was hopeful that he could get an event in New York by the end of the year. The world’s biggest MMA organization has been pushing for years to get into MSG since the sport’s banning back in the “human cockfighting” days.
UFC vice president of regulatory affairs Marc Ratner told MMAWeekly.com, “We’re monitoring Albany as I write this; we’re disappointed, but still working with the Assembly. To put it in soccer terms, we’re in three minutes of extra time and down two goals, but we’re still fighting.”
What Mark appears to be saying is that fans shouldn’t expect for the UFC’s Hail Mary to be answered anytime soon. Although, Landon Donovan was able to conjure up a miracle goal in stoppage time against Algeria …