Will Yoder
Tuesday November 15th, 2011

The UFC has filed a lawsuit against New York State officials to challenge the state law which bans professional Mixed Martial Arts events, the UFC announced in a statement on their website today.  

“The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and a group of plaintiffs including fighters, fans, trainers and others involved with Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) announced today that they have filed a lawsuit against New York State officials challenging the constitutionality of the state law banning live professional MMA events and associated activities (the “Ban”).  The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, challenges the Ban for violating numerous provisions of the United States Constitution, including the First Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause,“ the statement reads.

This summer a bill which promised to legalize the sport in the state of New York stalled in the State Assembly’s Ways and Means Committee. The proposed bill had cleared the New York Assembly Tourism Committee and also passed in the State Senate. New York’s ban on MMA dates back to 1997. After holding its first event in 1995 at Buffalo’s Memorial Auditorium, New York issued a state-wide ban on MMA after the sport was seen as too violent. New York is one of three remaining states which have not yet fully sanctioned the sport.

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