March 22, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The Latest on legalization of professional mixed martial arts in New York (all times Eastern Standard Time):

6:30 p.m.

New York's Assembly has voted to legalize mixed martial arts, clearing the way for fights in state arenas late this year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo supports legalizing the combination of wrestling, kickboxing and judo. The state Senate has already passed the identical measure.

New York is the last state to prohibit the sport, which critics call too violent and like football and boxing prone to causing concussions and head injuries. The bill subjects MMA to State Athletic Commission regulation.

Added provisions that reduced opposition will raise the insurance required for fighter injuries to $50,000 and to $1 million for life-threatening brain injuries.

Advocates say it has evolved from rougher early days with more rules to protect fighters.

Meanwhile, it's on television, and fighters train and amateurs already compete in New York.

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1:00 a.m.

New York is poised to end its ban on professional mixed martial arts, the last state to prohibit the combat sport.

Conducted inside a cage or other enclosure with a referee present, MMA bouts end when one fighter quits or gets knocked out, or judges decide after 15 to 25 minutes of fighting who the winner is.

The New York Assembly plans to vote this week, following seven years of leaving the ban intact after critics complained the sport is too violent.

Fighters wear small, fingerless gloves and punch, kick, elbow, grapple, tackle, slam, twist and choke each other inside a cage.

Advocates say it has evolved from rougher early days with more rules to protect fighters. Meanwhile, it's on television, and fighters train and amateurs compete in New York.

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