Capitol Notes

New York unveils long anticipated Pro/Am MMA rules

About five years after state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo made professional mixed martial arts legal in New York, the state has adopted regulations enabling bouts featuring professional and amateur fighters.

The pro/am competitions have technically been legal for years, but operators couldn’t host an event without the rules and regulations from the state. Back in 2019, the Cuomo administration said the issue was under review.

The rules adopted on Monday were welcome news for Tim Rankins, who runs a regional MMA promotions business and has been lobbying the New York State Athletic Commission for years. He is hoping to host a pro/am event in July, pending pandemic restrictions.

The development came as a surprise to Rankins and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, who has been repeatedly pressing the Cuomo administration to act and introduced legislation this year compelling the state to draft rules.

Three days before the regulations came out, the pair recorded an interview about this issue with The Capitol Pressroom that was scheduled to come out this week. The interview has been scrapped since it was overtaken by events, but you can rest assured that host David Lombardo did a great job.

Regardless, Santabarbara is bullish about what the regulations mean for regional promoters all over New York.

“MMA events here in Schenectady have proven to be a boon to the local economy. The addition of pro-am competition to take place will only build off that success,” the Capital Region Democrat said in a statement.





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