Hall Of Fame
Ronda Rousey is Fallon Guest After Two Days in Albany Pushing for Legalizing MMA in New York
Fertitta Thanks Senate for Bipartisan Passage of MMA Bill for 6th Year
Lorenzo Fertitta, UFC® Chairman & CEO, today thanked the New York State Senate for passing the bill to legalize and regulate mixed martial arts (MMA) in New York, the last state in the nation where professional MMA remains illegal, for the sixth consecutive year. Fertitta also applauded UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey for spending two days lobbying for the bill in Albany and then discussing it with Jimmy Fallon on last night’s “Tonight Show.”
“For six years, the New York State Senate has approved this common sense bill that would bring New York in line with the rest of the nation – and, frankly, the rest of the world,” Fertitta said. “We have continually had strong bipartisan support for this measure and this year it passed by the largest margin ever, 47-14. We are very hopeful that with new leadership and strong bipartisan support in the Assembly, 2015 is the year that MMA is finally legalized in New York.”
After spending two days in Albany, meeting with Governor Cuomo and many state legislators, Ronda Rousey last night appeared as a guest on the “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
Rousey told Fallon that professional MMA is illegal. “This is the only state that’s not doing it, right?” Fallon asked Rousey. She told him that while professional MMA is illegal in New York, amateur MMA is legal, although unregulated.
“There’s like 1,600 New Yorkers that fought amateur last year with no medical testing. No drug testing,” Rousey told Fallon. Which, she said, made New York “the most dangerous place to do MMA.”
Rousey highlighted the specious arguments of some MMA opponents. “They’re making these crazy arguments that it’s anti-woman. This is the most pro-woman sport in the world. I’m the number one draw in all of the UFC and I’m a woman,” Rousey told Fallon. “To say it’s anti-woman is anti-feminist.”
Fallon asked Rousey about being in Albany and she told him she drove straight from the Capitol to his show.
“You talked to Governor Cuomo?” Fallon asked Rousey. She told him she had and she said the Governor was very supportive. “You just tried to get him to say, ‘hey, you got to flip this thing around. You got to turn this thing around. You got to make it legal,’” Fallon replied.
Fallon then looked into the camera and said. “If Governor Cuomo is watching our show: Make it happen. Let’s do this.” Rousey asked viewers to write to their New York State Assembly Member.
“Ronda is a great ambassador for the fastest growing sport in the world and for the UFC,” Fertitta said. “I’m very appreciative of her trip to Albany in the midst of her crazy schedule. I’m also very appreciative of Ronda and Jimmy Fallon talking about the nonsensical situation in New York with professional MMA being illegal and amateur MMA being legal but unregulated.
“Jimmy Fallon’s statement says it best. ‘Let’s make it happen. Let’s do this.’ I’ve never been more optimistic that the Assembly will this year join the Senate in passing the bill carried by Assembly Majority Joe Morelle and that Governor Cuomo will sign it into law,” Fertitta said. “The UFC is poised to bring some of the world’s best athletes – many of them native New Yorkers – to arenas across the state. We’re ready to have localities upstate and downstate benefit economically from the tourism and fans UFC will bring to New York. Let’s do this.”