Today, Senator Joseph Griffo's bill which calls for the regulation of amateur MMA in New York passed the Senate. Having read the bill, I think it is a positive step forward, however has definite room for improvement if the opportunity to amend future versions of the legislation arises*. Nevertheless, it is a strong signal to our Assembly legislators that the issue of amateur MMA needs to be addressed. But, the Assembly has not moved on Professional MMA, and it will likely stagnate on this as well. The NYS legislative calendar ends tomorrow.
The issue of amateur MMA regulation has snowballed in recent years. With New York State's 2012 admission that amateur MMA is legal and unregulated in New York, our community has blossomed. In 2013, there were 47 amateur MMA events in NY; nearly double that of 2012. But, this is not without problems. In his recent Deadspin article, Jim Genia recently detailed significant medical concerns that come with the rise of amateur MMA in NY.
I have commented in the past about the dangers of unregulated amateur MMA.
April, 2013: Concerns over Amateur MMA Regulation Going National
August, 2012: Amateur MMA: When Will We Come Out of the Dark Ages
July, 2012: Will the Dustin Jenson Tragedy Teach Us Something?
Check out Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion op-ed on the assets and deficits of state-by-state commission regulation of MMA. Anyone considering the issues facing potential NY State Athletic Commission regulation of MMA needs to read Zach's piece and consider the issues he raises.
*Look for my upcoming commentary on the NY amateur MMA legislation that just passed through the Senate