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Home-ground and pound: UFC wants to come to Barclays, but pro MMA is still illegal here

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Call it pound for pounds!

The Ultimate Fighting Championship says it will hold fight nights at Barclays Center if state lawmakers finally pass a long-stalled bill to legalize professional Mixed Martial Arts in New York, and the sportsplex’s honchos are demanding opponents in Albany tap out so the borough can finally tap into some of those big blood-sport bucks.

“Fans are telling us they want MMA and it’s time to deliver,” said Barclays bigwig Brett Yormark, who joined Borough President Adams at a press conference demanding legislators pass the bill on Tuesday. “Not only does UFC further our goal of being in the big event business, it helps drive economic activity in the area.”

The Empire State is now the only one where Ronda Rousey can’t legally pummel another woman’s face inside a giant cage.

State senators have been trying to pass a bill to change that for six years, but the Assembly’s former leader Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) choked out past attempts by refusing to even call it to a vote.

Now the disgraced pol is down for the count, and the legislation has cleared the senate for a seventh year, but new contenders have also stepped up — several lawmakers are pushing a rival bill that would ban bouts for two years until the health department studies the impact repeated blows to the head and choke-holds have on the brain.

But the legalization bill’s proponents contend the best way to keep mixed martial arts safe is precisely to allow it to happen under government regulation — otherwise practitioners will just hold unsanctioned promotions behind closed doors.

“I have always believed any type of sport, be it MMA or boxing, should be out in the open and regulated rather than underground,” said Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D-Greenpoint), who has been championing the legalization for years.

And local gyms say the impact will go well beyond the borough’s biggest arena — Brooklyn mixed martial artists will also be able to fight for belts and purses in front of home-town crowds around the borough.

“We’re ready for it,” said Eugene Ryzkin, owner of Fight Factory in Gravesend, whose boxers compete in professional shows at MCU Park in Coney Island, the Millennium Theatre in Brighton Beach, and Aviator Sports and Events Center in Marine Park. “We have a lot of students not competing because they’re not allowed.”

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
...And there I was reading the headline...Thinking this article was in regards to medical marijuana.
Sorry for the misunderstanding.
John Wasserman
Feb. 25, 2016, 2:24 pm
Nero from Rome says:
So, if the Christians were willing participants, I wouldn't have gotten all that bad press about the lions?
Feb. 26, 2016, 10:47 am
live and let live from Brooklyn says:
Michael- Everyone has their own thing - you need to relax when it comes to others making their own choices and not hurting the innocent.

And humans are animals after all, the most cruel, destructive, and unnatural of them, but nonetheless animals.

Although calling someone fat is classless and in this case unprovoked hostility intended to hut the innocent.

So here the accuser becomes the accused!
Feb. 26, 2016, 10:56 am
HONEY pooter says:
Stop fat shaming him - his gross body is the result of a medical condition! It's called overeating, and is a result of a genetic disease that means he has no willpower around doughnuts!
Feb. 27, 2016, 10:49 am

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