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Now the battle looks to have finally been won as the New York Assembly yesterday passed a bill to legalize MMA in their state. The bill wasn’t without its opposition, but Weidman – a New Yorker himself – feels that some of what was said against his sport only helped MMA’s case.
“I was pretty optimistic throughout the whole thing and some of the things they were saying were so ridiculous that I was actually happy, and embarrassed for them for even bringing it up,” Weidman told media during a UFC conference call. “It’s things I’ve heard people behind closed doors saying, but to hear them say it live and to the public I actually thought was pretty interesting and probably good for us. I just thought it was embarrassing on their part.”
Among the most ridiculous statements made by the bill’s opposition were Democrat Ellen Jaffee saying: “(MMA) harms the fighters, who risk their very lives and are often maimed, or sometimes killed. It harms women, who are victimized by the glorification of distorted masculinity that cage fighting represents. The violent nature is antithetical to the anti-violence message we are trying to deliver to our children and our communities.”
Other absurd arguments against legalizing MMA in New York included Daniel J O’Donnell comparing the sport to gay porn. “You have two nearly naked, hot men rolling around on top of one other, trying to dominate each other. And just in case you don’t know, that’s gay porn with a different ending,” he said.
Chris Weidman is among the leading candidates to feature on the card for UFC’s first New York event, which is anticipated to take place at Madison Square Garden later this year. He is currently set to rematch Luke Rockhold for the UFC middleweight title at UFC 199, June 4th, in California.