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MMA Gym Letter 5-7-13

MMA Gym Letter 5-7-13

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Published by Celeste Katz
MMA Gym Letter 5-7-13
MMA Gym Letter 5-7-13

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Published by: Celeste Katz on May 13, 2013
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03/24/2014

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 Memo of Support for Legalization of Mix Martial Arts in New York Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is one of the fastest growing sports in the world today. Its athletesare also gaining rapid popularity. MMA is a sport that is professionally practiced in 48 states inthe U.S., but not allowed in New York State. As gym and fitness store owners in New York State, we ask that MMA be legalized in New York. Legalized and regulated MMA benefits our  businesses, provides professional career options for our athletes, increases safety, and spurseconomic investment in New York.MMA is a recognized sport that takes serious commitment to athleticism and training. MMAathletes spend countless hours training to excel in this sport. MMA is often times stigmatized because of the variety of strikes involved and physical style of competition despite the fact that ittakes years of skill development to master this sport. The Ultimate Fighting Championship(UFC) has the Uniformed Rules of Mixed Martial Arts that controls professional MMA matchesand limits risks to its athletes. It is important to recognize that the UFC encourages responsible behavior from all of its athletes through the UFC Code of Conduct and sanctions athletes thatmake poor choices outside of the sport. The character and reputation of MMA athletes areaspects of the sport that are hold in high regard.Just like other sports such as boxing, wrestling, football, hockey, and many more, the hard work of MMA athletes should not be degraded by refusing to allow them to compete at the professional level in New York. In New York State, amateur MMA fighting is currentlyallowed, while professional MMA athletes are not able to compete. Currently, with amateur fighting, there is no regulation, often no insurance for athletes, and little safety standards. If  professional MMA were regulated, amateur competitions would adopt more of the New York State professional regulations. Legalizing professional MMA in New York would create aculture of regulation that increases safety for MMA athletes at all levels. It will provide MMAathletes with a path to increase their skills and further their careers in a regulated professionalarena.While there are fighters who train in New York, use our New York gyms, purchase equipment,and hundreds of thousands of New York fans that watch MMA on TV, New York loses the benefits that legalizing the sport would bring. Many of the top MMA athletes, such as Jon Jones,are from New York, but cannot even compete in their home state. Professional MMAcompetitions would bring in millions of dollars of revenue into New York through ticket sales,merchandise, lodging, and travel. The economic impact and activity that legalizing MMA bringsto New York would be extremely beneficial to our statewide and local economies.We ask that you work to legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York State.Sincerely,

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