Posted at: 07/31/2012 5:51 PM
| Updated at: 07/31/2012 9:05 PM
By: Bill Lambdin
ALBANY - It's a combination of boxing, wrestling and several other martial arts.
There are rules and some safeguards, but not enough for Assemblyman Bob Reilly. "And the commissioner better get on the ball and do her job, as well as the rest of the commission," Reilly said. "So this is an illegal activity by any call, by any interpretation of the law and the commission (State Athletic Commission) has to do their job."
Most states allow mixed martial arts, but New York never has.
There's a lobbying effort underway to change that and strategic political donations to those in position to affect policy. It's not clear whether that's a factor here, but all of a sudden, after never being able to hold MMA events, promoters known as 5 Guys Fighting say they'll put on 10 to 14 amateur fights a week from Saturday at the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany. Admission price is 30 dollars.
"The Attorney General has released a statement saying that amateur mixed martial arts is not illegal and the precedent has already been set in the state," said one of the promoters, Shannon Miller. "I find it tough to say that they can fine us yet they didn't fine anybody else. It's OK in other parts of the state but not in Albany."
That could be, but this is right on the doorstep of the center of state power.
Opponent Reilly wants something done about it. "And when you slam someone in the head with your fist or your elbow or your knee or your foot, that scrambles the brain."
NewsChannel 13 contacted the State Athletic Commission, the Department of State (which oversees the athletic commission) and the Attorney General's Office for confirmation of the change in attitude toward amateur MMA and further comment. No staff with any of the agencies responded.