Change of heart for 'barbaric' sport: Ex-Gov. Pataki pedal to metal for steel-cage ultimate fighting
Former Gov. George Pataki, who once called ultimate fighting barbaric and had it banned in 2001 in New York, now supports its Legalization.
"With more rigorous oversight, training and medical requirements - mixed martial arts has made considerable strides to ensure the safety of participants," said Pataki spokesman David Catalfamo.
"With these measures in mind, Gov. Pataki would be supportive of allowing the sport in New York in today," he told the Daily News.
Regulated in 42 states, ultimate fighting, commonly known as mixed martial arts, takes place in steel cages and allows punching, kicking and choke holds.
No longer allowed are the throat shots, finger-breaking, hair-pulling and groin kicks that give the sport its no-holds-barred reputation.
The News reported yesterday that Gov. Paterson plans to include a call to legalize the controversial sport in his 2010-11 budget proposal due out next week.
Even with the changes in recent years, Assemblyman Bob Reilly (D-Saratoga) still likened the sport to "dog-fighting," calling it a "vicious, unregulated activity."
Supporter Assemblyman Jonathan Bing (D-Manhattan) said he hopes "either through Legislation or the budget we can get it on the books" to help generate needed revenue for the state.
Citing successes in other cities and states, Ultimate Fighting Championship league Vice President Marc Ratner said, "We are confident that we would generate similar economic activity, if given the opportunity, in New York State."
Read entire article...
MMA gear now available at the UG Store