New York Times Letters to the Editor
In “A Leaner Budget for Lean Times” (editorial, Jan. 20), you call mixed martial arts, which Gov. David A. Paterson is proposing to legalize, “controversial.” In fact, the sport is not only legal in all but eight states, but if it should come to New York, our State Athletic Commission already has the mechanisms in place to ensure that such competitions follow the highest guidelines of health and safety.
Across the country, mixed martial arts matches do not represent something out of “Fight Club”; rather, they are akin to boxing in how closely they are watched by highly trained medical staff and referees. Just like boxers, mixed martial arts competitors receive comprehensive neurological and physical examinations before fighting. They are drug-tested and are placed in strict weight classes, and all matches must be approved by a regulating body to reduce the likelihood of a mismatch resulting in serious injury.
In New York, a medical advisory board would be established and charged with developing educational programs for medical staff and officials, so that health risks may be readily identified, minimized and prevented.
In terms of revenue for the state, a recent study found that one event in the New York City area, for example, would generate $5.3 million in event spending and a total of $11.3 million in total economic activity for the local economy.
Governor Paterson understands that this is a sport that when properly regulated will provide the citizens of New York with both financial and entertainment value while maintaining high standards regarding the safety and health of participants.
Secretary of State
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