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Assemblyman Lou Tobacco wants to legalize mixed martial arts in New York, saying that would generate revenue, create jobs, boost tourism and help the state's entertainment industry.
Assembly Democrats oppose the idea, in part because they believe it is too violent.
Tobacco (R-South Shore) argued that the Ultimate Fighting Championship has made rules changes to make the sport more mainstream.
He also noted that 36 of the 44 states that have athletic commissions sanction it, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania and California.
Tobacco said it could generate $2 million annually.
"By legalizing mixed martial arts, the Legislature can give New York fans a chance to enjoy the sport live at venues like Madison Square Garden, and bring sorely needed revenue to the state," said Tobacco.
Democratic Gov. David Paterson favors the legalization.
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