After hours of debating, the bill to legalize mixed martial arts and put it under the auspices of the New York State Athletic Commission passed the state assembly by a 113-25 vote.
The bill had already passed the state senate, which means it goes to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is expected to sign, and UFC is expected to run its first event in Madison Square Garden toward the latter part of this year.
New York had been the lone holdout in UFC’s attempt to get the sport legalized nationwide. The bill had passed the state senate for seven straight years, but it had been blocked from even being voted on in the assembly.
UFC officials believed they had far more than enough votes last year, but time ran out in the session and once again, they could never get the legislation voted on.
There were long impassioned pleas on both sides, with the few dissenters talking about everything from homophobia, domestic violence, violence in society to the condition of Muhammad Ali, to the idea Madison Square Garden should be for team sports.