Today the bid to make MMA legal in the state of New York cleared another hurdle when the bill was passed by the Codes Committee with a clear 17-1 margin.

Despite that the feeling is that the chances of this finally being the year that MMA becomes legal there are still slim as the bill still has to be passed by the New York State Assembly where it has failed to gain traction several times before.

UFC president Dana White hasn’t given up the fight however, and today he made a bold move by appealing directly to the citizens of the state via The New York Daily News.

In the opinion piece White seeks to educate readers on the safety of the modern era of mixed martial arts, along with the economic benefits that the sport could bring to the state.

Here’s some of the highlights, but be sure to vist the NY Daily News for the full article.

“If you’ve paid any attention to mixed martial arts over the past decade, you know the sport has exploded. It has the highest pay-per-view numbers of any sporting event, is broadcast on numerous cable, satellite and network television stations, enjoys mainstream sponsorships and has a large and diverse fan base. It is sanctioned in 45 of 48 U.S. states that have athletic commissions and across Canada and Australia. Unfortunately, MMA fans in New York are forced to enjoy the sport from afar. Here in New York, MMA is totally banned. It’s long past time to overturn that prohibition. It’s a safe and respectable sport that’s every bit as legitimate as boxing or professional football.

“I understand some people think no amount of economic activity is worth selling the state’s soul – and some people insist that MMA is simply too brutal to allow. But MMA is completely different from the spectacle New York legislators banned back in the 1990s.

“At this point, it’s very odd that New York would allow and even celebrate a sport like football, in which people have experienced serious and lasting physical injuries, and cling to the fiction that MMA is legalized assault.

“We commissioned an economic impact study to demonstrate how much revenue one of our events would generate for the State of New York. The study, by HR & A, found that sanctioning MMA in New York City would generate more than $23 million in net new economic activity. In Buffalo, an event would generate $5.2 million in economic activity. Those figures assume only two UFC events, and we estimate we could do as many as three per year in New York State.”