The UFC’s seemingly endless battle to get MMA legalized in the state of New York has taken a new twist with the promotion publicly announcing an event at Madison Square Garden in NYC on April 23rd, 2016.
At the same time the UFC have also filed a new lawsuit against New York’s MMA ban, claiming that it is unconstitutional and based on out-dated laws.
The organization’s hope will be that it can get a preliminary injunction against the ban in court which would allow them to host the event in the mean time while the legal case continues, but if that is not approved then they will be left with no option other than to scrap the event.
It’s not the first time that the UFC has reserved the MSG arena in the hopes of hosting an event there, but it is the first time that they’ve actually gone as far as to officialy announce an event which they hope will add weight to their legal case against the state law.
Read the UFC’s full statement on the situation below.
“We believe fight fans have waited long enough to experience live UFC events in the state of New York and we are thrilled to announce our first event at Madison Square Garden,” UFC Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein said. “Professional MMA is legal around of the world and it is about time New York followed suit.”
In August, UFC filed an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit – the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over New York – stating that New York’s prohibition of regulated professional MMA events violates the First Amendment rights of athletes and fans throughout the state.
On September 28, UFC filed a new case in federal court, reiterating its claim that the New York law banning MMA events is unconstitutional. This out-of-date law is too unclear for the public to understand, and has allowed regulators in New York to pick and choose arbitrarily what events they will permit. Events featuring every combat sport except MMA seem to be allowed in New York, though this is not explicitly stated in the law. The statute, and the state’s pattern of enforcing it, violates the Constitution’s prohibition on unconstitutionally vague laws.
Later this week, UFC will ask a federal judge to issue a preliminary injunction against New York state officials enforcing its unconstitutional law. Without such an injunction, the event at Madison Square Garden will not be able to proceed.”