The UFC today held a press conference in New York to renew their call for the sport of mixed martial arts to be legalized in the state.

Flanked by Lorenzo Fertitta, lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, Madison Square Gardens President Scott O’Neill and New York Assemblyman Dean Murray, UFC President Dana White focused on the economic impact that legalizing the sport in the state would bring to the region.

They unveiled an independent economic study which revealed that at a conservative estimate the state would benefit to the tune of $23 million a year, $16 million of that coming from the UFC alone, while the rest would be made up from an estimated 70 other MMA promotions who would host events in the region.

The report was based on the UFC holding two events in a year, one in NYC at the Madison Square Garden, and another in Buffalo.

Despite having failed in the past to get New York on-board, Dana White appeared confident today that it would not be long before their plans to hold an event at Madison Square Garden could become a reality.

“To be honest with you, I’m not frustrated. I’m a little baffled, but not frustrated,” White surmised. “I feel like we have a good team here in New York and I feel like we’re going to get this thing done.”

Meanwhile MSG President O’Neill paid a glowing tribute to the UFC, stating, “they are the best damn promoters in the world,” and enthused about his first time going to see the UFC live in New Jersey last year.

“I’ve spent a lot of my carer around professional athletes, and I’ve never seen anything like a saw that day,” O’Neil recalled. “We cant wait for this to be sanctioned here.”

Assemblyman Murray was also fully behind the bid to legalize the sport in New York.

““This is another example of New York being a nanny state. We have to stop doing that. In this economic climate, we don’t need to be raising any taxes,” Murray stated. “We need a chance to raise revenue, and this is a wonderful chance.”

As well as appearing in front of the cameras Murray is also putting his words into action behind-the-scenes.

“I’ve actually contacted the Governor’s office and asked him to include this in the Governor’s budget this year. If it’s not, then I’m hoping we’ll bring it to the floor for a vote.”

See the diagram below for a brief outline of the key findings of the economic impact study drawn up by HR&A Advisors.

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Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.