MMA is finally legalized in New York as of Tuesday, and as you’d expect, much of the attention has been centered around the UFC’s planned debut at Madison Square Garden, as well as additional shows they’ll hold across the state over the next couple of years. However, this also paves the path for other promotions such as Bellator MMA, World Series of Fighting, Titan FC, Ring of Combat, and countless others to stage events in the Empire State.
Bellator MMA’s Scott Coker issued the following statement, which also includes confirmation that the promotion has already begun talks with (among other venues) Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“The New York Assembly’s vote to legalize MMA is a watershed moment for this incredible sport. As someone who has been promoting combat sports for more than 30 years, this is a very exciting time for mixed martial arts. We at Bellator MMA are very much looking forward to hosting an event in the ‘Crown Jewel of America,’ New York. Two Bellator champions, Liam McGeary and Marcos Galvao call New York home and I know it means a great deal to the both of them, as it does for the entire promotion. We’ve already been in contact with the great people at the Barclays Center and several other incredible venues, and we can’t wait bring our world-class athletes and action-packed shows to an arena in the Empire State soon.”
World Series of Fighting also put out their own statement made by company CEO Carlos Silva. This came just hours after the promotion announced that former UFC executive Michael Mersch was appointed as their new Chief Operating Officer.
“This is an exciting and historic day for our great sport. Those who have been lobbying for the legalization of MMA in NY State, including World Series of Fighting’s new COO Michael Mersch, should be commended for their persistence and commitment to seeing through the passage of legislation that will finally allow fans to watch live MMA in the Empire State, and fighters to compete there. We recently opened an office in Manhattan so, along with our television partner, NBC, we are looking forward to bringing our brand of professional MMA to New York very soon.”
Meanwhile, the UFC says they’re angling for two events in 2016, with a commitment to holding 4 cards per year over the next 3 years.