NY mixed martial arts supporters make final push to legalize

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Supporters of legalizing professional mixed-martial arts bouts in New York state hope to make a final, successful push before state lawmakers adjourn their 2015 session.

Joe Morelle, the leader of the state Assembly’s Democratic majority, said Friday that his legislation to legalize the sport would come with some of the nation’s “most stringent” protections for professional fighters.

Efforts to legalize the sport have run into opposition in the past from lawmakers who say the sport is too violent and dangerous. Morelle’s proposal would increase the insurance coverage promoters must purchase for fighters, and create a fund to help cover medical treatment for fighters who sustain brain injuries.

Morelle says he is confident he is gathering the support needed to pass the measure. Lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn Wednesday.

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