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MMA vote makes life easier for NY fighters

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Growing up, kids dream of playing big league baseball, pro football, hockey, basketball, you name it. In the backyard it's always Game 7 of your desired sports championship. For New Yorkers it's always Yankee Stadium, Citi Field, Madison Square Garden, etc. that serves as the backdrop. For local kids growing up aspiring to be MMA fighters, until Tuesday, performing in their hometown, home state, was impossible.

The New York State Assembly voted in favor of legalizing professional Mixed Martial Arts on Tuesday after the Senate had passed the bill in February. The bill had passed the Senate each of the last seven years but failed in the Assemble the previous six. Now that the sport is legal, expect several UFC and other pro MMA events to pop up across the state.

UFC Middleweight Champ Chris Weidman grew up on Long Island with dreams of fighting in his home state. Now that dream is a reality. For Binghamton native Tamdan McCrory the chance to fight closer to home, plainly put, makes his life easier.

"The life of a fighter is to fight whether it's in your state or not. It's been a battle for me throughout my career for the traveling, the time away from family, the training, traveling to fight. It's hard to sell tickets when you're fighting six hours away," McCrory said. "So, I think that as the sport is legal now and they begin to have more professional events, even on a smaller scale, it's going to do better for the lower level fighters and the amateurs and it's also going to have that commission oversight that is going to help protect the safety of the fighters."

McCrory said he's been contacted about being a part of the first event at Madison Square Garden, should that event take place in the near term.

After passing the Assembly, the bill now heads to Governor Andrew Cuomo's desk awaiting his signature. It's expected that after that, there will be a 120 day period to establish rules and regulations for the sport before a professional event can be held in the state.