As someone who lives only an hour-and-a-half away in the state of New Jersey, I've been happy to know my state at least was smart enough to legalize the fastest growing sport in the country.
But, New York is like my second home and living there as a student in college has been amazing. It still perplexes me to this day that the great state of New York has been so stubborn, so ignorant of the sport of MMA and what it represents not only to the people, but to the economy that has taken so many hits and left so many people's lives in shambles.
Earlier this year UFC president Dana White commissioned a study to see exactly how much money this sport would bring in to the state of New York.
The study by HR&A found that holding a UFC event in New York City would bring $23 million in new net economy for the city. Not only just in New York City would they hold an event, but in if they held one in Buffalo, a UFC event would generate $5.2 million in economic activity.
So to turn a blind eye to this economic impact is wrong. The assemblymen who turn this down because they're "serving the betterment of their people" are really flat out dumb.
If you want to help better your people, legalize a sport that would pump millions of dollars into the economy. What wasn't said was the amount of money the other promotions, smaller but yet would make an impact nonetheless, would bring into the state of New York.
Think about it people, how insane would an event at Madison Square Garden be? Imagine it, New Year's Day, Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans in a battle of the New Yorkers for the light heavyweight title.
Not to mention all the other fighters who would beg to be on this card. If you thought wanting to fight on the UFC in Rio card was in big demand, imagine the first card in the sports capital of the world.
Training in this sport I've learned discipline, I've cleaned up my eating habits of McDonalds every other day and cut out soda completely (Imagine how much of my life I saved with just that), and I've learned how to effectively defend myself if, god forbid, someone attacks me.
This sport reaches a lot more outside of the cage then people think. It reaches inside the person and changes their life for the better. Sure you get punched, kicked, kneed, elbowed and put in awkward positions where you look around and go, "What the heck just happened?"
The fact here is to anybody who thinks the legalization is a bad idea, go check how many have died in MMA, how many have suffered serious injury and how far the sport has come since the days where it was considered "human cockfighting."
Then go and compare all of those stats to that of boxing and tell me the difference. If boxing has acceptance, why not MMA?
So with only a little bit longer until the fate of the legalization is confirmed, I suggest to those who consider this sport "barbaric" to learn a little something about it before criticizing it. It may change your mind.