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So close yet so far

Here’s a joke for you: How many New York legislators does it take to legislate MMA? The answer: All of them. Fortunately, the sport is running out of chambers, councils, and assemblies to pass through and today it managed to win a vote in the Senate that actually matters. More importantly, it might mean some light at the end of the legalization tunnel. Maybe.

New York moved one step closer to becoming the 45th state to regulate mixed martial arts, as the state Senate voted 32-26 to pass a bill on Wednesday that would legalize the sport.

A similar bill is currently in committee in the state Assembly, where it is expected to pass before facing a close vote on the Assembly floor. If it gets out of the Assembly, Gov. Paterson is expected to sign it into law and fans could see a mixed martial arts event in Madison Square Garden as early as this fall.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship, the sport’s most well-known promotion, is hoping an Assembly vote will take place over the next two weeks before the current legislative session ends.

That last paragraph is a cold shower after the boner inducing speculation that things could be good to go as soon as the Fall. I haven’t been able to figure out the exact date when the Assembly’s legislative session ends (I’m getting sick of needing a degree in Political Science to cover MMA effectively). But last year around this time we were in the exact same situation – we needed a committee and Assembly vote in two weeks to avoid having to wait until January 2010 for the next session.

That obviously didn’t happen. Now the Senate has cleared MMA, but there’s still a good chance the Assembly will stick their thumbs up their asses and not get things done. AGAIN. So be prepared to wait until January 2011 before they start poking at the bill again.