Business Owner Hopes State Overturns MMA Ban

1:28 AM, Mar 8, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The current ban on professional mixed martial arts in New York has a major impact on fighters in the area, according to a local business owner.

Jason Trzewieczynski, who owns Buffalo Training Center in the Eastern Hills Mall, said the ban forces fighters to travel out-of-state, which affects their supporters.

"Obviously, you can imagine the family members and fans that want to see their friends and family fight, they're not able to do so," Trzewieczynski said.

"So as far as generating a lot of rapport with our members and seeing what we actually do on the competition floor - it hurts us quite a bit."

On Wednesday, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced he thinks that New York will overturn its ban on mixed martial arts, but he didn't know when.

For years, the Senate -- but not the Assembly -- has passed legislation to sanction the sport in New York.  Still, Trzewieczynski said he's confident that the bill will pass eventually because of the sport's popularity.

"It's just lobbyists influencing the government to keep it out of New York," he said. "The outcry from the fans, you see how popular the sport is-they can't hold it back for much longer."

Under the ban it's illegal to hold the fights at sports arenas, which would make the events more profitable and bring in more tax revenue for the state.

Mixed martial arts events in the area have been hosted by Native American casinos, because state law doesn't apply there.

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