Law Reviving Professional MMA in New York Requires Additional Insurance Protection for Traumatic Brain Injuries

When professional mixed martial arts makes its return to New York State next month, fighters will have an added layer of protection from traumatic brain injuries. During the 2016 legislative session, the New York State legislature passed a requirement that all professional fighters — including both boxing and mixed martial arts — carry $1 million of additional insurance protection per fighter on a given fight card. The Ultimate Fighting Championship’s event “UFC 205” will be the first state-sanctioned professional mixed martial arts competition in New…
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MMA Officially Legalized in New York State

On Thursday April 14, 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo officially made New York the last state to legalize competitive mixed martial arts by signing into law a bill lifting the sport’s ban since the mid-1990s. While news of New York legalizing MMA broke back in March, when the bill was overwhelmingly passed in both the House and the Senate, Governor Cuomo made it official with the stroke of a pen on Thursday. This comes a little more than six months away from a scheduled UFC…
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The Risks of Trying to be Half Man, Half MMAmazing

In Light of New York’s Legalization of Mixed Martial Arts, a Look at the Legal and Regulatory Risks Involved With Alternating Between a Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Career. On four occasions throughout 2013, colorful former welterweight and super welterweight boxing champion Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga had his name back in the combat sports headlines again following a two-year period of inactivity courtesy of an unsuccessful foray into the world of mixed martial arts (MMA), where he went 0-3 with one no contest. In doing…
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State Assembly Clears the Way for New York to Join the MMAdness

Following an extensive, multi-year lobbying effort, as well as numerous court battles, the New York State Assembly voted on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, to pass a bill that will make New York State the 50th and final state to legalize professional mixed martial arts (MMA). The bill effectively retools and replaces a prior regulatory scheme in New York, which allowed for professional combative  sports contests to be held in New York that were of one particular discipline, i.e., boxing, wrestling, judo, tae kwon do,…
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New York Sports Case Law Update: Recent Applications of the Assumption of Risk Defense in Sports Injury Actions

According to the doctrine of primary assumption of risk, a participant in a sport or recreational activity is deemed to consent to those commonly appreciated risks which are inherent in and arise out of the nature of the sport generally and flow from such participation. A trio of recent cases from New York’s Appellate Division, Second Department illustrate when the doctrine of primary assumption of the risk will — and when it will not — provide summary judgment to a defendant in a sports injury…
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