ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Forty-five states would welcome the upcoming mixed martial arts title fight between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans.
Their home state of New York still isn’t one of them.
Both light heavyweight champion Jones and ex-champ Evans have personally lobbied to legalize the sport in New York and say they have a lot of family, friends and fans who would pack the house there. Instead, they’ll fight April 21 in Atlanta.
A bill to legalize MMA in New York has passed the Senate but failed again last week, still facing Assembly opposition.
Backers say the popular televised sport, with elements of boxing, judo, wrestling and kickboxing, has evolved from its rough early days with rules and protections for fighters.
Opponents decry it as too violent and a bad example for children.