Judge Kimba Wood denies injunction requested by Zuffa LLC and the UFC. The UFC wanted to put on UFC198 at Madison Square Garden on April 29th. A request was made for an injunction against the current law banning MMA in the state.
Their suit against the law banning MMA continues, but must work its way through the state’s Second Circuit before any further judiciary action can be taken. Legalization efforts have historically been pushed through the legislative chambers in the state, albeit unsuccessfully to date. More recently, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo included language in his budget that would allow the UFC and other promoters to host MMA events. However, if MMA authorization is still included in the final budget, the deadline for approval isn’t until March 31.
UF COO Lawrence Epstein commented:
We are disappointed by the District Court’s denial of our motion for a preliminary injunction and its effort to redirect the litigation to the state courts. One thing, and one thing only, prevents Madison Square Garden and other New York venues from hosting UFC events that are allowed in the other 49 States in the Union – that is the New York law that we believe violates the federal Constitution. Today’s decision, while disappointing, only underscores the importance of UFC’s pending appeal to the Second Circuit. UFC will evaluate this decision with an eye to pursuing every effective avenue to bring New Yorkers the same live events available to spectators throughout the United States.
I found it highly unlikely that the courts would allow an injunction against an active law. The UFC asked for an immediate decision on the ruling to put on the event so the company will continue to fight for legalization on the issue through legislation. It is not surprising that on a shortened timeline a judge will deviate from the current status quo.