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Mixed Martial Arts is preparing for one of its biggest bouts in a long time: the battle for the legalization of professional fights in New York. The Ultimate Fighting Championship and other promotions were banned from hosting events in the state in 1997 and New York is currently the only state that hasn’t legalized the sport yet.  Amateur fights are legal, however. For the sixth year in a row, the legislature’s upper chamber voted in favor of legalizing MMA, 47-14.  The state assembly now has to pass the bill  for MMA to be legally recognized in New York. To get that far, the bill must pass through the Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development, Codes, then Ways & Means and finally Rules. That may seem like a tall hurdle but UFC officials are cautiously optimistic that 2015 may be the year. The new Assembly Speaker, Carl Heastie (D-Bronx),…

Jon Jones was stripped of his UFC light heavyweight title after being involved in a hit-and-run in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Sunday April 26. Jones turned himself in after the incident where he struck a 25-year-old pregnant woman and fled the scene. The woman suffered a broken arm. Jones is facing a felony charge for leaving the scene of a crime, one that could possibly result in up to three years in jail. The car left behind by Jones was a rental containing a marijuana pipe with marijuana inside it, according to Albuquerque police spokesman Tanner Tixier. This comes just a few months after Jones tested positive for cocaine following his title defense against Daniel Cormier at UFC 182 on January 3. Jones will have to get his act together if he ever wants to return to the UFC after the promotion suspended him indefinitely following the hit-and-run. Jones’ manager,…

Middleweights Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza both won their last bouts decisively at UFC on Fox 15 in Newark, New Jersey, on April 18. Both fighters are deserving of a title shot against the winner of Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort. Weidman will look to defend his belt at UFC 187 on May 23. Souza was the front-runner to earn the next title shot a couple weeks prior to the event, where the winner of his match with Yoel Romero would have likely earned the chance at the belt. Romero suffered an injury and pulled out of the fight with a torn meniscus, leaving Souza to face Chris Camozzi instead. On paper, Camozzi was a total mismatch for Jacaré, and that turned out to be the case in the octagon as well. Like his first fight against Camozzi, Souza submitted him in the first round, this time via armlock.…