1/30: Ultimate Fighting “KO’d” by Nearly Seven in Ten NYS Voters

January 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, NY State, NY State Poll Archive, Politics

New York Governor David Paterson has proposed legalizing mixed martial arts, also known as ultimate fighting, as a way to generate more than 2 million dollars in state revenue, but do registered voters in New York State agree with the move?



Many members of the electorate — 68% — disagree with this aspect of Paterson’s 2010-2011 Executive Budget.  29%, on the other hand, agree with the legalization of ultimate fighting.  3% are unsure.

Not surprisingly, more women than men oppose making this controversial sport legal.  82% of women compared with 55% of men believe mixed martial arts should remain banned in the Empire State.

More younger voters than older ones favor the legalization of ultimate fighting.  However, even the youngest members of the electorate divide.  50% of those 18 to 29 years old say, “yes,” ultimate fighting should become part of the New York sports scene while 50% report it should not.  Opposition to Mr. Paterson’s proposal increases with voter age.  54% of those 30 to 44, 73% of voters 45 to 59, and 82% of those 60 and older all say mixed martial arts should not be legalized.

Disapproval with the governor’s push to legalize mixed martial arts spans the state, but more voters in New York City compared with those in its suburbs and upstate oppose mixed martial arts.  74% of voters in the Big Apple oppose the idea while 66% in the suburbs and 66% upstate share this view.

Table: Legalization of Mixed Martial Arts

Marist Poll Methodology


20 Responses to “1/30: Ultimate Fighting “KO’d” by Nearly Seven in Ten NYS Voters”

  1. Ultimate Fighting In New York KO’d By Voters: Poll | Political Scene: From the Rochester Perspective | Rochester Democrat and Chronicle on January 29th, 2010 1:44 pm

    [...] illegal in the state, with just 29 percent agreeing with Paterson’s plan, according to a Marist College poll. Women voiced stronger opposition to the plan, with 82 percent opposing the legalization of the [...]

  2. Mike on January 29th, 2010 3:44 pm

    I love MMA, I train MMA, I’m a New Yorker and I call BS on this poll. I’m 26, I train with men and women of all ages, none of us have been seriously injured and most of us hold jobs in engineering, finance, or health care. Boxing is by far the more brutal and physically damaging sport and that’s been legal for years. Besides, it’s not really “illegal” to do MMA in New York, it’s just not regulated. People will still train, and still fight. Regulation can only make the sport safer for the people already doing it.

  3. Terence Brennan on January 29th, 2010 4:02 pm

    MMA in New York is a great idea. It is a regulated sport which is monitored by state athletic commissions. Many MMA athletes are past Olympians and other professional athletes. MMA has mirrored similarities to professional boxing. The well being of the athlete is very important by having doctors monitor the fighter as well as being present at an event. MMA is also very popular with a large fan base that could bring in the necessary finances to New York State. It would be a grave mistake not to let this sport be part of New York State.

  4. Carlos on January 29th, 2010 4:17 pm

    You guys must be out of your mind.

    Your polling reputation just too a big hit in my and many peoples eyes.

    How can you make such a ridiculous claim?

    All you have to see to know how much New Yorkers are into UFC is see how many people order the events. See how many new Gyms have sprung up around the city and how many more venues have been gearing up with boxing and kick boxing getting ready for when it becomes leagal to just shift into MMA.

    You need to go over your methodology and see who your sample group was because i can tell you it was not mainstream New Yorkers.

  5. Chad Beatty on January 29th, 2010 4:45 pm

    I find it hard to trust these results and have to believe that the question led respondents in a negative direction. During my random surveys of people I find the opposite to be true. I think the recent online poll on the New York Daily News had 92% in favor of the legalization of Mixed Martial Arts.

  6. Jeffrey Lamb on January 29th, 2010 4:56 pm

    I think it’s ridiculous to ban MMA. The athletes are probably the best trained athletes in any sport. It’s a combination of long recognized athletic disciplines. It is highly regulated and supervised to protect the athletes from unnecessary harm. Also, if you watch the events, these men exhibit remarkable sportsmanship. In victory and defeat they show respect to each other and I believe they are a role model to young people

  7. The Cuttlefish on January 29th, 2010 5:44 pm

    You didn’t even get the name of the sport correct and you’re supposed to conduct a poll about it? Awesome.

    And why even use the phrase “steel cage”? How is the composition of the boundary in any way material to the sport’s legalization? It’s just a loaded term meant to recall pro wrestling matches or confined animals.

    Boxing matches take place in a STEEL RING. Omg, let’s ban those too.

  8. Eddie Goldman on January 29th, 2010 9:37 pm

    The sport is called mixed martial arts, not “ultimate fighting”. That designation may have biased some of the respondents negatively. Plus, the survey was limited to registered voters. This sport appeals to a lot of people who view all the politicians as corrupt, and thus may not vote, so you left out a large part of the population. And was there a paid sponsor for this survey? Nonetheless, it does indicate that the sport still has a negative image with many people. It would have been interesting if you had asked people whether or not boxing should still be legalized, and done a comparison to see how many people just don’t like any violent or combat sport.

  9. jay on January 30th, 2010 2:21 am

    I train mma i live in nyc (brooklyn) and i feel that the lagalization is being voted down only because patterson proposed it. He doesnt have the most outstanding reputation among his peers but he does have the right idea legalize the damn thing already!!!!!

  10. FRI UPDATE: Strikeforce weigh-ins, Richards pulled from DGUSA/EVOLVE, Impact ratings, Jericho/Helms | zacsgames.com on January 30th, 2010 4:37 am

    [...] Ultimate Fighting “KO’d” by Nearly Seven in Ten NYS Voters – A look at Scott Colton, aka Colt Cabana, [...]

  11. Toddmcollins74 on January 30th, 2010 9:29 am

    Are we STILL polling the elderly or what?
    Our state of NY is in dire need of this. The economic income this would bring to the state and other area businesses is simply “huge”.
    On top of the funds, is the fact it is the fastest growing sport in the world! And lets remember…you have a remote for your TV…so feel free to control your own.

  12. Carlos on February 2nd, 2010 12:04 pm

    This ban is so stupid. You are only hurting the state nobody else. Your kids if they are remotely savy will go on youtube and watch the fights for free or go to a friends house and watch them on pay per view.

    The amount of people who actually go to the live event is alot smaller than those who watch on pay per view. Furthermore if you don’t want your kids watching it.. then don’t. But good luck doing that. But let the rest of us have our own choice to see what we want.

  13. Fedor Emelianenko on March 13th, 2010 4:19 pm

    in case the MMA is banned in any state – it goes automatically underground… so it is better to have it under control in my opinion…

  14. The Proper Place for Fights and Song - City Room Blog - NYTimes.com on April 7th, 2010 12:10 pm

    [...] Nevertheless, the plan has proven unpopular so far with New Yorkers, especially women, over 80 percent of whom disapprove of legalizing the cage matches, according to a Marist poll. [...]

  15. Informed Voter on May 5th, 2010 1:09 pm

    It is clear which the side of the debate funded this poll.

    1) It is mixed-martial arts, not Ultimate Fighting. Ultimate fighting is a brand. The term “Ultimate Fighting” also provokes a more negative reaction among the average citizen than mixed-martial arts, which is the proper term.

    2) MMA is NOT always held in a cage. Some promotions use a ring or some variation thereof. Of course, a cage sounds more brutal to the uninitiated. Hence, its inclusion in the description.

    3 )MMA is currently legal in at least 43 states and the District of Columbia. It is not just legalized playground fighting. It is a sport and one that dates back to the very beginning of organized sport. It is sanctioned and controlled in most states for the safety of the fighters. Unlike its cousin boxing, there has NEVER been a death as the result of a sanctioned MMA match.

    Hopefully, at some point people will be able to re-examine the question with a more objective point of view than Marist polling is able to provide.

  16. Escrima Sticks on May 14th, 2010 10:25 pm

    You can still train MMA in New York yes? not sure what the commotion is of legalizing it there or not. but if its because it “promotes violence.” that doesnt stop it from showing on TV or their computer.

  17. Total Conviction MMA’s Big Week – Part IV on November 14th, 2010 1:53 pm

    [...] Despite the UFC’s momentum, Reilly has never doubted his cause.  Indeed, when I spoke to him in December, he told me about his admittedly non-scientific poll that showed that approximately 66% of his constituents were against legalizing MMA in New York.  Two months later, a Marist poll seemed to confirm those findings, as 68% of registered voters in NY opposed legalization. [...]

  18. Cory Miyasaka on July 16th, 2011 10:20 am

    Your by no means to old to start your Martial Arts Training, however you do need to don’t forget at our age our bodies takes longer to recover.

  19. Tony Newsom on August 26th, 2011 8:10 pm

    I would be interested in hearing the views from a variety of medical doctors instead of just law makers when decisions like this are made. I side with the fact, when there are plenty of facts to consider.

  20. Nelson134 on August 29th, 2011 9:59 am

    Only 29% agreeing with Paterson’s plan, according to a Marist College poll.Not surprisingly, more women than men oppose making this controversial sport legal

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