MMA added to New York state budget

Buried amid rebate incentives for movie studios, the sale of wine in grocery stores and budget cuts in academics, Gov. David A. Paterson advocated the legislation of mixed martial arts in his 2010-11 New York State budget proposal submitted on Tuesday.

With the state facing a $7.4 billion deficit, footnotes such as MMA would not appear to be a priority -- until you consider the budget is a game of inches, and that the sport could attract millions into the economy every time an event is held within the territory. If the sanction holds through the proposal's trip to Albany, it could be signed into law by April 1.

New York has held a disgruntled attitude toward the sport for years, the hostility dating back to some political jockeying when the UFC planned to host a show there in 1997 and was essentially run out of town at the 11th hour. While it would be nice to come in under warmer weather -- and not be perceived as the mercenary hired to correct a financial problem -- better 15 years too late than never.