Former Solicitor General to Appeal New York’s MMA Ban on UFC’s Behalf

GameStop, Inc.

153-ufcUFC has retained former United States Solicitor General Paul Clement to appeal the dismissal of a previous lawsuit by Judge Kimba Wood of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The suit was dismissed on a technicality, which confirms New York is misapplying the law.

UFC was advised by the judge to “consider filing new vagueness claims.” Wood also stated the New York Attorney General’s “recent statements that the Ban prohibits sanctioned MMA” were made “despite [the law’s] plain language to the contrary.”

UFC also wants to challenge Judge Wood, as the organization feels he failed to recognize the First Amendment problems in the law. The law was passed in 1997, banning professional MMA events due to concerns about safety. Since then UFC has spearheaded regulations to improve safety, and 49 states and numerous countries have since legalized MMA fighting.

“We retained Paul Clement, one of the nation’s most highly respected appellate lawyers, to aggressively appeal the lower court’s technical dismissal of this matter,” UFC Chief Legal Officer Kirk Hendrick said. “Clement shares our view that New York’s law is unconstitutional and dangerous, and we will get the decision overturned.”

“I am delighted to be representing the UFC in this important challenge to New York’s outdated and unconstitutional law,” Clement stated. “Even New York officials are confused about the scope of this hopelessly unclear law, and by targeting professional MMA matches and exhibitions, the law raises First Amendment problems of the first order,” he added.

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