MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: MMA legalized in New York, Rousimar Palhares signs with Venator FC

New York State Assembly passes bill. MMA now legal in New York  Tuesday afternoon, the Assembly in the capital city of Albany voted to legalize MMA on a bipartisan vote of 113-25. From here the bill now moves to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, where it’s assumed he’ll sign it. New York State Athletic Commission then  has 120 days to adopt guidelines. If all goes according to plan, the UFC will debut at Madison Square Garden in New York City in November. FC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta responded to the news in a press release. “This has been a long time coming and on behalf of our New York UFC athletes and fans, I want to offer heartfelt thanks to Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Morelle and all the Members of the Assembly – Democrats and Republicans – who voted for this bill,”    Also in the release, the UFC said it would hold four at least four events per year for each of the first three years in New York. “While there are still additional steps that have to occur before professional MMA becomes a reality in New York, I want to assure our fans that if Governor Cuomo signs the bill into law and the State Athletic Commission puts in place the appropriate regulations, we look forward to hosting our first New York event in the world’s most famous arena – Madison Square Garden, home to so many epic sporting events throughout the decades,” Fertitta said. “We also look forward to scheduling events in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Albany, and Brooklyn. We are excited.”   Rousimar Palhares signs with Venator FC, WSOF trying to stop him  MMAFighting reports that controversial welterweight Rousimar Palhares appears to be returning to the cage as he’s been booked to take on Emil Meek at Venator FC 3 on May 21st. Back in October Palhares was issued a two-year suspension (which ends Aug. 1st 2017) by the Nevada Athletic Commission, as well as a $40,000 fine, for holding onto a submission for too long against Jake Shields at WSOF 22. According to the report, WSOF President Ray Sefo said he’s trying to stop this fight from happening “If he takes the fight in May hat’s a violation of his World Series of Fighting contract that is still active. He was suspended by the athletic commission but being suspended doesn’t mean you’re released from your contract.” Venator president Frank Merenda released the following statement on Palhares. “Rousimar is a great champion who has often found himself unfairly under fire for excessive holding [alleged or real] after opponents have tapped out. But anyone who knows him knows that he is a good guy who never wants to hurt anyone. He’s a hard worker, a serious and respectful guy who genuinely loves the world of combat sports. Above all, he has a real desire to redeem himself in front of everyone and show that he is not the “monster” that everyone talks about.” Venator FC 3 takes place in Milan, Italy. Here’s an updated look at the card Luke Barnatt vs. Jason “Mayhem” Miller Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou vs Matt Hamill Igor Araujo vs Marvin Vettori Che Mills vs Roberto Rigamonti Karl Moore vs Pietro Cappelli Rousimar Palhares vs Emil Meek   Sergio Pettis vs. Chris Kelades set for UFC 197 prelims  Per MMAJunkie a  flyweight matchup between Sergio Pettis and Chris Kelades will round out the preliminary portion of UFC 197. Pettis (13-3) heads into this matchup off a unanimous decision victory over Chris Cariaso and has now won three of his last four fights. Kelades (9-2) is coming off a split decision victory over Chris Beal back in August which improved his UFC record to 2-1. UFC 197 takes place April 23 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Here’s an updated look at the card. MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET) Daniel Cormier (c) vs. Jon Jones – for light heavyweight title Demetrious Johnson (c) vs. Henry Cejudo – for flyweight title Edson Barboza vs. Anthony Pettis Rafael Natal vs. Robert Whittaker Andre Fili vs. Yair Rodriguez PRELIMINARY CARD (FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. ET) Chris Kelades vs. Sergio Pettis Danny Roberts vs. Dominique Steele Juliana Lima vs. opponent TBA Glaico Franca vs. James Vick PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 p.m. ET) Clint Hester vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima Efrain Escudero vs. Kevin Lee   Steve Carl signs with Titan FC, set to face Belal Muhammed at Titan FC 38 Former WSOF welterweight champion Steve Carl will be taking on Belal Muhammed on April 30th as Titan FC 38. The matchup will be for the promotions vacant welterweight title. Carl (22-4) is coming off a submission victory over Beslan Ushukov in Russia. Prior to that he was eliminated from Season 21 of The Ultimate Fighter as he lost via Unanimous Decision to Kamaru Usman. Muhammed (8-0) has won both of his fights under the Titan FC banner earning back to back decision wins over Keith Johnson and Zane Kamaka. Also annouced on the card Jason Novelli (11-1) will meet UFC veteran Yosdenis Cedeno (10-5) in a lightweight bout. Unbeaten prospects Peter Petties (3-0) and Caio Rocha (4-0) will square off. In addition bantamweight Jose Torres (1-0) and UFC veteran Sean Soriano are also slated to appear on the card. Titan FC 38 takes place April 30 at Miccosukee Casino in Miami and will stream live at UFC Fight Pass.

Written by James Lynch

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