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Clergy enters mixed martial arts debate

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— Clergy against mixed martial arts are jumping into the New York fight over legalizing the sport and lobbying in Albany against it.

A group including a priest and rabbi visiting lawmakers says Tuesday the sensationalized violence of human cage fighting has no place in civilized society.

They’re urging New York’s Assembly to continue the ban. The state Senate has passed legislation to legalize and regulate it like most other states.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s not opposed, urging the sport’s promoters to make their case for a likely economic boost.

The Assembly has blocked the legislation for seven years. Speaker Sheldon Silver said recently he expects it to be legalized, but isn’t sure when.

Backers say the sport is already here in amateur gyms and underground and regulation will improve safety.



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