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Ultimate Fighting Championship Sues To Lift New York Ban

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Junior dos Santos, right, of Brazil, fights Cain Velasquez in the UFC mixed martial arts heavyweight title bout, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, in Anaheim, Calif. Dos Santos won by knockout in the first round. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond) | AP

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Ultimate Fighting Championship has sued New York State in federal court to overturn a law that makes the group's mixed martial arts events illegal.

In a 105-page complaint assigned Tuesday to U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood, UFC claims a 1997 New York law violates the First Amendment and equal-protection, due-process and commerce clauses of the U.S. Constitution.

The group sued New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.

"MMA is now as safe as or even safer than many other sports and activities sanctioned in New York like boxing, for example, because it allows fighters to honorably tap out and involves far fewer hits," UFC chief executive officer Lorenzo Fertitta said in a statement. "All the disciplines that go into mixed martial arts are performed live in New York; it is only their combination that is illegal."

The suit goes on to mention football, ice hockey, downhill skiing, rodeo competitions, equestrian sports, and boxing as sports UFC claims it is no more dangerous than.

UFC asks the court to issue an injunction preventing New York State from enforcing the ban.

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