Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle on Friday has re-introduced his bill that would legalize mixed-martial arts in New York, according to a bill sponsoring memo he’s circulating among his Democratic colleagues.

The bill’s re-introduction in the Assembly comes after a major opponent of the sport, Sheldon Silver, was toppled from the speakership in the chamber following his arrest on corruption charges.

His successor, Speaker Carl Heastie of the Bronx, has backed MMA legalization measures in the past, but recently announced he was removing his name from bills.

But even with Silver now just a rank-and-file member, opposition to mixed-martial arts is still considered strong in the Democratic-led chamber.

In the Republican-controlled Senate, MMA legalization has passed several times in recent years.

Heastie has said he would leave the decision up to the conference as to whether there would be a vote on MMA during this legislative session.

Updated: Morelle spokesman Sean Hart notes the following —

It is fair to say that opposition to the legislation exists within the Democratic Conference. However, we would hardly characterize current opposition as “strong.” If anything, all signs point to support growing within the Conference. We are optimistic that the bill will come to the floor this year.

MMA Sponsorship Memorandum by Nick Reisman