Twenty years after banning MMA, the New York State Assembly has voted in favor of legalizing mixed martial arts.

According to Yahoo Sports, the first event could happen later this year at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Eighty two percent of the assembly voted to approve the legislation. Of those who dissented, the well being of the fighters and the possibility fights were rigged were both concerns.

The Yahoo article says getting this approval was an 8 and a half year process the UFC spent more than $2 million in lobbying fees on.

MMA, and the UFC in particular, have become pretty mainstream over the last few years,  with stars like Ronda Rousey becoming household names. Looks like we will be seeing some of those names soon, plus some New York based fighters. Yahoo says New York resident and ex-middleweight champ Chris Weidman will probably appear on the first card in the state.