WOODBURY - The New York state Senate has approved legislation that would legalize mixed martial arts as a professional sport.

MMA is a full-combat sport that melds boxing, wrestling and martial arts.

Under the new bill, the New York Athletic Commission would be able to regulate MMA. New York is currently the only state in the country where MMA is not a legal sport.

State Assemblyman Al Graf says he hopes the bill is signed into law, since its legalization would likely have a positive effect on the economy. "The revenues generated could go a long way in alleviating our local tax burden," says Graf.

Previously, bills to legalize MMA have fallen short in the state Assembly. It is expected to reconsider the bill after April 1.