With the backing of UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and others, the UFC received good news in its pursuit of getting MMA legalized in the state of New York.

The Federal District Court ruled on Tuesday that the UFC and plaintiffs in the Jones vs. Schneiderman case can move ahead with challenging the ban.

“We are extremely pleased with the judge’s decision and looking forward to moving to a prompt and successful conclusion,” said Barry Friedman, who is representing the plaintiffs with Morrison & Foerster as co-counsel.

Zuffa, the primary owner of the UFC, has been challenging the ban since 2011. New York remains the only state outlawing the sport on a professional basis, passing the law in 1997.

“We are pleased with the outcome of this crucial ruling. The inconsistency has cost the UFC considerable time and expense, but more important it has deprived MMA’s countless New York fans of the opportunity to attend and enjoy live professional and amateur MMA events in New York,” said Ike Lawrence Epstein, UFC’s COO. “It is time for New York to have a new law on MMA, one that legalizes the sport and regulates it in a safe way, as all other states have done. New York’s law is outdated, written at a time when MMA was a very different sport.”

(Originally posted on FightLine.com)