According to a report from Jim Genia, who was in a U.S. District Court courtroom today for arguments between UFC parent company, Zuffa, LLC and the state of New York, the promotion may be very close to being able to hold its first event in the state.

Genia stated that Judge Kimba Wood has pushed the two sides to settle, which would open the door for MMA events within the state.

The catch? Any events would need third-party sanctioning.

Zuffa sued in late 2011, claiming that the ban was unconstitutional under the first amendment. Two of the seven counts were dismissed in August of last year.

UFC attorney Tim Bellamy told Genia that the promotion prefers to wait until the ban itself is overturned, but after numerous attempts at legislation, the company is willing to pursue the third-party sanctioning option.

New York has banned MMA since 1997, but in recent years, amateur events and events on sovereign territory of Indian Reservations have taken place.

Despite past setbacks of getting the ban repealed, UFC President Dana White was confident that the promotion would finally break through the legal hurdles in 2013. White proclaimed that the MMA community should “plan on being in New York in 2013 for the UFC’s 20th anniversary.” White also indicated that Madison Square Garden will be the target venue if and when the Las Vegas-based company can hold its first event.

Based on today’s report, White will likely get his wish. Whether the promotion will choose to hold an event before the anniversary date remains to be seen.

Photo: Madison Square Garden in New York City (Andrew Clem)