The Ultimate Fighting Championship is trying yet again to get their sport legalized in the state of New York. Representatives of UFC met with Madison Square Garden officials yesterday. There are also reports that state politicians and the president of MSG had lobbied new governor Mario Cuomo earlier. As the New York Post reports, Madison Square Garden is going “to the mat” for UFC.
UFC and Mixed Martial Arts have been banned in New York since 1997, primarily under the canard that it is “human cockfighting.” The sport has been regulated and repackaged for over a decade. It is now sanctioned in 44 states. UFC also hired former Nevada State Athletic Commission head Marc Ratner as a vice president in 2006. Ratner is one of the most respected figures in boxing history and is even in the sport’s Hall of Fame. He is a man of impeccable character despite coming from a sport (boxing) that is filled with scumbags.
With Ratner’s hiring, UFC thought it would be able to convince the New York state boxing commission to legalize their sport. After five years of lobbying, no luck.
UFC has already commited to two events within the next twelve months if the New York legislature legalizes the sport. That would bring in an estimated $23 million to the state and create over 200 jobs. Right now that money and those jobs are going to nearby states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts where UFC is legal.
UFC 128, featuring Rashad Evans versus Shogun Rhua for the sport’s light heavyweight title, takes place in Newrk, New Jersey. Freakin’ NEWARK!