Browsing Tag

MMA

UFC at MSG.

“It was very, very, very, very, very hard,” Dana White said when asked about how long it took for the UFC to get into New York. “It took a very long time – longer than it should have.”

Too bad I’m not still living in New York. It would have been nice to see the show if, for other reason, than to bring things full circle. That and seeing Conor McGregor in action.

New York Lifts Ban on MMA Events.

Well, New York state has finally legalized professional mixed martial art events. The big news came yesterday, as the state assembly, where many prior bills have gone to die, finally passed it by an overwhelming majority. Without long-time opponent Sheldon Silver around to stop the bill from reaching the floor, the bill easily passed with bipartisan support.

… And only six years after I wrote my master’s thesis on the battle to lift the MMA ban in the state. Can’t say I didn’t get some mileage out of the whole thing:

Some fighting to legalize mixed martial arts in NY.

Suit Challenges Ban on Mixed Marts.

Judge Narrows Challenge to Ban on Mixed Martial Arts.

UFC Loses MMA Legalization Lawsuit in NY

The lawsuit filed by the UFC (through its parent company, Zuffa) and several MMA fighters, including Jon “Bones” Jones, Gina Carano, Frankie Edgar and Brian Stann seeking to invalidate New York State’s ban on professional MMA events came to an end yesterday when U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood of the Southern District of New York threw out the case.

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Yet Another Push for MMA Legalization in New York

With the downfall of Sheldon Silver, New York’s powerful Speaker of the State Assembly, MMA enthusiasts and organizations are confident that this will, finally, be the year that New York lifts its ban on professional MMA events in the state. Silver, an outspoken opponent of lifting the ban, was credited with single-handedly stifling multiple bills in favor of ending the ban – bills that have repeatedly passed the State Senate and probably would have passed the Assembly had Silver allowed an up-and-down vote. The logjam has been such that the UFC and several fighters have even tried to challenge the ban in court on freedom of speech grounds.

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Judge Narrows Challenge on Ban on Ultimate Fighting

U.S. district judge Kimba Wood trimmed a lawsuit brought by mixed martial artists in New York arguing that the state ban on MMA events is unconstitutional.

See also: Battleground State: The Battle to Legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York.

Some fighting to legalize mixed martial arts in NY.

Suit Fights State Ban of Mixed Martial Arts.

Suit Fights State Ban of Mixed Martial Arts

You usually don’t associate sports with the First Amendment. The UFC hopes the courts will do what the NY legislature has failed to do, thus far. On a personal note, this was the first time I’ve written about MMA since my J-School days.

Related posts:

Battleground State: The Battle to Legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York.

Some fighting to legalize mixed martial arts in NY.

Battleground State: The Fight to Legalize MMA in New York (Part 6)

The Fighters

For Matt Serra, the former UFC Welterweight Champion, the worst part about training for a fight is having to give up pasta so that he can make the 170-pound welterweight limit. However, he loves to fight and can’t imagine himself doing anything else. “I’ve been studying jiu-jitsu since I was 19-years old, and I’m 35 now. I practice everything, but there’s something about jiu-jitsu that I love. It’s based on leverage and technique, and the fluidity of the moves from one transition to the other. I have a real love of the art of jiu jitsu, and I took to it like a fish to water,” said Serra, who won a gold medal at the 1999 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Pan American championships.

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Battleground State: The Fight to Legalize MMA in New York (Part 5)

The Pundit

Bert Sugar is one of the world’s foremost authorities on boxing. A member of the Boxing Hall of Fame, Sugar has written over 60 books, including some on boxing; has edited The Ring, Boxing Illustrated and Fight Game magazines, and was named “The Greatest Boxing Writer of the 20th Century” by the International Veterans Boxing Association. The quick-witted and sharp-tongued Sugar, known as much for his one-liners as for his trademark fedora and cigar, has some strong opinions about MMA, but still thinks it should be legalized.

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Battleground State: The Fight to Legalize MMA in New York (Part 4)

The Politician

In Ratner’s eyes, the man holding the people of New York hostage is State Assemblyman Bob Reilly, a Democrat from Colonie. Reilly has been a steadfast opponent of legalizing MMA in New York and believes it is his responsibility to make sure MMA remains an illegal, outlaw sport. “First and foremost, it is a violent sport,” said Reilly. “It’s like pornography. Like the Supreme Court says, you know it when you see it. For example, I watched an event recently because I felt obligated to. One fellow was sitting on another’s chest and hit him in the head at least 14 times.”

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Battleground State: The Fight to Legalize MMA in New York (Part 3)

The Lobbyist

Marc Ratner spent 21 years with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, including 14 as its executive director. In the mid-1990s, when MMA was in its infancy, Ratner spoke out against it, saying that it would never be allowed in Las Vegas. In 2006, however, Ratner accepted a job with the UFC as its vice president of regulatory affairs. “I had the best regulatory job in the world,” said Ratner. “But what intrigued me about the UFC was that it was a brand new sport. I wanted to be on the ground floor, to be a pioneer and try to get it legalized. You can’t do that in basketball or boxing, since those sports have been around so long.”

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Battleground State: The Fight to Legalize MMA in New York (Part 2)

The Evolution

In many ways, the biggest knockout punch in MMA history didn’t come from Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, or any other of the sport’s biggest names, but from a United States senator. In 1996, Senator John McCain condemned the sport as “human cock-fighting” and sent letters to all 50 governors, urging them to ban MMA events in their states. McCain’s plea worked to a considerable degree as 36 states enacted bans, and the UFC nearly went out of business. However, in a 2007 interview with National Public Radio, McCain changed his tune, offering reserved praise for MMA. “They have cleaned up the sport to the point, at least in my view, where it is not human cockfighting any more. I think they’ve made significant progress. They haven’t made me a fan, but they have made progress,” said McCain.

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Battleground State: The Fight to Legalize MMA in New York (Part 1)

It’s a frigid February evening in New York City, and yet scores of fans have braved the cold weather to gather at the midtown Manhattan Hooters bar in order to watch the latest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) pay-per-view event entitled “UFC 109: Relentless.” Indeed, it’s so cold that most of the waitresses wear long-sleeved shirts instead of their usual tank-tops.

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