Since it’s that time of the year when the struggle to get the sport sanctioned in New York becomes a recurring news item, it makes sense to have a weekly update post. So here it is! This week, the UFC goes to Albany, but maybe the UFC is the one holding the passage of the law back?
• Are the UFC’s deep pockets impeding progress? Crain’s posits that that might be the case.
• On Tuesday, Zuffa held an MMA exhibition at the Times Union Center in Albany, which was an attempt to further educate the public on the sport, and which coincided with a day of lobbying the Assembly for passage of the bill that would lift the ban. Present in their usual suit and tie were UFC brass Lorenzo Fertitta and Marc Ratner, who were doing all the heavy lifting while Hall of Famer Matt Hughes and New York-based fighters Uriah Hall, Ryan LaFlare and Dennis Bermudez held a wrestling clinic for about 60 kids. Here’s a post on the clinic itself.
Here’s a quick video interview with Ratner, who assured me that, despite all the setbacks, Zuffa will not give up on New York.
Here’s a quick one with Fertitta, who echoed those sentiments.
• Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to warm up to the idea of MMA in New York as a potential revenue generator.
• Meanwhile, in the ongoing court battle, we enter the “championship rounds”.