Thread: Zuffa Pushes for NY MMA
3/10/2008 1:08pm, #1
Zuffa Pushes for NY MMA
I straight up copy/pasted this from the UG. It's serious business. Seriously.
March 10, 2008
The Empire Zone
Ultimate Fighting, Toned Down, Seeks Legalization By DANNY HAKIM
ALBANY -- The Ultimate Fighting Championship is ready for a rematch with New York State.
On Monday, the company that owns the championship will begin its public campaign to legalize so-called mixed martial arts fighting in the state, 11 years after it was banned by Gov. George E. Pataki, who said at the time that "to have someone who wins by using choke holds and kicking people while they are down is not someone our children should be looking to emulate."
Zuffa, the company that acquired the championship in 2001, will unveil the Web site www.mmafacts.com on Monday to argue that it has transformed the sport into more legitimate, and corporate-sponsored, entertainment.
Yet the company has been quietly laying the groundwork for months. In November, Zuffa retained the Albany lobbying firm Brown, McMahon & Weinraub for $10,000 a month, state records show. Then it hired a political consulting firm used by Gov. Eliot Spitzer, the Global Strategy Group, for media relations. For good measure, the company made a $25,000 donation to the state Democratic Party in mid-January.
"The timing is right," said Marc Ratner, above, the vice president for regulatory and government affairs for Zuffa, which is based in Las Vegas. "We had a lot of other states we were working on and we wanted to devote our full attention to New York, and that's what we're doing now."
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the best-known league devoted to mixed martial arts, though there are several others. Fights are now sanctioned in 32 states, including New Jersey. They are not legal in Connecticut, except at the Mohegan Sun casino, which is on an Indian reservation. The fights appear on cable or pay-per-view, and the sport's emerging stars, like Roger Huerta of U.F.C., have even been on the cover of magazines including Sports Illustrated. ESPN's Web site also has a section devoted to mixed martial arts.
The sport was once known for no-holds-barred cage fights, leading Senator John McCain to label the matches "human cockfights." But the Ultimate Fighting Championship now has a rule book, weight classes and sponsors. The rules? Among other things, no eye gouging, choke holds, hair pulling or below-the-belt shots are allowed, and you can't kick a guy when he's down.
What they do not have yet is a bill, and the governor's office said it could not comment until it saw one.
"We're working on that as we speak, and that should hopefully be forthcoming, but it's not quite ready yet," Mr. Ratner said. "We'll have people on both sides of the aisle. We're very bullish on coming to New York."
Since November Zuffa has been retaining a lobbying firm in NY for $10,000/month.
Already hired a political consulting firm for media relations.
Just donated $25,000 Democratic Party in January.
Mr. Ratner says "We're very bullish on coming to New York."
Zuffa launches www.mmafacts.com
3/10/2008 1:12pm, #2
so you think they want to hold a UFC at the garden? i'm not even sure what the capacity of MSG is compared to the other UFC venues. it would be great to not have to leave the city to go see fights."Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
"When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
"Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
"Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj
3/10/2008 1:15pm, #3
I think they want to make money and get in there before any other org can. Maybe they want to beat Cuban to the punch. Maybe they just want money.
Either way of course they want UFC in MSG, everyone does, just for different reasons.
3/10/2008 5:45pm, #4
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
- New York, New York
There are going to run into problems now. Idiot Spitzer (Governor of New York) Just got busted for being involved in a prostitution ring in the nations capital and resigned. So now all the emails and other contacts may get lost in the shuffle. Frank Trigg had a email campaign going on Myspace to address this very problem. It's about time.
Train Hard, Stay Safe,
3/10/2008 8:40pm, #5
3/10/2008 8:50pm, #6
this is awesome! Gotta forward that website around.Knowing is not enough, you must apply...
...Willing is not enough you must do ~Bruce Lee
3/10/2008 11:14pm, #7
3/10/2008 11:17pm, #8Originally Posted by LI GUY 1
Sucks to be you, dean lister.
3/10/2008 11:55pm, #9