Sunday, December 2, 2012

Is the UFC Already Planning an Event in New York?

According to a letter written by the attorneys representing Zuffa in their lawsuit against the State of New York, the UFC is already planning an event in the Empire State.  The letter, which was sent to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (the defendant in Zuffa's suit) on October 26, addresses the State's recent suggestion that Zuffa could circumnavigate the longstanding ban on professional MMA by utilizing one of the statutorily-approved sanctioning bodies to get a UFC event into the state.  The relevant section of the letter reads:
Based at least in part on positions taken by your Office in this case, MMA and other combative sport events are proliferating in New York.  Thus, the UFC is beginning the process of planning a professional MMA event to be held in New York, under the auspices of one of the exempt organizations listed in the Combative Sport Ban and pursuant to the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts.
Now, this could either be a legitimate statement or just a form of legal gamesmanship, but if what is being said is true... yikes!  A UFC in New York before the ban is actually lifted!

Two things to note:

  • The sanctioning bodies that the law enumerates as all good in the 'hood are the US Judo Association, US Judo Inc., the US Judo Federation, the US Tae Kwon Do Union, the North American Sport Karate Association, the USA Karate Foundation, US Karate Inc., the World Karate Association, the Professional Karate Association, Karate International, the International Kenpo Association, and the World Wide Kenpo Association.  Most of those organizations are long dead, although the World Karate Association is now the World Kickboxing Association, and they've been allowed to sanction pro kickboxing events in New York for years. Currently, the New York State Athletic Commission is allowing the USMTA's Muay Boran league to sanction amateur MMA.
  • The Office of the Attorney General responded to the aforementioned letter, and their answer was the legal equivalent of "Uh, derp."  In other words, it was no answer at all.