Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Rundown of the UFC's Day in Albany


UFC boss Lorenzo Fertitta and Long Island-based fighter Dennis Bermudez went to Albany today to stump for the sport, and if positive press is any indication of where things are this year compared to last year, proponents of sanctioned MMA in New York are in a very good place.

The first stop on Fertitta and Bermudez's whirlwind tour was Talk 1300's AM radio show.
Here are some key quotes from Fertitta during that interview:
  • "We do feel like we're closer than ever."
  • "There's a lot of momentum building for our sport."
  • "Really, at the end of the day, we need a Las Vegas for the East Coast, and New York could be that."
  • "We don't want any tax breaks, we just want to be able to pay taxes here."
  • "New York is our biggest market. We do bigger pay-per-view numbers here than any other market."
  • Fertitta also stressed that MMA is a martial art that teaches disciple, and that women are into it.
While all this was going on, the Senate's Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Committee was voting 4-2 in favor of their half of the 2015 MMA bill. It now moves on to the Finance Committee. As has been the case for the past few years, the MMA bill is expected to pass through the Senate.

Fertitta and Bermudez then appeared on the Capitol Pressroom podcast.
Finding that particular podcast is a little tricky. so start here if you want to listen to it. The salient points of that interview include Fertitta pointing out that there were 54 amateur MMA events in New York last year, that the sport is wholly unregulated by the state, and given that Ronda Rousey is such a prominent star, it's ludicrous to say that the sport is bad for women.

Here are some links to the media coverage today's junket drummed up.
This is, of course, just the stuff that has gone on today that we know about. There is undoubtedly a ton of hand shaking and discussions that the media isn't privy to, and all that counts for a lot.

In the words of the great Ice Cube, "It was a good day."

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