UFC VP of Government and Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner isn’t giving up hope on getting MMA legalized in New York. Though all the lobbying didn’t produce the immediate result the UFC was hoping for, it sounds as if Ratner is making this a personal obsession of his. In an article on TriStateFighter.com (via MMA Payout) he describes himself as “bullish on the future of MMA in New York” and blames ignorance of the sport for the failure of a legalization and regulation bill to get out of committee:
“The Tourism Committee – our bill did not come out of there. One of the legislators needs to be properly educated, because he said something about no referees. Some people think it is still no holds barred or no rules.”
“We have been talking to the Times Union Arena in Albany to locations in Utica, Buffalo, and Syracuse. Madison Square Garden – I have talked to them once a week for the last year and half. Is it going happen? Yes, but not this year. We are going to keep lobbying and educating and it is not the same sport it was 15 years ago … that is what they have to understand.”
Ratner, of course, was the executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission for fourteen years before leaving to work for the UFC, so he knows a thing or two about state regulation. He also says the UFC has “ambitious” plans for global domination, er, expansion, including Dubai, Australia, and Macao.
Before you bother looking it up, Macao is a “special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China.” Big MMA fans there, apparently. Who knew?