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Possibly the Best Argument Yet for MMA Regulation in New York

(Could this tragedy have been avoided?)

“I fought in Canada two weeks ago versus a Canadian. So that big 22,000-people crowd was booing my name. How would you feel about that? It was awful. If I fought the same guy in Madison Square Garden things could’ve been different.” — Matt Serra, addressing New York state legislators yesterday.

Racked with guilt over Serra’s loss in Canada and moved by his eloquent oratory, the New York State Legislature declared that the ban on MMA competition would be lifted immediately; furthermore, MMA would henceforth be recognized as New York’s official sport, and May 6th would be known as “Matt Serra Day.”

No, not really. But the UFC is making a heavy push to get New York to fall in line with the other 32 states that now sanction MMA competition in the U.S., sending Serra, Matt Hamill, and Zuffa’s Executive Vice President/general counsel Lawrence Epstein to plead their case in Albany. “We need to educate people about the sport and I think when people have certain perceptions, when confronted with evidence, those perceptions change,” said Epstein, who cited MMA’s increased safety measures since the sport was banned in New York eleven years ago by Governor George Pataki. The UFC lobbyists were also eager to point out the economic incentives enjoyed by UFC host cities, claiming that UFC 82 generated over $11 million in revenue for Columbus, Ohio.

So was their trip a success? Epstein had this to say:

“We’re battling everyday and I think we’ve come a long way, and you know there are always going to be those who don’t investigate this or look at it as deeply as we’d like them to. I guess we will continue to have that, but I think we’re over the hump.”

(Props: FightOpinion)

Cagepotato Comments

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brice- May 6, 2008 at 9:50 pm
matt serra is a chump. how many times do we have to go over this?
Surf- May 6, 2008 at 8:07 pm
I for one would love to see it happen. Not to say that Matt Serra is the most sophisticated individual to be representing both MMA and NY, but I'd rather have him try to be apart of bringing in the UFC to The Garden than Dana White. Could you imagine what that would be like?! "Fucking let me in this fucking place will ya!".
Bdizzle- May 6, 2008 at 8:05 pm
Us Las Vegans get plenty of MMA action. I rarely miss them.
Fuck NY- May 6, 2008 at 6:04 pm
I hope there is no regulation on any fighting in NY. I hope the entire state engages in the largest gladiator battle ever, and you all fight to your deaths. I hope the armpit of America, also known as New Jersey, joins you in this quest as well.
C-Bus Allstar- May 6, 2008 at 5:24 pm
Heyyyy. I happen to live in Columbus, Ohio, and I know for a damn fact that we would have an economy if we didn't have MMA. It's called marijuana-smoking-hillbillies.

Ram- May 6, 2008 at 5:05 pm
Those first two comments are gold...
Tully- May 6, 2008 at 4:19 pm
UFC needs to come to boston
Tynomite- May 6, 2008 at 4:05 pm
I work for hte NYS Legislature, and have been following all of MMA for a long time, and I can't wait for this ban to finally be lifted. If you just look at the amount of money it could bring to the state you can't vote against it.
Anonymous- May 6, 2008 at 3:42 pm
Matt Serra is an idiot. Who cares if the crowd was booing him? Wasnt he the one that said it didnt really matter in a pre-fight interview? Pataki is an idiot also. Two herbs in a pod. Im from NY and I rather choose phil baroni over Serra and thats saying something. It would be great to see a UFC event at the garden. Only time will tell.
totaldb- May 6, 2008 at 3:13 pm
i say leave the fights and the $11 million there. i'm pretty sure that the money generated from mma is the only reason ohio even has an economy. well, that and bustling metropolis of toledo.
KLO- May 6, 2008 at 3:13 pm
Didn't Serra have a temper tantrum about GSP making excueses after the first fight. Now he's a hypocrit as well as a loud mouth!
bpd- May 6, 2008 at 2:34 pm
When Matt Serra gets MMA legalised and regulated in NY, Joey Scarola will immediately move to Massachusetts.

Kim Couture is a cunt- May 6, 2008 at 1:58 pm
I'm Canadian and I agree Serra should get a rematch on his home turf. Same result will come of it though.
Kimbo's Lice- May 6, 2008 at 1:39 pm
"I'd also like to clarify that Matt Hamill was deaf when we found him," Epstein said.
NealTaflinger- May 6, 2008 at 1:37 pm
New York state representatives found Matt Hammill's request that they make him a sandwich off-putting.