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Tag: legalize MMA

Hippies Rejoice: Vermont Becomes 46th State to Regulate Mixed Martial Arts


“Whoooooaaaa…says here this thing is a ‘Rousimar Palhares’. We’re already legally dead.”

Yesterday, while you were making terrible Star Wars jokes and/or mourning the death of MCA, lawmakers in “The Green Mountain State” were busy passing a bill to regulate the sport of mixed martial arts. Vermont is now the 46th state in the United States to regulate our sport.

My initial reaction to this news was probably the same as yours: “That’s nice.” Our second reactions were probably also pretty similiar: Damn, New York. You let the state known for its organic-granola crunching, Birkenstock wearing hippies regulate MMA before you did. Get your shit together. For real this time.

Granted, everything I know about Vermont I’ve learned from pints of Ben & Jerry’s. So let’s read the press release that the UFC issued:

“Vermont’s legislation of the sport of MMA is further evidence of the continued growth and success of our sport in this country,” said UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta. “We are pleased that fans in Vermont will now have the opportunity to watch a live UFC event in their own backyard, and look forward to making that happen.”

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UFC Sues New York for Breach of First Amendment Rights

Zuffa has launched another salvo against the state of New York in it’s continued bid to have mixed martial arts regulated in the Empire State.

This time, the parent company of the UFC and Strikeforce has resorted to a lawsuit filed today in New York U.S. district court against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. According to The Wall Street Journal, the plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the ban of MMA in New York violates the First Amendment, which states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The portion of the amendment that Zuffa is focusing on is the “freedom of speech” part, which also covers freedom of expression. Because one of the three words in the term “mixed martial arts” is “arts,” Zuffa lawyers will attempt to argue that the sport is a form of artistic expression, and as such, should not be criminalized in the state.

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Contributions Show UFC Isn’t as Powerless Against ‘The Government’ As Dana Would Have Us Believe


(The face of an angel. PicProps: Boston Globe)

One of the more hilarious (and largely overlooked) aspects of the UFC’s response to the recent Chael Sonnen steroid fiasco was that whenever anybody asked Dana White about drug testing in MMA he basically threw his hands up and said the company couldn’t have anything to do with it, because “The Government” is in charge of that. For example, when White discussed the topic with Ariel Helwani before UFC 119 he took on a wide-eyed reverence that was so un-Dana it was clear he was just sticking to the company-approved talking points: “Everybody has this belief that, ‘Oh, Dana White has the commissions in (his pocket).’ Listen, the commission doesn’t give a shit what I think — what I think, what I say, nothing,” White said. “You’re dealing with the government, OK? That’s like thinking Dana White can tell the IRS what to do. It’s never gonna happen.”

Now, either DW is the only millionaire businessman in America who thinks “The Government” is doing a great job regulating his industry … or he’s bullshitting us. Obviously, his equating state athletic commissions with the IRS is laughable, but the assertion that a billion dollar company like the UFC couldn’t possibly get involved with “The Government” is also pretty clearly not true. In fact, according to reports out this week, Zuffa, LLC would very much like to take an active role in helping New York state pick its next governor, and this is certainly not the first time the UFC has dipped into its pockets to help sway “The Government” to its way of thinking.

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NY Assembly to Vote on MMA This Week or Next

Matt Serra UFC 69
(The Long Island boys are right.  It really does feel like we’ve been here a hundred times before.)

Remember when we told you the vote to legalize mixed martial arts in New York was imminent?  Turns out it’s even imminenter (that is so a word) than we thought.  The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle cites the UFC’s Julie Wood in a report that says a vote on the bill to lift the MMA ban in New York is expected this week or some time in early May.  The moment of truth, she approaches.

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