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Tag: legislation

Matt Serra to NY Legislators: Please Let Me Fight in Front of a Crowd That Likes Me


(Most honest post-fight reaction…eva.)

Strong Island native Matt “The Terra” Serra has penned a piece for Newsday appealing to New York legislators to lift the ban on MMA and regulate events in his home state.  He makes some of the same arguments we’ve all been making/hearing for years – it brings in money, it isn’t that violent, it’s not as bad as boxing, etc. – but Serra is in the unique position of being able to lead with this very personal appeal to emotion:

Last April, I fought Georges St. Pierre in a rematch of the Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight title match. Our sport is banned in New York, and this fight was held in Montreal, St. Pierre’s hometown. The sold-out crowd of 21,000 was less than welcoming – everywhere I went that weekend, I heard jeers and boos. When I eventually lost the match, the cheers for my opponent were deafening.
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Exclusive: Interview with N.Y. State Assemblyman Bob Reilly, Part Two

This is part two of my talk for this SportsIllustrated.com article with New York State Assemblyman Bob Reilly.  If you missed it, you can read part one here.  Once again, I’d like to thank Mr. Reilly for talking with me and explaining his position.  You should also check out the SI article for some rebuttal comments from the UFC’s Marc Ratner.

You say you think MMA would be financially harmful to the state.  How would it harm New York to allow the sport and the UFC to hold events there?

You know, I got the study the UFC did, and based on their studies, they use Buffalo, but I use Albany since they’re similar cities, we have an arena here in Albany that seats about 19,000.  They would say they would bring in about $4 million in the live gate here.  They say the tax revenue would add about half a million to the local economy.  And I say, yes, but at the same time three and a half million would head back to Vegas.  

And here’s where I get a little heady, because just about every casino in this country is surrounded by poverty.  If you go out to Turning Stone in our state, where the people who run it say it’s the only successful economic development we have, but in every case, whether it’s Turning Stone or Atlantic City or Las Vegas, these are sumptuous palaces surrounded by poverty.  And that’s who runs the UFC is these Las Vegas casino owners.  So if they come here the same thing would happen.  You can’t take three and a half million bucks out of the economy and expect it to work.  We made the mistake already of thinking that gambling will save us from this economic recession, but let’s not add to it and think this is the savior.

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MMA Regulation Marches Onward

Quinton Rampage Jackson UFC MMA
(Legislation! Sweet!)

Some victories in the ongoing battle to convince ignorant states that MMA is truly The Greatest Sport on Earth. First, Tennessee has passed legislation calling for the sanctioning of mixed martial arts. Memphis native Quinton Jackson and UFC VP Marc Ratner can share much of the credit, as they both met with lawmakers to sing MMA’s praises. Governor Phil Bredesen will put the legislation into effect today, and Tennessee plans to create a state athletic commission to regulate the sport. Said Ratner:

“[O]nce the new Tennessee Athletic Commission is formed and has all the rules in place, we will be looking at Tennessee as a state to host a fight. We believe that with their beautiful arenas and diehard fan base, Memphis or Nashville would be great hosts for a UFC event.”

Meanwhile, the executive director of the Florida Athletic Commission told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that amateur mixed martial arts will also become fully sanctioned today in his state. Amateur MMA is already allowed in Florida (to some extent), but head strikes on the ground are prohibited. Now the ammys can ground-and-pound just like the pros. God bless America.

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