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Tag: Madison Square garden

Watch the UFC’s Madison Square Garden Press Conference Live at 2 p.m. ET

Frankie Edgar UFC MMA New York Jets photos
("Well…I’m not much of a foot guy, but I guess they’re alright, Mrs. Ryan." / Photo via MMAWeekly)

At 2 p.m. ET today, the UFC will hold a press conference at New York’s Madison Square Garden to formally announce their intent to bring MMA to the Big Apple as soon as possible. In attendance will be UFC president Dana White, Zuffa co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta, lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, light-heavyweight contender Rashad Evans, and Madison Square Garden Sports president Scott O’Neill.

A new economic impact study is scheduled to be released in the hopes that New York will join the 44 other U.S. states that currently regulate the sport — even though cash doesn’t seem to be a big motivator among MMA’s stubborn critics.

Despite our long history of promoting the "MMA in NY" cause, CagePotato has unfortunately been barred from attending the event due to the whole Arianny Celeste Playboy leak fiasco. Their loss. When the first media question is from some spaz asking if he can sit in Dana’s lap, they’re gonna wish they had some real freakin’ journalists in the building…

The video player is after the jump.

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UFC’s Battle to Legalize MMA in NY Begins (Again) Tomorrow


(MSG: You don’t know excitement until you hear 20,000 Long Island accents howling in unison. Photo courtesy of OneLouderNYC.com.)

Though a previous UFC-led effort to legalize mixed martial arts in New York State fell apart last year, the cause is not lost. A legislative session will re-address the issue tomorrow in Albany, which could lead to MMA being placed under the regulation of the New York State Athletic Commission, and open the doors for a historic fall UFC show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. And why might the current push for NY legalization be more successful than the last one? For one thing, New York State now has an Athletic Commission chairperson who’s sympathetic to the sport. Also, the state’s economy is in the crapper and they need every dollar they can get. As ESPN writes:

[Governor David] Paterson is cutting programs and paychecks to address a $15 billion deficit in the state budget, and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered $1.4 billion in budget cuts last month. Ignoring the income MMA and the UFC could bring to the state and city would seem fiscally irresponsible.
 
"At a time when the New York economy is in crisis, it would be a mistake for the state to miss out on the considerable revenue that our events would generate," said Marc Ratner, a UFC vice president for Government and Regulatory Affairs. "We are eager to bring both the excitement of our new sport as well as its major tax and tourist revenue to New York State."

An independent economic impact study commissioned by the UFC showed that a UFC event would generate $11.5 million for New York City in tax and tourist revenue — which could be just the right amount of grease for the wheels to start turning. The bill (#S02858, FYI) will need to pass through New York’s House and Senate, then get a signature from Gov. Patterson. If all goes well, the UFC will hit Madison Square Garden in the fall, then Buffalo, then Albany.

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‘Nemesis’ Viewing Party: A First-Hand Report!

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Answering yesterday’s call for first-hand stories about the UFC 79 viewing party at Madison Square Garden, a CagePotato reader named Serafin wrote in with the following:

“I was at the MSG show for UFC 79. I gotta say that although the place was empty as sh*t, the crowd that was there (guessing about 700 at most and that can be a bit generous as I don’t know for sure what the numbers were) was hyped up at seeing Matt Serra and Forrest Griffin. Everybody seemed to have enjoyed themselves and were badgering all the fighters with questions about when the UFC is going to do a show at The Garden. A lot of people just dont seem to understand the politics and craptastic attempts of the NY State Athletic Comission to keep MMA out of this part of the northeast. Funny, cause when you really look at things….Jersey has been having shows for quite a while and it’s where we got a chance to see Frankie Ed…..ok I take that back. Not a great point but a point nonetheless.”

So to summarize: Good times, but even less-attended than earlier reports suggesting that 1,000 people would show up. Damn, with those numbers they should have just reserved a block of tables at ESPN Zone and held the party there. Anyway, big ups to Serafin. If you have any follow-up questions, leave ‘em in the comments section and we’ll try to squeeze more info out of the dude.

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Would You Pay $30 For a Glimpse of Frankie Edgar? The UFC Sure Hopes So…

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We’ve only mentioned it briefly before, but you’re probably aware that the UFC is holding a “Nemesis” viewing party tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden, hosted by Matt Serra and featuring appearances by Forrest Griffin and Kenny Florian. Well, things aren’t looking too promising, attendance-wise. It was reported that as of the beginning of this week, only 1,000 of the arena’s 20,000 seats had been sold for the event. Apparently, New York’s fans would rather watch UFC 79 in the comfort of their own homes than have $7 beers spilled on them by loudmouthed idiots. (I know, I don’t understand it either…)

So what does the UFC do to generate some last-minute interest in their party? That’s right — they bring out the big guns. Yesterday, Thomas Gerbasi reported that lightweight sorta-contender Frankie Edgar has been tapped to show up at the Garden, where he will likely take part in the Q&A session before the live broadcast lights up the jumbotrons. In other words, just like at any other NYC hotspot on a Saturday night, both Long Island and New Jersey WILL BE IN FULL FORCE BITCHES!

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