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Tag: sanction

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.


The UFC’s New York Seduction Drive: Day 1

(Human cockfighters: They’re just like us!)

According to this New York Times article, today marks the beginning of the UFC’s public campaign to legalize MMA in New York State. Eleven years after it was banned by killjoy governor George Pataki, Zuffa has launched to massage NY lawmakers into realizing that MMA is safe family entertainment. And at no small cost: Prior to the launch of the site, Zuffa made a $25,000 donation to the state Democratic party, hired a political consulting firm used by current New York governor Eliot Spitzer for media relations, and has had the $10,000/month Albany lobbying firm Brown, McMahon & Weinraub on retainer since November.

Anyway, take a gander at the site, which combines positive news coverage (“Associated Press: Anheuser-Busch ad deal is milestone for Ultimate Fighting”), original fluff pieces (“MMA Events Draw Tourism and Tax Revenue to Host Cities”), explanations of the sport’s honorable history, and good old-fashioned charticles. But the best part is the athlete profile page, where dudes like Keith Jardine, Kenny Florian, and Joe Lauzon — awkwardly stuffed into button-down shirts — try to explain that MMA fighters are just as educated as you are, if not more so, and don’t turn to the sport because they can’t do anything else. (Lauzon’s an IT guy!) But unlike the other guys in their office-ready wear, Matt Lindland keeps it real in his IFL jersey. It’s very possible that no photos of him wearing collared shirts actually exist.

(Top to bottom: Most Likely to Succeed, Best Smile, Ugliest)