(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 MMAFacts.com 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)