The UFC will formally announce its intent to bring MMA to New York as soon as possible at a press conference at Madison Square Garden this Thursday. In attendence will be UFC president Dana White, Zuffa co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta, current lightweight champ Frankie Edgar, and former light-heavyweight champ Rashad Evans, along with MSG executives. The UFC is also expected to release an economic impact study which details the benefits of regulating MMA in the Empire State.
The UFC has lobbied in the past for MMA in NY, including sending some help over to Andrew Cuomo who was given a pretty surprisingly large sum, but to no avail as many roadblocks still stand in their way. My question is, what can Zuffa do now that has not already been done? Will they be pumping more money to NY legislators or does their plan go beyond their check book?
The UFC has run many successful shows in the shadow of New York, and will be running one at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, coming up in March. The show will be headlined by Mauricio “Shogun” Rua defending his light heavyweight title against Rashad Evans, as well as Mirko Crocop VS Brendan Schaub, Nate Marquardt VS Yoshihiro Akiyama and fights with Dan and Jim Miller, along with a few others.
No official time has been set in regards to this press conference, nor if it will be open to the public. Hopefully, I can at least weasel myself in there and bring you back video of the event and maybe even catch Dana White for some frozen yogurt. My treat, Dana! Of course, I’ll be expecting an interview back in return for my generosity… also, keep it light on the toppings. I’m not made of money.
In the meantime, if you want to help out and join the grassroots movement to push MMA in NY, check out our commercial for the Coalition to Legalize MMA in NY Now, who are holding a rally in front of City Hall in Manhattan on February 8. The best way to let our legislators know what we want is to tell them as clearly as we can, and no better way to do that than with this rally!