While mixed martial arts has managed to peek its violent head through the mainstream door, the nation’s largest market keeps shutting the sport out. If knowledge is indeed power, then UFC president Dana White is about to take the state of New York to school.
“To be honest with you, I’m not frustrated. I’m a little baffled, but not frustrated,” White said during this week’s press conference. “We just got Ontario done in Canada, there’s absolutely no reason why [MMA] should not be in the state of New York.”
Like most businesses do prior to each year’s end, UFC head honchos listed their goals for the next 365 days. Clearly, having an Octagon showcased under MSG’s historic spotlight was priority numero uno.
“This is New York City, this is Madison Square Garden. Obviously we wanna be here. Absolutely,” White emphatically stated. “We’re committed to getting this thing done and educating everybody that needs to be educated to get this thing done here in New York.”
While the UFC has threatened to invade the NYC in the past, Thursday’s presser was the company’s most aggressive sales pitch thus far. Although White and Co. unveiled an impressive Power Point presentation, The Big Apple is an uphill battle that has only just begun.
“Can we continue to grow our business without the state of New York?” White rhetorically asked. “Absolutely. But why? Why would we not be in the state of New York when we’re everywhere else in the world?
“It makes absolutely no sense.”
Last June, New York Assembly Democrats stripped approval for MMA from a budget bill that lawmakers could have voted on. However, state assemblyman Dean Murray claimed during this week’s presser he contacted the Governor’s office to include MMA in this year’s budget.
If that doesn’t happen, Murray will try to bring it to the floor for a vote.