GLORY put on a great show at Madison Square Garden yesterday, in what was an exciting night of kickboxing.
It’s ironic though that kickboxing is sanctioned in New York, but mixed martial arts is not. MMA is far more popular across the country and world than kickboxing, yet the UFC has been in a war with New York legislators trying to legalize the sport. Here’s a look at why MMA should be allowed in the UFC.
5. New York Allows Other Violent Sports
Boxing, kickboxing and pro wrestling are allowed in New York. Those are all violent sports and activities. To suggest that MMA is any more violent than those sports is really based on ignorance and a lack of knowledge of MMA. MMA is violent, but referees are trained to stop the fights when they are no longer competitive. Knockouts in MMA are usually fast and furious, not sustained over 36 minutes like some championship boxing fights. When fighters tap, referees stop the action. When a fighter doesn’t break the hold, which is rare, they get fired.
4. The Opposition Is Political, Not Real
It’s the legislators who have opposed MMA, not the public. The fans want MMA. New York is perhaps the most influential city and state in the world. MMA is the fastest-growing sport in the world. These two are a match made in heaven. The people on the street already watch MMA on television and in nearby states such as New Jersey. To deny the public the opportunity to see MMA at Madison Square Garden makes little sense since there is a huge market for the sport. It’s not like they aren’t watching it elsewhere.
3. MMA Is The New Boxing
New York has a long history of being the home for some of the greatest fights. Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard, Larry Holmes, Rocky Marciano and Roberto Duran are just some of the fighters who battled in Madison Square Garden. Combat sports lives in the blood of New York’s history. The stories of great MMA fighters are playing out every day, but in California, Nevada, New Jersey and other states that have sanctioned MMA. New York is losing out on a great piece of combat sports history as it lets the UFC stage great fights everywhere except in New York. New York needs to get with the times.
2. The Money
The UFC believes that UFC shows would generate $135 million in revenue for the state of New York. That alone should be a good incentive for New York to allow the sport. The UFC’s estimates may be high, but there’s no doubt that a UFC show in New York would have a monstrous gate, massive Pay-Per-View numbers and a ton of media buzz and attention. Why should New York let New Jersey reap all the financial rewards of MMA? The UFC may never be the NFL, but it is a legitimate, widely popular sport that an entire generation is growing up on. New York needs to capitalize on that market.
1. Don’t Fight It: MMA in New York is Inevitable
New York needs stop fighting a fight it will lose. Time will pass New York by and eventually MMA will get legalized. New York still has an opportunity to not be totally embarrassed by its ignorance if it moves forward next year and allows the sport to happen. New York has waited too long to allow the sport, but eventually new lawmakers will get into office and make the sport happen and everyone will look back and wonder what the old New York legislature was fighting by preventing one of the most highly skilled, technical and athletic sports in the world from seeing the light of day.