Dana White’s huge announcement has been revealed as not so “mind-blowing.” Sam Caplan of Five Oz. of Pain was the man to figure the out the mystery announcement—the legalization of MMA in the state of New York. It would have been great news, except the committee for Tourism, Arts, and Sports Development of New York voted the bill down earlier today.
According to a source, White was confident that the vote was going to pass and believed he had assurances that the proposed bill would be approved by the committee for Tourism, Arts, and Sports Development of New York. However, the proposal was unexpectedly voted down for reasons that are not yet clear. In a strange turn of events, it is believed that the chair of the committee, Assemblyman Steve Englebright, who introduced the proposal, ended up voting against it.
This is certainly disappointing news for the sport of mixed martial arts, but it appears there still may be a chance.
The bill was not passed in large part because of opposition from both sides. However, according to our source, a republican committee member “picked up the bill” and applied pressure after the session to have the vote passed. In another unusual development, several committee members, primarily republican but also a few democrat, attempted to change their vote.
Because of the attempt to change votes, it was decided that the bill will be placed on the agenda again early next week. Such a decision to put a bill back on the agenda so quickly after it had been voted down was described as “highly irregular.”
White may still have his opportunity to celebrate next week, but I’m not sure how he thought this news would “blow people’s minds.” It wasn’t a secret that the UFC was spending a lot of time and money lobbying in the state of New York to legalize MMA. Unless something major happened and MMA took a turn for the worse, I just assumed New York would legalize it sooner or later.
Looks like he got us again.
At least we know the UFC wasn’t sold to Vince McMahon and the WWE. I’ll take this over that any day.
[UPDATE 6/11/08 11:32PM] – Dana White apparently denied that this was the big announcement:
Sam Caplin reported earlier today that he had revealed White’s big surprise – an MMA New York sanction. However, this report was quickly shot down by White himself through German MMA reporter Oliver Copp. Apparently, White told Copp and other reporters in London covering UFC 85, that the big surprise would not be New York regulation. If it were White would have likely pushed the date
This doesn’t necessarily mean NY MMA regulation isn’t the big announcement, just that White has denied it. This is getting old, quick.