Ah New York, where the state flower is Travis Bickle, and where if you don’t break your leg in an underground fight show, you’re just not trying hard enough. If I didn’t love this place so much, I’d want to nuke the site from orbit (it’s the only way to be sure). Anyway, yesterday saw a flurry of activity on the MMA front – so much so that an update is in order.
-Dana White and co. came to Radio City Music Hall in Midtown Manhattan for a press conference meant to extoll the virtues of the upcoming UFC on Fox 3: “Diaz vs. Miller” event, which will see Nate Diaz take on New Jersey-based fighter Jim Miller at the IZOD Center (which is on the side of the Hudson River where MMA is sanctioned and everyone is happy). Here’s the New York Daily News rapping about it, although the biggest talking point is what the Baldfather said:
“We’re going to keep grinding and grinding until we get it done,” White said Tuesday, referring to the ongoing legal battle. “We’ll get it done by any means necessary. It’s going to happen.”
Sorry, but invoking the Jean Paul Sarte-by-way-of-Malcom X phrase “by any means necessary” does not bespeak of confidence.
-Did someone mention legal battle? In case you were wondering, the lawsuit Zuffa LLC filed against the State of New York is still chugging along. As per the usual legal rigmarole, we are stuck at the phase where the State makes a motion to dismiss the suit and Zuffa’s attorneys makes a rebuttal and the State makes a rebuttal to that. In other words, the case is mired the Swamps of Legal Brief Despair. Worth noting here in that New York is now arguing that, while Zuffa may have cleaned up their act and put on events that follow stringent rules, if the State were to start sanctioning MMA, what would stop organizations like Extreme Fighting from “reverting to the savagery of their prior years”? Um, guys, Extreme Fighting’s last event was in March of 1997. I don’t think they’re putting on another show.
-While the UFC was kicking the Rockettes off stage so Nate Diaz could offer Jim Miller a bong hit and Miller could respectfully decline, the grassroots movement that’s been striving to get the sport sanctioned here held a rally. Yes, it was across the street from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office in Manhattan. Yes, I was a guest speaker. Yes, about forty people showed up, which was a similar turnout to the rally that was held last year. I don’t think any mountains were moved, but a former State Assemblyman named Michael Benjamin was there and spoke as well, and in his humble opinion, the female side of MMA competition is what’s going to really convince the State Legislature that the sport is viable and worthy of sanctioning love. Here’s Pete Lampasona of the Fight Nerd on that. Personally, I think if you put all the anti-MMA people in a room with Ronda Rousey and lock the door, you better believe those people will soon be signing anything their broken arms will allow.
-Last but not least, or maybe it is very least, here’s some cat demanding that before the UFC is allowed to come the New York State Athletic Commission should adopt more stringent screening for testosterone levels. Because, you know, Quinton Jackson wouldn’t be half the man he is today if not for the injections given to him by UFC-recommended doctors.
New York. It’s what’s for dinner.