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On this week’s edition of Pro MMA Radio, host Larry Pepe faced off with NY Assemblyman/NY MMA opponent Bob Reilly in a debate about the sport’s place in New York athletics and modern society. Completely dismissing statistical evidence that proves otherwise, Mr. Reilly contends that boxing is not safer than MMA, and the Unified Rules need to be revamped before MMA should be legalized in New York. Transcription via Fight Opinion:

“To say, ‘well, 10 people a year are killed in boxing and not that many are killed in Mixed Martial Arts, therefore we should sanction Mixed Martial Arts.’ It’s just a horrible, irrational argument. Now, on looking at this sport for the last three years and having the idea of boxing come up, come up many times as ‘it’s less dangerous than boxing’ which I don’t agree with and I have studies that show that, um… the fact is, I grew up being a boxing fan, all right? Muhammad Ali, in fact I go back to Rocky Marciano, but all of our great fighters and I enjoyed it and thought it was a great sport, but today I don’t think professional boxing, as opposed to amateur boxing, professional boxing I don’t think would be legalized in many states today because of the danger to the fighters. So, I just dismiss that argument of ’safer than boxing.’ One, I don’t, you know, boxing has a much longer history, there are many more boxing matches than there are MMA matches. And it’s something, as I say and this is not entirely facetious, more people are killed fishing than in boxing, so let’s eliminate fishing. Well, no. What we do is we put in safety measures. For example, in New York state, we have rules where in certain boats you have to wear a life preserver.”

This was just the tip of the iceberg. Pepe pushes Reilly to respond to tough questions he’s never had to answer before including questions about the underlying political influences that may be at work against MMA in NY.

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