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Maggie Hendricks

The UFC should take their money and run from New York

Maggie Hendricks
Cagewriter

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Again, the battle to legalize MMA in New York is making headlines, and again, the man who is leading the charge against the sport sounds like an uneducated boob.

What they don't tell you is what is allowed. Kicking to the head. Kneeing them. Sitting on top of them and repeatedly punching them in the head and face. They don't tell you those things.

That's Assemblyman Bob Reilly, the member of the committee who is constantly railing against the violence of MMA -- as if it's the only violent sport on the planet -- this time, spewing his ignorance to Newsday. Here, he is claiming that ground and pound is a big secret. Shhhh, don't tell anyone about it!

The worst part of the article is not Reilly's ramblings, but the fact that the MMA legalization bill's sponsor is lukewarm in his support of the sport.

I am not exactly what you call neutral since I am sponsoring the bill. I am leaning toward it. If I didn't think it had promise I wouldn't have sponsored the legislation. I am also cautious because it is a new sport.

Good news, MMA fans from the Empire State, Assemblyman Steven Englebreight is leaning towards legalizing the sport. He is the sponsor, so you would hope that his yea vote was money in the bank, but I guess a lean is as good as a nod.

New York's pussyfooting around is because they have the power. They have the state with the huge population, the country's biggest city, the most media and the most money. But until now, MMA has grown at an exponential rate without New York.

It's time for MMA proponents -- mostly the UFC -- to pull out the atom bomb in these negotiations. Walk away from the table. The UFC has spent millions lobbying New York. That money has taken the shape of campaign contributions, studies and the services of a lobbying firm, all money that helps the state. Quit helping the state of New York.

Walk away. Dana White is a well-known hard-ass in negotiations with his fighters, but in this negotiation, the UFC is soft as butter. It's time to harden up. Take the millions you will spend on lobbying and the millions that each fight will generate and give that money to a state that wants it. It will certainly grab the attention of the New York state legislature, and it will let them know that MMA will continue to grow and prosper without their state.

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