Strikeforce held a press conference and an outdoor open workout to publicize the August 15 fight between Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg yesterday in New York City. Both women did a fantastic job representing the sport. Neither are big fans of getting in front of large crowds, but they did it, speaking respectfully of each other, hyping the entire card that features three title fights, and putting on a demonstration in front of a large crowd outside of Madison Square Garden. They even held an autograph session for fans.
All this happened in New York City, the largest city in a state where MMA isn't legal.
I can understand why Strikeforce held the press conference in NYC. It's the center of the media world in the U.S. Both mainstream and MMA media have a home there. The visuals alone made a compelling case for the setting; a sidekick or a takedown look even more beautiful when delivered in the shadow of the Empire State Building.
What I don't understand is where all of MMA's detractors were.
Assemblyman Bob Reilly, one of MMA's biggest opponents in the state legislature, wasn't there. Though he has claimed that MMA is not what the people of New York want, yet throngs of people showed up to see two of the best women in the sport show off their MMA skills. If MMA is so detrimental to the public, why wasn't he there, railing against it?
Carano made a stop at the New York Times before heading to the press conference. Yes, the same New York Times that called MMA a blood-soaked slugfest. It seems that the Times' condemnation of the sport stops short at reaping the gains -- sold newspapers and pageviews -- Carano's name and image bring to a story.
At the moment, the bill to make MMA legal in New York is sitting in limbo while the legislature is out of session. When they return to work in September, they may want to look at the success of the Strikeforce to event to realize that the will of the people is to watch MMA in their home state.