Did the UFC have to fight on Rosh Hashanah?

Today starts the holiest time of the year. Rosh Hashanah, or Jewish New Year, begins at sundown, followed by Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, ten days later.

Why is this being mentioned on an MMA blog?

Because the UFC chose to put an event on this holy day. Despite having only one pay-per-view event in September, they decided to put it on a day when observant Jews have to make a choice between their faith and the sport they love.

This dilemma is not new to sports. Former baseball player Shawn Green missed games while in a pennant race to observe Yom Kippur. The Detroit Tigers were criticized this year for having their home opener on Good Friday, an important holy day for Christians.

There are two important differences, though. Major League Baseball teams are obligated to play all of their baseball games within a certain time frame, to keep the playoffs on schedule. Also, there are 162 baseball games in a season, so it's not the end of the world if both fans and players miss just one game.

This is not true for the UFC. They have control over their own calendar, especially in terms of pay-per-views. Putting 103 on another weekend would have been plausible.

Also, when a UFC event comes to town, there is no guarantee that they will be back anytime soon. Jewish MMA fans in the Dallas area will be forced into a choice. Jewish MMA media were also forced into a choice, and there is no reason for it. A little awareness by the UFC could have gone a long way, as I doubt that the UFC would have put an event on Christmas.

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