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American presidential politics

By Zach Arnold | February 26, 2008

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Normally, I hate discussing non-business-related politics on this site. However, given what is happening with the 2008 US election cycle, one of the two finalists in the Presidential race is John McCain. McCain, as all North American MMA fans know, was the main politician to go after UFC during the SEG days when Bob Meyrowitz was running the company.

We can thank the Senator for having to put up with the phrase “human cockfighting” for well over a decade.

With McCain inching closer to possibly becoming the next US President, there is going to be plenty of media scrutiny on many of McCain’s past political moves. One of his more higher-profile moments in the 1990s was, in fact, going after UFC. Interestingly enough, I have seen the McCain/UFC issued raised in a few mainstream political articles and given the popularity of UFC right now, I will be very curious to see how the mainstream media brings up or frames the issue in regards to the Senator. The Dunkirk Observer in New York wrote the following tonight:

Sixth, on social issues, McCain is half nanny, half jack-booted thug. His nanny-state campaigns show up in his view that no issue is too small for the government to address. He led a campaign to ban a private martial arts competition, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, because it offended him. He succeeded in getting the competition and ones like it regulated by the states.

What interests me most about this story: I support regulation of MMA (and the drug testing that comes along with such regulation). I know that Luke Thomas and many other MMA writers support regulation of the business as well. However, John McCain managed to rub a lot of people the wrong way in how he launched into action against UFC.

Putting your own personal politics aside, how do you think the US media will discuss UFC and MMA regulation in context to John McCain the politician? Do you feel that the online perception towards McCain’s history in MMA is a negative or positive to his candidacy (as Dana White has tried to spin publicly in the past)?

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 12 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

12 Responses to “American presidential politics”

  1. Fight Dude says:

    Dirtbag politician and liar. Like them all.


  2. Ivan Trembow says:

    McCain’s positions on MMA are not independent or credible because of his financial ties to the boxing industry.

    Ed. — Everyone, please make sure to focus on the specific questions I asked and not anything else related to other political issues involving McCain.

  3. Oliver Copp says:

    At the end of the day, McCain hasn’t been critical of MMA in years. And since Dana publically agrees that what McCain did saved the sport, if anything there will be positive soundbites coming out of this.

  4. PizzaChef says:

    And yes he wanted to ban sanctioned MMA cause Ken Shamrock told him on CNN “Well tell us what to do to sanction it and we’ll do it” and McCain blew me off.

    Ed. — Everyone, please follow the instructions for specific comments that I laid out in the initial post and what I reiterated to Ivan. Thanks.

  5. Luke says:

    Online perception towards McCain will be irrelevent to McCain’s candidacy, particularly when it comes to MMA. Mainstream America isn’t voting for or against McCain because he got UFC banned from cable over a decade ago.

    The media may mention McCain’s behaviour toward regulation and sanctioning of UFC, but its not going to be a focal point. Why would it be a focal point? UFC is now sanctioned in over 20 states. MMA coverage can be found on numerous mainstream websites, and tv networks. This idea that McCain’s stance on MMA will somehow hurt McCain, or MMA is ridiculous.

    Zach, why would libertarian or conservative types use this incredibly minor issue (in terms of a presidential election issue) to hurt McCain when they could focus on so many other issues that McCain has done far more damage on?

  6. cyphron says:

    Really, does it matter what McCain’s stance is going to be? Just look at voters voting in the primaries. There is almost a 3:1 ratio in Democratic primary voters versus Republican primary voters. Democrats are going out in droves to vote whereas Republicans are so disillusioned that they don’t even bother. It’s going to be landslide victory for any Democrat over McCain.

  7. Zack says:

    The crazy thing about the McCain nonsense from back then was that UFC was already a skilled competition by UFC 17/18. If anyone has ever watched all the UFCs straight you’ll realize that was really the turning point where almost everyone was highly skilled (had to say almost cuz I think Chief Andre Roberts fought on 17.)

    Anyway, McCain is a retard.

  8. Chuck says:

    I think the issue is that since McCain went after UFC, when it was small potatoes years ago when SEG owned it, that Mccain is willing to go after small issues that he shouldn’t even bother with. But in the end, I don’t think his anti-UFC stances in the past and now are gonna be much of a deciding factor come November.

  9. dragomort says:

    He has comments from the face of the organization in question thanking him for ‘cleaning up the sport’ etc. while making no positive or negative comments about it in the meantime, plus the rules he ‘helped put in place’ have brought in all sorts of record breaking revenue for State commissions. Basically, if McCain and company can’t turn this into a positive or non-issue, his campaign managers should be fired, honestly.

  10. IceMuncher says:

    If I recall correctly, he’s recently gone on record as saying that he no longer has a problem with MMA now. If this ever gets raised as an issue, they’ll be able to spin it positively.

  11. Mike Rome says:

    I’m a libertarian MMA supporter, and it won’t affect my vote.

    I do think it could become a big issue if MMA explodes with all this network TV stuff. I assume he’ll give it his blessing.

  12. GB says:

    What’s most interesting is that until a few months ago, McCain’s campaign was advertising on of all places. I once read a quote by McCain in which he commended the direction towards regulation that MMA had taken in recent years, so I guess he’s changed his mind (not that he ever gave much thought to the issue anyway).

  13. StreitigKaiser says:

    I don’t think the Main Stream Media of the United States will really cover McCain’s chastisement of MMA, because MSM although becoming recently more accepting of MMA still has an underlying stigma for MMA primarily due to John McCain’s political campaign against it. MSM is still objective to MMA, just listen to the language used by organizations such as MSNBC to describe it ie. the infamous ‘human cockfighting’ quote. People like Dana White and Mark Cuban have done great efforts to revamp MMA’s image but McCain’s words remain malignant among older adults especially those who came from a boxing viewership background.

    Most likely due to MMA’s rising popularity he will not bring it up during the campaign as not to dissaude voters, but given that McCain is heavily backed by boxing lobby one can be sure that if McCain is President MMA will either be contorted and handed over to the boxing promoters or be no more.

    The overall perception of McCain, even among Republicans is negative across the internet, no matter what the topic. It is no secret that John McCain is a divisive individual among the GOP. MMA fans hate him, at least those who know what kind of legislation he has passed, and ultra right wing voters and neo-cons statistically dislike him as well. McCain recieved the nomination because the GOP understands that this is a nationally left leaning election, just go look at any national poll, and he is one of the most moderate candidates the GOP has to offer. In order to gain votes, I expect him to not even mention MMA.

    Personally I think its hypocritical that he advocates conservative values but yet advocates for more government regulation in MMA.

    Obama 4 President!!!


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