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Are changes & amendments needed for NY MMA legislation in order to get passed?

By Zach Arnold | June 14, 2011

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So, UFC is trying a last-ditch public relations effort in the New York media to sway Assembly Sheldon Silver to bring the NY MMA legislation bill up for a vote.

(Highly unlikely this will happen.)

Dana White had a piece in the New York Daily News published under his name making his company’s case. An advertisement was also published in The New York Post. However, the PR effort was tempered by a new poll from Siena claiming that 39% of New Yorkers supported legislation while 55% were against the bill.

With all of this in mind, Eddie Goldman discussed the temperature of the political landscape and came up with three changes/amendments that could be done for the NY MMA legislation bill that could attract support from the right constituencies to get Sheldon Silver to bring the bill to the floor of the Assembly for a vote. I’d be interesting in hearing from you on what changes you think are needed to win over Sheldon Silver to get a vote on the bill.

Fix the uneven taxation for boxing vs. MMA show gates to encourage more local promoters to operate

“It’s really ridiculous that it hasn’t been legalized at this point and we’re going to have to go into, it appears, 2012, the 15th anniversary of this Draconian law outlawing Mixed Martial Arts, still having to fight this battle against these politicians. If that is the case, and I said it’s very unfortunate, it’s very bad for people in and around the combat sports in the New York area, if that’s the case then I would like to propose a couple of changes to this legislation.

“First of all, the legislation as written has a 3% tax on boxing, that’s on the gate revenue, and 8.5% on Mixed Martial Arts. Why almost three times as much? Does it cost three times as much to regulate a Mixed Martial Arts event as a boxing event? I really don’t think so, I think that’s really absurd. In fact, if they put those stipulations in there, what it’s going to mean is that the attempt to create smaller shows, regional shows run by New Yorkers and having New Yorkers fighting them, is going to be much more difficult because if you’re going to have 8.5% off of a huge gate in a place like Madison Square Garden, yes it’s 8.5% of the huge amount but the promoters can handle that. If you’re running an arena with 500 or 1,000 people or something like that and right of the top you’re giving 8.5% in tax, that to me seems onerous and unfair that it’s only 3% for boxing and 8.5% for Mixed Martial Arts. And I think if the bill is going to be written to particularly encourage the growth of the sport among New Yorkers that the amount of tax should be the same for boxing and MMA. If they want to raise the boxing tax to 3.5% or 4% or something like that, they can do that because there does seem to be a bit of increase of local shows this year and possibly next year in New York as well. But it should the same, there’s no reason that it shouldn’t the same, the licensing, the fees, all that stuff from what I understand is the same, it’s unfair to do that. That’s the first change I would have in the bill.”

Allow the NYSAC to regulate other combat sports so anti-MMA measures cannot be used for shutdowns

“Second, I would add a part that makes it explicitly clear that the New York State Athletic Commission will also have the right and obligation to write rules and approve rules for other professional combat sports not mentioned in this bill such as kickboxing, Muay Thai, San Shou, and others that might come along. I think that’s very important since this Draconian anti-MMA law has been used in the past to close down kickboxing shows in the state of New York. I think this legal gray area has to be cleaned up and let it be regulated as it is in many other states, let these sports be regulated and that should go under the New York State Athletic Commission.

Modify the Ali act so it applies to Mixed Martial Arts as well as boxing in order to win over union support

“The third part is going to be much more controversial and has to do with contracts. In 2003, New York state passed a law called S3016 that basically put into state law the federal provisions of the 2000 Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act. I would like to see, along with many other people, the provisions of that law extended to Mixed Martial Arts. I know there are some that say, ‘Well, the Ali act by extension already applies to Mixed Martial Arts.’ Well, it doesn’t. It talks about boxing and boxers, it doesn’t talk about MMA fighters or football or tiddly winks or anything else and since John McCain was the main one pushing and in 2000 still opposed Mixed Martial Arts, there was no one you could say that was his intention. So, I think again even if there is an illegal gray area which I don’t think there is I think this law has to be explicitly amended to include Mixed Martial Arts and I’ve been told by people who know such legal matters all you’d really have to do to this law is to add the words MMA fighter or Mixed Martial Arts, that type of thing, wherever it says boxer or boxing and some of the key parts of this law on contracts are Sections 4 & 5 among others and you can go and look that up. Section 4 says that any contract between a boxer and a promoter or manager shall provide for a specific limitation of option contracts between the boxer and the promoter or between promoters with respect to a boxer to no more than 1 year. If the granting of such rights is required as a condition to the boxer’s participation in a contest, renewable only in writing signed by both parties. Section 5, any promoter exercising promotional rights with respect to a boxer during the 12 month period beginning on the day after the last day of the promotional right period described in subdivision 4 of this section between a boxer and the promoter or manager may not secure exclusive promotional rights from the boxer’s opponent as a condition of participating in a professional boxing match against a boxer and any contract of the contrary is contrary to public policy and unenforceable.

“Now, it’s obvious that the structure of boxing and Mixed Martial Arts is different. You don’t have independent sanctioning bodies, you don’t have the same issues in terms of options with different promoters, but nonetheless I think that the law has to be amended and I think what this would do would be those organizations such as UFC & Strikeforce & Bellator which have their championship clause would have that clause be determined illegal. That clause says that if you are the champion of that organization and you continue winning and your contract runs out, it automatically renews. It would place a cap on that, it cannot automatically renew in perpetuity or for years and years if you happen to be successful in defending your title. That is something that I think is against what the Ali act wanted to do for boxing and I think that MMA fighters should have the same protections that boxers have.

“A lot of fighters are forced exclusively to fight for Zuffa and not in other organizations, forced to sign over all sort of rights to Zuffa, and other things that I think have to be examined. We’re going to see what happens with all of this. I think it’s far from a closed issue what’s going to happen but I think it would be unfair to MMA fighters to have one set of regulations on contracts for boxers and another, weaker set of regulations on contracts for MMA fighters just as it is unfair to have one set of regulations for taxing gate receipts for boxing and another, more onerous one for taxing gate receipts for Mixed Martial Arts organizations.”

The last suggestion is interesting, especially in light of Robert Joyner reporting a couple of days that the FTC is supposedly interviewing several people for their current investigation into Zuffa. Lots of political knives are out right now, proverbially-speaking.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 50 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

50 Responses to “Are changes & amendments needed for NY MMA legislation in order to get passed?”

  1. Jonathan says:

    Can someone explain to me while MMA getting sanctioned in New York is such a big deal?

    • Phil says:

      Because it should be sanctioned everywhere.

      Because Madison Square Garden is in NY.

      Because NY is the home for many media companies, and bringing the sport to their backyard will make it easier for those people to cover it and help the sport grow bigger.

      • Jonathan says:

        1. They literally have the rest of the world…
        2. There are other historic places, and there are places that are better suited to big-scale events (like the last UFC in Canada)
        3. We are a globalized world when it comes to the media. It does not take anymore effort to cover the sport in New York than it does in, oh, let\’s say, Los Angeles.

        • Phil says:

          1. Doesn’t refute my point.
          2. None of those have the boxing/wrestling history of MSG
          3. No it doesn’t. There’s a reason people whine about east coast bias all the time. There’s a reason the NFL Draft is always in NY, there’s a reason why all the big TV and Movie and media events all take place in LA or NY, because that’s where most of the audience is.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    Corruption has no limitations in New York…

    8% tax on MMA? That should be illegal.

    The only benefit to running in New York is the media coverage. Everything else in New York creates more problems…

    • 45 Huddle says:

      And the idea that MMA should fall under the Ali act is absurd.

      Boxing needed the Ali act because boxing was corrupt and promoters were stealing from fighters.

      MMA does not have any of those issues at the highest level. Until it does, it should have no correlation to boxing.

      Quoting Eddie Goldman past the year 2003 begins to kill your credibilty…. He is a dinosaur who has little resemblence to reality these days.

      • jack says:

        WRONG. As usual. The Ali boxing act was not created just to stop promoters from “stealing” from fighters, but to protect them from unfair and dishonest business practices and contracts, which the UFC has been repeatedly accused of.

        Logic would dictate that the Ali Act would help clear up those disputes, one way or the other.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          What do you think those “unfair and dishonest business practies and contracts” were all about?

          They stole from fighters.

          There were many other things, but it’s one of them. The promoters could not be trusted.

        • jack says:

          Once again 45Huddle is wrong. This is NOT just about promoters stealing from fighters via illegal contracts. It is much more than that. You are simply wrong.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          It’s ALWAYS about money. Always. If fighters were getting a fair shake with money, there would have never been an Ali act.

          The Ali bill… And the bill before it… 1996 Professional Boxing Safety Act… Are all about protecting the fighters from bad contracts that were basically stealing money from them.

      • The Gaijin says:

        “And the idea that MMA should fall under the Ali act is absurd.


        MMA does not have any of those issues at the highest level. Until it does, it should have no correlation to boxing.”

        I can’t even begin to express how retarded this thought process is…for starters being pro-active is 1000000000x better than being reactive.

        • nottheface says:

          Your wrong. MMA has none of the problems that boxing has, is perfect, and doesn’t need to be fixed. Boxing needed it because:
          1. There was “no rating system provided to rank professional boxers thus ratings are subjected to manipulation by those in charge”. MMA has a well-known rating system and never manipulates scenarios to give undeserving fighters shots. It’s not like 2-1 fighters on 1-fight win streaks ever get to a title shot!
          2. We don’t see anything coercive in MMA like they do in boxing where fighters use to be required “to grant any future promotional rights as a requirement of competing in a professional boxing match” that is mandatory or even has a title on the line. Think of that, in boxing you could sign away future contractual rights thus limiting your earning ability by fighting for and winning a title – the very thing you were participating in the sport to strive for. That evil boxing.
          3. And in MMA you would never see “promoters who engage in illegal, coercive, or unethical business practices can take advantage of the lack of equitable business standards in the sport by holding boxing events in States with weaker regulatory oversight.” No promoter would ever commission shop or put fights on reservations to skirt oversight.

          I’m so thankful that MMA isn’t infected with any of those problems.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          A government pro-actively writing laws for problems that do not exist is a government I don’t want governing me.

        • The Gaijin says:

          a. As NTF pointed out, a number of issues certainly do already exist.

          b. Boxing and MMA are combat sports that involve promoters who sign contracts with fighters to fight under their banner and are subject to a contractual relationship with them, many times with the promoter holding a great deal of bargaining power/leverage. MMA is an evolution of combat sports that involves a lot of the same structural issues and concerns over fighter treatment and promoter behaviour as boxing. Just because MMA “doesn’t have these issues right now” (boxing has been around for over 100 years, U.S. mma for less than 20 years) doesn’t mean they shouldn’t use lessons learned from the long history of boxing to formulate a fair and predictable framework for fighters and promoters to operate under going forward.

          What about the Ali Act is so terrible that you’d be offended if mma competitors were offered the same protections?

        • 45 Huddle says:

          first paragraph from wikipedia about the ali act…

          “The Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act is a federal law enacted in the United States that provides for various legal protections to boxers as well as assisting states in regulating boxing as a sport. The legislation was enacted due to boxing’s unique position in American sports, not having any organized league or rule-making body to ensure appropriate business practices, and due to the lack of protection offered to boxers from the various sanctioning bodies (e.g., the WBO, WBC, IBF, and others).”

          This does not apply in any way to MMA fighters. The UFC is the organized league that boxing doesn’t have.

        • edub says:

          The laws were put into effect because the boxing scene of 30s-60s were just horrid for fighters. But acting like MMA doesn’t have problems that the Ali act would refute is just being naive. As nottheface pointed out, many problems still exist (well done BTW).

          I don’t know if I also am being naive, but IMO a UFC fighters Union would cancel most of the problems that still plague the sport.

          In the back of my mind I wait for a day when a huge card comes on (think UFC 100), and the morning of the fights every fighter on the show strikes. I’d get up and cheer… in my bedroom.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          Wiki is making this easy…. A quote from John McCain about why the Ali act was needed:

          “In baseball, football and basketball, there is a commissioner, there are established rules and there are agents and managers and unions to look out for athletes. There are none of the abuses that have marked boxing over the years.”

          Once again, MMA has a league. It’s caled the UFC. The fighters have the ability to unionize if they are smart enough.

          Boxing had none of this.

          Boxing’s problems should not become the UFC’s problems.

          If you enforce the Ali act into MMA, it would be taking a law that was put into place because no umbrella organization existed. And all it would do is hurt MMA and the fighters in the long run.

        • The Gaijin says:

          The UFC is not a “league” it is a “promoter” (the only promoter and counter-party for the services of top-end independent contractor mma fighters), you honestly can’t be that stupid.

          Is there some type of “code of conduct” that they follow regarding ‘appropriate business practices’ that would, for example, dictate how contracts are negotiated/fights are scheduled/title shots are doled out that I’m unaware of? I mean, otherwise you’d have an organization that could freeze out a former champion that had upcoming contract negotiations for 12 months and put him on an untelevised undercard. Or like, punish a fighter for trying to negotiate re. his lifetime likeness rights and threaten to fire his whole team. Glad we don’t have that stuff happening…let’s not those dirty old boxing promoters ruin mma.

          Thankfully there’s a “league” with a bunch of teams that could create a “market” for the services of fighters who are forced to follow an agreed upon collective bargaining agreement…otherwise we’d have to ruin this utopian fighter league and hurt the fighters by having them “protected” by some bogus “act”.

        • nottheface says:

          Who is the commissioner of MMA? Is it the president of the UFC? I can’t see a conflict of interest there. Where are the unions? Where is the federal oversight that exists in baseball because it has an antitrust exemption? Where is ban on collusion that exists in league sports?

        • jack says:

          “The laws were put into effect because the boxing scene of 30s-60s were just horrid for fighters.”

          Really??? Is that why the it was only enacted in 2000???

        • The Gaijin says:

          “Who is the commissioner of MMA? Is it the president of the UFC? I can’t see a conflict of interest there. Where are the unions? Where is the federal oversight that exists in baseball because it has an antitrust exemption? Where is ban on collusion that exists in league sports?”

          LOL – “p0wn3d” I believe the kids say. 45 – Glad you could make a snarky comment like “Wiki is making this easy…” then provide a quote that basically runs completely counter to your argument. Did you even read it? Your attempts to draw parallels between the professional sports leagues with commissioners, teams, CBAs, unions and the UFC falls flat on its face from the get-go.

          They’re a promoter plain and simple, and if you can’t see that you’re incredibly stupid (I don’t believe that) or you’re just playing dumb in order to prove a point.

        • edub says:

          OMG!!!!????? I did not know that!!!?????

        • edub says:

          If you can’t understand, that was sarcasm. It was supposed to be 30s-90s (sorry for the typo).

  3. jack says:

    New York City is the center of the world…period. Its the center of the financial world, the art world, the food world, the sports business world, the regular business world, the entertainment world, the music world, the media world, etc, etc, etc.

    If I have to explain this to you then you clearly are not aware of your surroundings.

    As for 45Huddle’s comments, needless to say he is blindly loyal to UFC and is not objectively assessing the situation. The Ali act was meant to protect boxers from dishonest and unfair contracts. There is no dispute that the UFC has been accused of having unfair contracts repeatedly in the past. The Ali act allows the government to review fighters’ contracts with promoters to make sure that they are legal and fair. Why exactly shouldnt the UFC’s contracts be subject to the same scrutiny? Why are they beyond reproach?

  4. David Ditch says:

    Jonathan: MMA cards at Madison Square Garden would be gigantic cash cows.

    • David Ditch says:

      Oops, I waited too long to reply and didn’t refresh.

      MSG is bigger and more lucrative than other non-stadium venues in the northeast. They’d sell the place out AND could charge more for tickets. It’s not just another venue.

      • Jonathan says:

        In all honesty, it is just another venue. The UFC is doing just fine without MMA in New York…without running shows in New York. And remember, most of their money is paid through PvP buyrates, not live gate attendance paid.

        I agree that MSG holds a special place in the hearts of many fans, but let’s not that cloud or judgement into thinking that it is something that it is not, which is to say, it is not vital to the success of the UFC.

        • jack says:

          I disagree… NYC is not just another city to run shows in.. Almost every major sports league, business, and entertainment company has an office in New York. It is simply the center of worldwide business. If you are unable to do business in NYC, that hurts your business. Period. That is why you want your business to be legal in NYC..

  5. jim genia says:

    As an ardent on-the-ground reporter of minor league MMA events, I can tell you that New York offers a vast, untapped market rich in potential consumers (i.e., people willing to buy tickets to shows, pay-per-views, merchandise). Zuffa knows this, every promoter in the Northeast knows this, every wanna-be clothing line entrepreneur knows this, every media type knows this – and that collective anticipation of the market opening up only adds to the appeal of New York sanctioning the sport.

    When Pennsylvania legalized it, it was like a dam broke, and ever since there’s been an insane amount of MMA events. Regardless of what the taxation issues are (8.5% or whatever), when New York opens up you will definitely see something similar (the taxation issue will only be a factor after the initial “honeymoon period” is over, when everyone has to show their P&L numbers to their financial backers).

    It’s going to take a miracle for MMA to get sanctioned in the remaining days left on the 2011 legislative calendar. But in the meantime, the public’s need for MMA within the confines of the Empire State will continue to breed underground shows. Heck, I went to an underground show in NYC last month and will be attending one this month. These events wouldn’t happen if there weren’t a need for them.

  6. Jonathan says:

    I am from Oklahoma, and I have seen the success that the UFC has had without access to NY or NYC. I guess this is why I wonder if it is truly “that” big of a deal.

    I will say without a doubt that the UFC would “like” to be sanctioned in NY no doubt.

  7. jack says:

    You are from Oklahoma. That’s your answer right there.

  8. Todd says:

    The blind trust that so many of these commenters place in the UFC is proof that there is indeed a sucker born every minute. Since the Ali Act was passed to keep fighters from becoming pawns of their promoters you’ll see The Westboro Baptist Church supporting gay marriage before the UFC supports regulating MMA under the act. It would invalidate their entire business model.

    Bottom line–the ham handed way that the UFC has dealt with MMA regulation in New York has all but guaranteed that it won’t be legalized any time soon. When the sport finally has adults in positions of power things can change but as long as Dana White is ‘MMA czar’ there will be no MMA in NY regardless of the benefits it could bring.

  9. EJ says:

    Saying that mma should adopt the Ali Act is so laughable it’s not even worth comtemplating.

    Also It’s pretty clear to me what’s going on when I read this piece, there are alot of people who are angry and bitter over how successful and big Zuffa has become. And now they are putting their money and power behind trying to bring them down anyway that they can.

    I have no doubt that the FTC was pushed to investigate Zuffa and I fear what will happen because of that. It’s become clear to me that if someone wants to take you down and they have enough pull to do it you better have you ducks in a row. The only thing that could save them is that Zuffa has a lot of very smart people running their company but this isn’t something that should be taken lightly at all.

    • The Gaijin says:

      “Saying that mma should adopt the Ali Act is so laughable it’s not even worth comtemplating.”

      Translation: I have absolutely nothing intelligent to say about it nor do I have the knowledge to even start.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        Or you can take the very reason why the bill was started….

        Which was because there was no 1 league for the sport…. Which is specifically talked about by one of the bills sponsors…

        And then you take that information…. Realize that the UFC does not fall under that…. And then all of the rest of the reasoning falls apart.

        If MMA needs regulation at some point…. That is fine…. But it should be done on it’s own. Not pushed into boxings problems.

        • jack says:

          How many times does someone have to point out/prove how wrong you are until you stop saying the same thing??

          UFC is not a is a promotion. It is not self-regulated. PERIOD. You are the one of the most dense and ignorant people i’ve ever dealt with..

        • 45 Huddle says:

          League or promotion. Doesn’t really matter. You are playing a word game at this point.

          I will quote McCain again…

          “In baseball, football and basketball, there is a commissioner, there are established rules and there are agents and managers and unions to look out for athletes. There are none of the abuses that have marked boxing over the years.”

          That is the VERY BASIS for the Ali Act. That boxing doesn’t have those things in place.

          The UFC has all of those things in place except a union. And they have never once stopped the fighters from unionizing, so that is still on the table.

          So why should MMA fall under the Ali act, when the very basis for it’s existence does not apply to MMA?

          It makes no sense.

          They are TWO DIFFERENT SPORTS. Dana White points this out. Boxing promoters point this out. The athletic commissions point this out.

          So why should a boxing law be required for a different sport?

          Like I have said before, if there is a need for government intervent (which right now there is not), then a NEW LAW….. something that is tailored DIRECTLY TO MMA should be drafted.

          The idea of pushing a round peg into a square hole, which is exactly what people are suggestion is absolute stupidity.

        • 45 Huddle says:


          For somebody who throws out insults, you aren’t very smart yourself.

          Let’s look at fairness to fighters on a scale of 1 to 10.

          Before the Ali Act, fairness to fighters was about a 2 in boxing. After the Ali act, it was about a 5. Still not great, but it IMPROVED. Hence the point of the legislation.

          The UFC’s fairness to fighter’s is at about a 7 right now. They pay out more then they should. They give them health coverage year round for accidental claims.

          Pushing the UFC model into the Ali act would HURT THE SPORT OF MMA. It would actually make it MORE OF A MESS LIKE BOXING.

          So right this second, the talk of the ALI ACT HAS TO STOP.

          Now, let’s look at a REAL WORLD SOLUTION FOR MMA. And here is a suggestion.

          RANDY COUTURE MMA ACT of 2012

          I’m not sure exactly how it wouldbe written, but here is the biggest problem in MMA right now.

          THE BARIERS OF THE FIGHTERS TO CREATE A UNION. Because they are independent contractors and not employees, not only would they have to sue to first be looked at at employees…. But then they would have to then try to form a union after the UFC could see it coming from a mile away.

          So a GOOD PIECE OF LEGISLATION would be to make it that much easier for UFC FIGHTERS to form a union. Whether it’s making an exception for them being independent contractors or some other means….

          That is the bill that MMA DOES NEED. A way to make a union for the fighters easier to obtain. And that will create all of the checks and balances needed for the sport.

          For somebody who has thrown out insult after insult after insult towards me…. It’s sad that I’m the only one making a REASONABLE recommendation towards how to move the sport forward…. While all you are doing is fighting over the definitions of leagues vs. promotions.

          The Ali act would hurt MMA. Let’s drop it now. Look at what does need to be done for the sport of MMA…. And that’s a fighters union.

        • The Gaijin says:

          In obvious agreement with 45 re. an MMA specific act. Clearly that would be the perfect world option, as boxing and mma aren’t the same sports operating under the identical realities. My main argument is that mma fighters should be afforded the same protections that boxers are, but tacking “or an mma fighter” onto the Ali Act is not the best fix. Thought I already said up there somewhere that MMA should actually have its own act, but maybe that was actually elsewhere.

          Without the MMA act I see people who tout the “well let the fighters unionize then” as having their heads planted in the sand. They’d have to have a protracted fight to prove they were even “employees” – good luck finding someone willing to incur the wrath of the most litigious sports promoter around and being punished by sitting on the sidelines for years. THEN they’d have to attempt to unionize and by then the flags are up and they’d be three steps behind the non-union strategy of Zuffa.

          Still strongly disagree that the UFC is a “league” of the likes that McCain is referring to, given that they lack most of the major components he and the Act describe(there is no commissioner nor is there a collection of teams to create a market for the athletes’ services, there is no established ranking system or independen governing body).

        • jack says:

          Again…very dense commentary from 45Huddle.

          How exactly does MMA have all of those things except a union? A commssioner? NO. If you are referring to state commissions, then boxing has those as well, so obviously that is not what McCain was talking about.. Established rules?? Again…MMA is the same as boxing so he obviously was not talking about commissions…which DO NOT review contracts. You are an idiot, sir.

        • The Gaijin says:

          “You are an idiot, sir.”

          I do have to say I got a legit “LOL” out of the entire angry response + idiot, capped with a very formal “sir”.

          I think I’m just sleep deprived.

        • Chuck says:

          45 Huddle;

          Who is this “commissioner” you speak of in UFC? It can’t be Dana White nor either Fertitta brother, because they are promoters. Hence if any of them are commissioners then that is a conflict of interest there. Joe Silva? He is merely a match maker. Who is this commissioner you speak of? I would say UFC has established rules, considering that Strikeforce now has grounded elbows allowed.

        • nottheface says:

          I don’t know why it keeps being said that the Mohammed Ali act is not applicable to MMA. Because the UFC is already a league? Because none of the corruption problems exist that existed in boxing? Because you can fight on the ground? Because there are a million other bullshit excuses they can come up with?

          According to the Fordham Law Review V68 on the Mohammed Ali Boxing Reform Act, what separated boxing from the other big sports was that “the structure of the boxing industry from those of other sports, including the lack of an independent governing organization, the nature of the rankings system, the lack of a players’ association or union, and the unavailability of arbitration to settle disputes within the industry.” It goes on to explain that a major difference is that in the “league sports” “there are no subjective elements in the rankings of these sports, the entire process is determined by the outcome of each team’s games.”
          Can not any of those same complaints be said about the UFC or MMA? Under those criteria it is nigh impossible to call the UFC a league. It doesn’t have an governing organization independent from the owners – the governing organization is the owners. It doesn’t have a ranking system or clear method of determining challengers. It doesn’t have a union or association representing the fighters. And the only arbitration available is Dana or Lorenzo.
          Fordham also specifically points out a nefarious tactic used by promoters where “rising to contender or champion status obviously provides greater negotiating leverage” this leverage is negated by he promoters control of rankings, contenders, and their onerous use of champion clauses in contracts. “This automatic extension has the effect of contractually binding a champion boxer to one promoter for his entire career without ever having a chance to renegotiate.” Doesn’t any of this sound familiar?

          What I would like to know is what would be so horrible if the Ali act was extended to MMA? Why would giving added protections and more leverage to fighters be a bad thing? I’m waiting for that answer.

        • The Gaijin says:

          “What I would like to know is what would be so horrible if the Ali act was extended to MMA? Why would giving added protections and more leverage to fighters be a bad thing? I’m waiting for that answer.”

          Absolutely nothing. Which is why 45 and EJ’s argument falls apart from the start, even if it wasn’t already a burnt out husk on the side of the road with this preposterous “UFC is a league” point.

          You notice we haven’t gotten an answer from 45 on this and I asked the question earlier as well. Same with EJ and his typical “this is so stupid it doesn’t deserve being discussed”, which is his default when he’s got nothing intelligent to say. What you do get is a whole lot of hand wringing and fear mongering about “IT WILL RUIN MMA!” and “IT WILL MAKE IT WORSE FOR THE FIGHTERS!!!!11” PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN.

          These people are afraid of anything that’s not status quo.

  10. Chromium says:

    Honestly I don’t think fence-sitters in the NY State Assembly care about uneven taxation or the regulation of other combat sports like kickboxing or muay thai. In fact trying to amend the bill to include those things would, if anything, make it harder to pass, not easier. And while 8.5% may be “unfair” compared to boxing, it’s nothing to get terribly upset about. It’s hardly a barrier to smaller promoters like a flat fee would be, or having to take out an unnecessarily colossal insurance policy like in Vancouver (is that still the case?).

    The Ali Act provisions regarding likeness and contractual protection have been minor talking points in the debate in NY state, but I don’t think that’s really a deal breaker and it would be extremely complicated to get the parts of the Ali Act that are applicable to MMA enforced on just a state level.

  11. Jonathan says:

    This is one of the **** post I have seen on this site.

  12. […] that there’s something at play here in regards to the Fertittas being involved here. Second, the current MMA legislation does not address The Ali Act in regards to contracts. Would the legislation be allowed to the Assembly floor for a vote if the […]


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