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Andrew Cuomo’s thumbs up to MMA legislation in New York state

By Zach Arnold | March 13, 2013

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He’s taken a hit in the polls over the last few months with his constituents. He views himself as a top contender in the 2016 Democratic Presidential primary sweepstakes.

Show the man the money.

Time for an image boost amongst younger voters. And the timing couldn’t be better with the political image of another New York power broker, Michael Bloomberg, getting slapped around after his failed attempt to ban sugary drinks (over a certain size limit, depending on what drink you want) in New York City and now going after Apple earbuds. The juxtaposition may be a nice bit of a political boost for Cuomo with younger voters.

The UFC is on the verge of getting what they want. The fans in the state may be getting four shows a year for the next three years once legislation passes.

Money talks. UFC has contributed campaign cash to many politicians on the Democrat side of the ledger. They also have an ace-in-the-hole with Harry Reid as the leader of the U.S. Senate. The connections are there. The money has been spent. We’re a step away from seeing Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones in what would amount to a Jones homecoming fight at Madison Square Garden. MMA isn’t professional wrestling but you can bet that Vince McMahon is furious that Zuffa is closing on what he’s already deemed as family turf with a pending deal to run MSG.

Has Zuffa bought its way into New York? Yes, and it’s about to pay off for them. A far cry than the way they spent money on Xyience.

The spotlight will be on the beleaguered New York State Athletic Commission, a regulatory body not exactly held in regard as compared to New Jersey’s commission.

In the grand scheme of things, the money generated by UFC won’t make a dent in New York’s state budget given how much debt they have to pay back. However, it makes for nice political cover for Andrew Cuomo to use the “money, not morality” pitch to tell Sheldon Silver to send a bill to his desk for MMA legislation.

So much for last week’s Albany Times Union op-ed opposing MMA legislation: New York’s better than that.

I’m certain that Andrew Cuomo will be just as interested in the money he receives from Zuffa in political contributions in 2015 as he will be from UFC live event box office money.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 5 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

5 Responses to “Andrew Cuomo’s thumbs up to MMA legislation in New York state”

  1. Weezy02 says:

    Not just Cuomo, though you’re correct that he is an important person to have on your side. The Senate and the Assembly would also have to pass it. Consider the following: Zuffa has given money to New York campaigns for years now. MMA was never approved before. So what’s changed this year? Certainly not Zuffa’s contributions. No, what’s changed is that the existing law has been found lacking in court. And the state faces the very real prospect of having professional MMA shows going on in New York City and receiving absolutely not one penny in sanctioning fees. This would be beyond unacceptable and you can bet that the word has been passed along from the Attorney General’s office that legislation needs to be passed this Spring to avoid just an embarassment.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    This is the first year I would be surprised if it didn’t pass.

  3. RST says:

    ““money, not morality””


    As creepy as that might sound if you just blurted that out,
    if you think about it it makes a logically neutral sense

    Regarding the place called new york at least

    Considering the “morality” that bloomberg is pushing isn’t so much morality more then some sort of ideological fascism

    And a welfare state aint cheap

  4. RWeezy02 says:

    We are, after all, talking about the same state that sanctioned Antonio Margarito after he had blatantly cheated against Shane Mosley by competing with a loaded glove. They did this because of the revenue it would bring in. Following the lead of most other states and finally sanctioning pro MMA after a few campaign contributions is, well, tame.


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