Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
UFC scored a big win today in a Manhattan federal courtroom, agreeing with the state of New York attorney general that it could stage a mixed martial arts (MMA) event in as quickly as two weeks through a sanctioned third-party partner. In addition, a federal judge ordered Zuffa and the state of New York to settle their long-standing battle, which could set the stage for full-fledged legalization in the near future.
Energy and persistence conquer all things ... perhaps even the legalization of mixed martial arts (MMA) in New York.
After many years of hard fought legal battles in the"Empire State" -- and untold millions spent on political donations, high-powered lobbyists and over-priced attorneys -- Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is possibly on the verge of staging an event in the mecca of combat sports.
According to Jim Genia, a New York City-based MMA reporter, the Zuffa legal machine may have finally broken through, exploiting a legal "loophole" that would enable a third-party to sanction an MMA event.
Genia shares the good news via Twitter.com:
BREAKING: In 2 weeks the UFC will likely be able to hold events in NY. Judge in Zuffa vs. NYS case pushing parties to settle.— jim genia (@jim_genia) February 13, 2013
Attorneys for Zuffa and State Att'y General office agree that loophole in law banning pro MMA in NY allows for 3rd-party sanctioning.— jim genia (@jim_genia) February 13, 2013
Notable UFC/MMA fighters such as Jon Jones, Gina Carano, Frankie Edgar, Matt Hamill and Brian Stann were listed alongside Zuffa as plaintiffs in a lawsuit pending against the State of New York in Manhattan Federal Court related to New York's ban on MMA.
To read the amended complaint in full, which was today presented before Judge Kimba Wood of the United States District Court, click here. The 178-page document is outrageously comprehensive, complete with just about everything one could -- and couldn't imagine -- as it relates to the sport, as well as the state's 1997 law.
Money well spent if means UFC can backdoor its way into staging an event with a little third-party assistance. Genia pointed out that UFC would most likely have to partner with an organization such as World Kickboxing Academy (WKA), which was grandfathered into the 1997 law, to get one of its shows greenlit.
However, rest assured the "scumbags" in the Culinary Union will likely go out on their cutting boards in an effort to get it stamped out and/or stall that possibility.
In the meantime, the move by White and Co. to book a date at Madison Square Garden back in Dec. 2012 (read more on that here) for a truly historic MMA event in Nov. 2013 is now looking rather brilliant. So, too, does the immediate rematch that Chris Weidman granted Anderson Silva after he defeats the "Spider" on Fourth of July weekend.
This is not an all-out repeal, meaning that hurdles still exist to get MMA legalized in New York.
But, with facts on its side, along with a mandate from a judge -- not to mention being able to "agree" with the state attorney general on a key "loophole" -- UFC in NYC looks promising at the moment.
We'll take it however we can get it.