No matter what Dana White and the UFC do they cannot seem to win enough points to get mixed martial arts regulated in New York. The UFC did a brilliant thing last week by now providing an accident insurance policy to fighters preparing for their chance to shine in the Octagon.
Many fighters have walked into a cage with major injuries, needing the paycheck, and this is a step in preventing guys from fighting when they should be recovering. It’s been nearly universally accepted as a positive for the fighters from nearly everyone involved. The only person who seems to object to this is Bob Reilly, who told MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani some interesting things (for lack of a better term). His argument, which borders on the asinine & the ludicrous to the point where it makes you think he has suffered brain damage himself, is that this isn’t a big deal because injuries themselves need to be done away with.
“I think what MMA should be doing is, instead of providing insurance for injuries, is to do away with injuries” Reilly was quoted as saying and it is absolutely baffling. His further points are even worse, mainly having to deal with money woes and brain injuries.
You don’t hear him demanding meetings with the NFL and why so many retired football players (most recently former Chicago Bears and New York Giants safety Dave Duerson) are having major head trauma issues. The New York Giants and Jets bear the name of that great state and you’d think he would have a vested interest in their health like he does with professional cage fighters.
There’s nary a peep from him when the latest former NBA superstar has lost millions from the sycophants who drained their nest egg. Many of them spent time with the New York Knicks, located in New York City. He always mentions fighters and their money, why not do the same with NBA players and their millions?
But when it comes to this combat sport Reilly is positioning himself as a moral crusader and apparently there are enough people like him to keep the UFC, and by extension MMA, out of New York. He’s not the sole reason but he’s the eyesore everyone sees, thus he gets the bulk of the blame when it’s not just him. So it’s not all that baffling to see this stance, as he’s just one of many. But you know what’s baffling? That the UFC is bunkering down and heavily investing in getting New York to sanction the sport instead of cutting their losses and walking away from gentlemen with such imbecilic thinking. Dana White and company ought to be walking away from men like this and into the arms of the rest of a world that wants the UFC to hold an event in their neck of the woods.
It’s time for the UFC to walk away from New York, permanently.
The Empire State ought to begging them to come to their state like fans from across the globe ask Dana White at every gathering. With all the time and money spent trying to get New York to open its hand from the clenched fist its presenting dozens of other hands are wide open, all eager and willing to bring the UFC into town. Holding out hope for the state of New York, and wanting MMA regulated there, suggests only one thing: nostalgia.
At one point in the world New York City and Madison Square Garden were a Mecca of boxing. Every big fight just felt more important because it was held in New York City, under the brightest of lights. The old saying goes that if you can make it New York you could make it anywhere and for an old time boxing guy like Dana White that state, and that city in particular, is where a grand event needs to be held. The WWE holds events quarterly at MSG and they always tend to feel more important than normal, if only because of the background of that arena lending a gravitas to everything surrounding it.
It’s no wonder why Zuffa desperately wants New York to become the next state to regulate the newest of combat sports; nothing would feel more important than having a big event at a sold out Madison Square Garden, millions of eyeballs on what surely would be one of the biggest cards of the year. It’s easy to see why Dana White would want to have a card featuring Anderson Silva taking on Georges St. Pierre at Madison Square Garden to be his Ali-Frazier. But the UFC doesn’t need New York and it shouldn’t spend time and effort trying to convince New York that they do.