Smackdown at the capitol


Coming to an arena near you?

Arm twisting is nothing new at the state capitol, but yesterday they brought in some real experts. Reps from the Ultimate Fighting Championship were in town to lobby state legislators to lift a ban on the sport. New York is currently the only state that bans the fights -- in large part it seems because George Pataki found them distasteful.

But the UFC people were ready this time with a bunch of killer rhetorical moves:

+ The persuasion-as-education slap ("we need to educate people about the sport")

+ The that-was-then-this-is-now rope-a-dope ("Our position is that they banned a sport that really doesn't exist anymore.")

+ The appeal-to-patriotism poke ("I fought in Canada two weeks ago versus a Canadian. So that big 22,000-people crowd was booing my name. How would you feel about that? It was awful. If I fought the same guy in Madison Square Garden things could've been different.")

+ And, of course, the ever popular cold-hard-cash pile-driver ($10,000/month lobbyist and a $25,000 contribution to state Democrats)

A bill to lift the state ban on ultimate fighting passed the state legislature last year, but went down for the count in the senate. It sounds like Joe Bruno might be coming around, though.

photo: Flickr user Lee Brimelow, used under a CC license


"Rope-a-dope"? If we ever consulted somebody who knew anything about mixed martials arts (hint: there are a few who live in the Capital Region), we would know that the young sport of MMA is a lot different than the early no-holds-barred fights that UFC first sponsored.

The real question is.. do these fights have a storyline? I like my smackdowns to have interesting plots, flashy costumes and characters with intimidating names. Otherwise, it's just senseless violence.

>New York is currently the only state that bans the fights -- in large part it seems because George Pataki found them distasteful.

My brother is very involved with MMA/UFC and has been for years. He has to travel out of state to fight (along with other local fighters). I say legalize it, is there really a reason not to? Of course, this is also my stance on prostitution....

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


Recently on All Over Albany

Thank you!

When we started AOA a decade ago we had no idea what was going to happen. And it turned out better than we could have... (more)

Let's stay in touch

This all feels like the last day of camp or something. And we're going to miss you all so much. But we'd like to stay... (more)

A few things I think about this place

Working on AOA over the past decade has been a life-changing experience for me and it's shaped the way I think about so many things.... (more)

Albany tightened its rules for shoveling snowy sidewalks last winter -- so how'd that work out?

If winter ever gets its act together and drops more snow on us, there will be sidewalks to shovel. And shortly after that, Albany will... (more)

Tea with Jack McEneny

Last week we were fortunate enough to spend a few minutes with Jack McEneny -- former state Assemblyman, unofficial Albany historian, and genuinely nice guy.... (more)

Recent Comments

My three year old son absolutely loving riding the train around Huck Finn's (Hoffman's) Playland this summer.

Thank you!

...has 27 comments, most recently from Ashley

Let's stay in touch

...has 4 comments, most recently from mg

A look inside 2 Judson Street

...has 3 comments, most recently from Diane (Agans) Boyle

Everything changes: Alicia Lea

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chaz Boyark

A few things I think about this place

...has 13 comments, most recently from Katherine