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Lorenzo Fertitta says UFC will put on special show as soon as MMA is allowed in New York

The UFC last hosted an event in New York, the site many consider the mecca of sports, in 1995 with MMA being banned in the State two years later. Now, New York is considering passing a bill potentially allowing MMA’s return, and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta couldn’t be happier.

Fertitta says that his fight promotion will make a statement if (and when) they are allowed to host a show at Madison Square Garden.

“When we come, we’re going to blow it out. We’re going to put on a ridiculous UFC 100-style card, stacked, big, open to the public weigh-ins, press conferences, after-parties; the whole deal,” said Fertitta in an interview with MMAFighting. “This is going to be an event that will remind you of 1971 when Ali fought Frazier for the first time and every celebrity in New York had to be there.”

Lawmakers in New York are currently discussing the bill with the next deadline to pass it coming in July. Fertitta believes that if it is approved by June the UFC would, “move mountains to get something done by fall.”

MMA’s issue with receiving a green light in New York seemingly stems from ignorance on the part of lawmakers as well as the Culinary Workers Union fighting against it based on a separate issue with Zuffa, the parent-company of the UFC.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

13 COMMENTS
  • THEGUNNER says:

    This is what it takes for them to stack a card?they should stack every card or try at least. Jones vs evens isnt quite stacked.

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  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Yeah, was looking over the lineup while writing a piece and was shocked at how there’s nothing resembling a real co-headliner. Schaub vs. Rothwell and Mills vs. MacDonald just don’t cut it in terms of starpower.

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  • MCM says:

    Wow, you guys are totally right. Outside the main event, 145 card looks like a Fight Night card at best. Not saying there aren’t good fights and fighters on the card, but the PPV is solely relying on Jones/Evans. Looks like a GSP card in Canada.

    As for the topic of this story. Get with it New York! You don’t want to be labeled in the same category as New Hampshire.

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  • Angry Mike says:

    I don’t understand the obsession with New York. The center of the MMA world is Las Vegas. A west coast HQ makes sense for a lot of reasons, including easier travel to the Pacific Rim. UFC’s ppv’s don’t depend on location, and they tend to sell out the forums where they’re scheduled. The org. Is spending time and money on New York legislation, but in exchange for what?

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  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Success in New York is essential for any major business venture. It’s the center of US business and a global hub. Las Vegas may be the home of MMA but that’s about it.

    Also, New York has a rich history in terms of fighting so to hold an event in MSG would legitimize MMA in a lot of ways as a mainstream force.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    New York is a bigger market, population wise, than Canada.

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  • Angry Mike says:

    Sinatra is dead, and you don’t have to make it in New York. Ask Apple or Microsoft, for example. If UFC wants to stage an event in Madison Square Garden to subjectivey feel that they’ve arrived or are mainstream, I guess that’s their prerogative, but I still don’t see how that helps their bottom line.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    Those are really bad comparisons. Tech companies don’t ever need to host public events; they do some keynote presentations at tech conferences and that is it. The UFC is an entertainment company; there is a live component to every broadcast — especially now with TUF Live.

    Simply put, New York is a HUGE sports market. There is a lot of money there so, obviously, hosting a fight card there is going to make for a massive return on the gate numbers.

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  • Rece Rock says:

    look at the top 5 most valuable sports teams in each sport and I guarantee NY teams are there in each sport…NY sports generates big $$, the teams generate insane revenue….. NY is the only place in the country a baseball game at 1:15pm on a tuesday can have 40 thousand ppl there, and I’m not talking a championship season either, any old day in the middle of the season on a 3 game losing streak… New York’s sports market is unlike many other places in this country.

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  • Angry Mike says:

    UFC is not a New York franchise like the Yankees. It’s a Vegas based organization that puts on fights all over the world. There’s no way it’s relocating to New York because of that state’s tax structure. At most it will stage events there on an occasional basis. If they can sell the same number of tickets and ppv’s at other locations, why spend time and money on lobbying the New York legislature?

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  • Rece Rock says:

    Who said they were moving to NYC? My point was about $$$ and exposure… they will sell out the 3x a year they put on fights in NYC in record time each time for years to come… they will make money and can do alot more prefight build up in a city that has more tourist walking around then some cities have inhabitants…The economy is a non factor when it comes to entertainment in NY… there wont be any dim lights or tarped areas in MSG any night UFC is booked there. Look at how WWE treats every time they are in the garden it’s huge for them and they aren’t even a real sport.

    Say what you will but if you think they are truly going to be a main stream sport/ entertainment organization and not be in NY then they will have a lot more work to do then you think to truly cross over…UFC is not just sport it’s entertainment as well… alot of traveling entertainment considers NY a must have stop on there tour/ schedule for both exposure and revenue.

    I’m looking forward to potential things like a huge UFC expo in the Javitts center and watching free prelims come across the big screens in times square and the weigh in’s taking place at Radio City Musical hall. Dana and Jon Jones ringing the starting bell at the NY stock exchange… Sounds like an unbeatable experiance to me.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    This has absolutely nothing to do with relocating their business, it’s about opening up a very lucrative market.

    Also, the fact MMA is not legal in every state — and Canadian province — is ridiculous. Once New York comes to its senses, the rest should follow suit pretty quickly.

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  • Creature says:

    A UFC 100 style card huh..? Hopefully one of these long talked about superfights is put together and on this card then.. But thats prolly pretty doubtful, Id like to see Hendo take on Jones/Evans winner on this card, that would be a great Main/Co-Main

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