As the battle continues to legalize mixed martial arts in the state of New York, a new video released yesterday takes a deeper look into what's preventing the fasting-growing sport in the world from entering the Big Apple.
In the video above, comedian and MMA proponent Steven Crowder, accompanied with a host of industry leaders, takes an in-depth look into the history behind the battle to bring MMA to New York. UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen, former UFC champion Pat Miletich, Renzo Gracie and Ariel Helwani are featured in the video, as they discuss the tumultuous situation between the politicians and unions involved with the banning of MMA in the state.
"Basically, it comes down to the fact that in the state of Nevada, the Fertitta brothers—who own the majority of the UFC—also run the Station casinos. They have been battling with the culinary union over in Nevada for a very long time," Helwani says in the video. "New York, being a very strong union state, they have influence here, their parent company is this group Unite Here which are the ones who are lobbying against MMA."
The video further details the relationship between the unions in New York and their support of politicians such as Assemblyman Bob Reilly, an outspoken critic of the sport. Crowder and company call into question how big of an influence these unions have over MMA's legalization in the state.
Also, the segment goes on to debunk some of the common misconceptions associated with the sport. Topics such as MMA's safety and levels of violence when compared to other sports are also discussed.