The recent roadblock in their quest to legalize mixed martial arts in New York has the Zuffa brass and their fans scratching their heads. They ask: Who wouldn't want to allow us to operate inside their state? We're the UFC, we're mma, we're bigger than soccer or neck and neck....or....Rhonda Rousey. No amount of chest thumping and president Obama like victory laps will award any favors to the Zuffa family. Let's be honest for the sake of honesty, the UFC doesn't care one bit about the other mma organizations becoming legal in New York, or the sport itself benefiting from legalization. They care about their bottom line and their ability to control the market of mma, not the healthy expansion and understanding of the sport itself.
The UFC is a private good ol' American corporation that focuses solely on its profit margin, it's survival, the failure of the competition, and how successful their competition becomes so they have a backup plan in place to destroy said competition. I don't fault them for being dictatorial in how they conduct themselves and how they treat reporters, competitors, and everyone else who are blessed enough to share the same globe with the mighty UFC. but isn't that the issue at the heart of the matter? The way the UFC treats those they deal with perhaps is starting to come back in a huge way. We've known since our childhood that you treat others as you would want to be treated and if you don't have something nice to say you shouldn't say anything. Dana White says things he shouldn't say and he goes after people who complain about the things he says. Whether its banning reporters because they criticized the company, holding grudges against certain fighters who wish to have a little freedom over their own career, turning your nose to the smaller promotions because they dare try to make their way in a world dominated by one company, it's not so difficult to wonder why no one is necessarily breaking down doors in New York to work with the UFC.
You are who you relay yourself to be in the eyes of the public. For all this desire for casual fans to accept this sport and in particulary, or just the UFC alone, you would think Zuffa had a mind to rethink its entire image. Obviously Jon Jones and George St. Pierre aren't enough to get you legalized in NY, and Rhonda Rousey......the name escapes the entire population of folks who don't follow mma, much less women's mma.
The "F" bombs from Dana and the vulgar tweets by fighters were "cute" when this sport wasn't taken as serious, but then mma started to gain traction as a legit sport. Now I'm not so sure people clamor nor take it as serious on that level anymore now that some of the intrigue and shine has started to wear off. Let's face it every new sport, trend, whatever you call it has a grace period of popularity and increase in visibility then a period sets in where the star doesn't shine as bright as it did the first go round. The same is said of our president after four years of being in office. he used to pack stadiums and arenas and he was only giving a 45 minute to an hour speech about hope and change. He was a rock star and everyone wanted to see him and be near him. now those same arenas and crowds aren't as big or as exciting whenever now president Obama and not candidate Obama stops by. Perhaps the UFC and mma "novelty" has worn down some.
There are other factors involving the NY issue like unions and people just plain not liking Dana White or the idea of two men or two women fighting inside a cage like roosters in the back room of a small grocery store in Tijuana. Me personally I respect the sport and I watch rarely as a casual fan but I just never understood its appeal in terms of what makes it a lasting phenomenon and not a flash in the pan trend. I saw the first two fights held on Fox and they were good fights, but not everyone is as open to the idea of mma as I am or other casuals. That's something the UFC and its fans must come to grips with. You're simply not going to win everyone over to the idea of cage fighting no matter how "bleeping" awesome Dana White says it is.
I think eventually mma will be legal in New York but even if it never becomes legal will that be the worse thing to ever happen to the sport? Boxing's been legal in NY for years and look at all the self inflicted wounds my sport has suffered despite the fact that Miguel Cotto can pack 20,0000 in MSG and nearly 30,0000 at Yankee Stadium. No amount of Felix Trinidad's or Miguel Cotto's shutting down Madison Square Garden could save boxing from the amateurish mistakes it's made over the last seven years. But, the sport is slowly and I do mean slowly getting things right and you know mma won't suffer any lasting damage if they can't get legal permission to hold events in NY.
The sooner Zuffa realizes that the world doesn't stop and start with them, the better it will serve their cause in the Empire state.