During the broadcast of UFC 255, the promotion announced a new entry to their Hall of Fame. Over the last decade and a half, Marc Ratner has been a consistent force for the UFC when it comes to rules enforcement, regulations, and working with commissions to improve oversight in MMA. He’s been a key figure with the promotion in their conversations around judging and restricting TRT exemptions back in the early 2010’s, as well as a major driver for the UFC during their long push for MMA legalization in New York.
Speaking to Bloody Elbow back in 2013, Ratner talked about his personal investment in bringing MMA to the ‘Empire State’.
“I’ve been to Albany, New York, 20 times in the last four years. I was there just a month ago,” Ratner said of his lobbying efforts on behalf of the UFC. “It’s one of my business goals here, and we’re still fighting for it. We’re a fighting company and it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when.”
The UFC eventually hosted their first event at Madison Square Garden on November 12th 2016, where Conor McGregor knocked out Eddie Alvarez to win the UFC lightweight title.
Ratner also helped push stateside commissions to start using monitors cageside for judges at UFC events, telling Bloody Elbow back in 2011 that the promotion was now using viewing monitors “pretty much wherever the UFC goes domestically.” Something that even got one judge in a little hot water earlier this year, when he was accused of staring at the floor during Jon Jones title fight against Dominick Reyes. The commission would later claim that the judge was actually watching the fight on a monitor provided by the UFC, and installed below cage level.
Ratner has also been a long standing force to try and get states to loosen regulations around marijuana drug test failures, telling Bleacher report back in 2013 that he “just cannot believe that a performance-enhancing drug and marijuana can be treated the same,” when it came to athletic commission punishments. While some states have eased their marijuana metabolite standards for pre-fight testing, even this year the UFC has seen multiple fight results overturned due to fighters popping hot for recreational drug use.
Ratner has also been one of the major players in the UFC’s recent push to get states to reconsider what it means to be a grounded opponent in MMA. He and Dana White have long been against the ‘3-points of contact’ rule whereby a fighter is considered ‘downed’ if they have both feet and any other part of the body touching the mat. Unfortunately, While the promotion has seen some success changing regulations, the inability to get all commissions on board with new interpretations of what a grounded fighter may be has created a wave of inconsistent enforcement for the UFC when traveling state to state.
In recognition of his long history of lobbying on behalf of the UFC, and for his work with commissions to advance changes in regulation and oversight that line up with the promotion’s interests, Ratner will enter the UFC Hall of Fame sometime next year. An official date for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony has yet to be announced. The ‘Contributor Wing’ to the UFC’s Hall of Fame includes Joe Silva, Art Davie, and Jeff Blatnick.