Since leaving his post as the head of the Nevada State Athletic Commission and joining the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2006, Marc Ratner has been a key figure in getting mixed-martial-arts regulation adopted in many U.S. states.
In fact, with two more states joining the fold this year along, only two holdouts remain.
And though those states and Canada (specially, Ontario) are a top priority, the UFC's vice president of regulatory and governmental affairs has a goal beyond MMA regulation: the growth and improvement of MMA officiating.
Ratner joined MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) this week to discuss many topics, including the state of MMA officiating and what can be done to improve it.
Ratner, one of the hardest-working and most influential executives in MMA, has been chomping at the bit to devote some time to the project.
"It's something I really want to do, and I think if we can get New York and Ontario done in the next few months, I'd love to devote more time to deepening the pool of officials and having more seminars," he said. "I think it's very, very important, and it's certainly one of my goals.
"We've been so busy with so many shows that I think I've had to neglect that part of my world, and that's something I really want to do."
Busy is a bit of understatement. By 1997, just four years after the UFC's launch, the sport had been pulled from most cable platforms and banned outright in 37 U.S. states. However, in 2000, the UFC hosted UFC 28 in New Jersey, which was the first of the organization's events to be held under the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board's "Unified Rules," which would soon become the gold standard.
Regulation slowly expanded into other states. And when Zuffa LLC, the UFC's current ownership group, purchased the promotion the following year, those regulatory efforts were kicked into high gear.
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