Dana White: Nevada-based union thwarting MMA in NY

by Damon Martin | source: mmaweekly.com

For the first time ever, UFC President Dana White spoke out about the ongoing situation in New York, and whey he believes the company is still sitting on the sidelines in that state.

“It has nothing to do with mixed martial arts the reason that we’re not in New York. It has to do with the Culinary Union. The Culinary Union is spending millions of dollars of all these people who pay dues to keep us out of there. Because my partners the Fertitta brothers are the largest non-union gaming company in the country,” White told MMAWeekly.com.

“These union idiots, all these people work in the Culinary Union, paying all their money towards dues, this is what all their money’s being spent towards.”

“It has nothing to do with MMA. It has to do with the Culinary Union. They’re very powerful in New York. These unions on the east coast are still strong like the old school, and that’s really what’s going on.”

“Fighting the UFC from coming there and bringing money into the state of New York. ,” White said about what the unions are doing. “Basically, when we go in, look at what’s happened here. People stay in hotels, go to restaurants, malls, etc.

“This is what the union’s spending the people’s dues on.”

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Recent Comments »

AnthonyBrancato site profile image  

5/15/11 4:19 AM by AnthonyBrancato

This story is exactly what Aesop was talking about what happens when the fox can't reach the grapes.

SamboSteve site profile image  

5/14/11 9:06 PM by SamboSteve

@Steve4192Thanks. I hear what you are saying. And I certainly understand and respect that point of view. I don't make a habit of attacking Zuffa (I do criticize on occassion) I know they have an importnat role to play. I think I have a pretty good grasp of the bigger picture. Believe me, there are New Yorkers who think I don't attack them enough...LOL. Still, even Zuffa can use a little public reality checking now and then. They are not above that. And in this case, I really think their overstating the union issue does not help our cause at all, and may in fact hurt it.But, as you said...while we may not always see eye to eye, we are allies in the end. And when we get MMA in NY, we will all sit back, have a drink, share war stories, and enjoy fights in our home town. In any case, thanks for the debate.

Steve4192 site profile image  

5/14/11 8:40 PM by Steve4192

I don't want to, in any way, give the impression that I have a problem with your coalition. You guys are the troops on the ground. You are, beyond a shadow of a doubt, an integral part in getting MMA legalized and sanctioned in New York. This issue would go nowhere if there weren't actual flesh-and-blood New York voters behind it.I just don't think you are doing the cause any favors by attacking it's biggest monetary backer. Zuffa is an ally in this fight, not an enemy. Allies don't always see eye to eye, but they shouldn't be fighting amongst themselves. Save the venom for the enemy.

SamboSteve site profile image  

5/14/11 7:52 PM by SamboSteve

I admit, facts do seem to contradict. But, that is politics, is it not?It is not a matter of admitting that Zuffa has spent money here. That is a fact. To not state it would be wrong. However, I do not think it "obviously" shows their care for the issue, at least not for the reasons people assume. People spend money in Albany for lots of reasons, not always obvious ones. I will say that the money spent certainly makes it look like they care to the fans.Heavy handed? Ok, do you think Zuffa is not using the MMA issue in NY to attack the union in Vegas? Seems pretty clear they are. Union influence in NY or not, it is not cool to drag the whole of a sport into the mix over a Zuffa problem. But, It also seems fairly clear that the Union problem in NY today (as opposed to years ago) is overstated. Why is it silly that Zuffa would sacrifice MMA in NY? I don't think it is at all silly. They can obviously make more money elsewhere. Taxes will be significantly higher in NY if legalized. They can sell out bigger venues and pay less taxes elsewhere. Business is business and NY just may be about diminidhing returns for Zuffa...It just may not be worth it for them any longer. What may have started out as a genuine desire for NY MMA may have morphed over time with lack of success and continued battles of other fronts. It certainly is convenient for Zuffa to be able to use MMA in NY to attack the Union out west...regardless of how influencial the union is here in NY. Now, how we reconcile Zuffa's financial support over the years is for us to speculate. My understanding is that their support has decreased (I have to look this up - why I did not mention it in my editorial). But, assuming Zuffa is putting less $$$ into NY, this would seem to indicate diminishing "care" about the issue here in NY. Who can blame them, it is carzy here and would seem like a financial waste. But, still no excuse to throw an entire sport under the bus. I also would suggest that the folks in Vegas may get their talking points from their hired PR and Lobby guns here in NY. Those folks have a vested interest in not seeing MMA legalized...lest they lose their Zuffa income (a pretty penny). Now, I am not suggesting they are actively working againt MMA in NY. But, they certainbly may not "care" as much as those of us who have no such financial stake. This is a common problem in research, international aid, and basically any profession which makes money from solving problems. Solve the problem, lose the money. So things drag on much longer than they often need to...or sometimes the problem is never solved. For me not to admit that I may not have the whole story would be very disingenuous, would it not?Look, political battles need people to pay lobbyists, fund campaigns, etc...obviously Zuffa can do that and should do that. They have a huge pulpit and should use it wisely (which I obviously think they did not do in this case).But, the political process also needs folks (loud mouths?) to call politicians, orgs, etc, on what they see...to try to keep people honest, motivate voters, keep the issue alive in the grass roots. Like us or hate us, our coalition is working to do that. We want MMA in NY and have no other agenda.

akebh site profile image  

5/14/11 7:36 PM by akebh

Or he'll sign a bill giving funding that put over 2,000 ATLANTIC CITY building trades workers back to work.

akebh site profile image  

5/14/11 7:34 PM by akebh

^^ So cops/teachers/building trades are all weak people? maybe when they start a Union for cunts you'll think differently.

akebh site profile image  

5/14/11 7:31 PM by akebh

Go fuck yourself. Im in Local 27 sheetmetal workers NJ. I spent 4 years in school learning my trade. Im sorry you probably make jackshit for pay, but thats your fucking problem.

SamboSteve site profile image  

5/14/11 7:10 PM by SamboSteve

messed up post editing it...lol

GingerWhinger site profile image  

5/13/11 4:16 PM by GingerWhinger

Unions built the blue collar middle class in America you $10/hr Republican retards

Steve4192 site profile image  

5/13/11 3:51 PM by Steve4192

Yet, at the end, you admit that Dana's claims may be true and that you might not be getting the whole story from your contacts. I get that it sucks not always being on the same page with the 500 pound gorilla in the room, but I don't think lashing out at them is a productive use of your time. Speculating that Zuffa would sacrifice MMA in New York in order to stick it to the unions is silly. Back in the day, Station was definitely the driver behind the Fertitta's fortunes, but that is no longer the case. Station has taken a back seat to the UFC when it comes to generating wealth for the family and the potential for future growth. To think they would sacrifice a HUGE opportunity for their cash cow in order to stick it to a few hundred waiters and dishwashers is ludicrous.