Mixed martial arts is the world's fastest growing sport, but pockets of resistance remain, most notably in New York, home to Madison Square Garden, one of the most storied boxing arenas in history.
Point man for the opposition to MMA in NY, New York Assemblyman Bob Reilly, has announced he will not run for a fifth term. Reilly never took the time to learn the name of the sport (he called it "Ultimate Fighting"), or presumably to speak with the many dozens of government officials who enthusiastically regulate the sport from coast to coast.
However, while Reilly was the most vocal politician opposing MMA in NY, the power behind the ban may be Sheldon Silver, Speaker of the Assembly. Without Reilly voicing criticism for the sport, Silver may finally have to explain to constituents why he is depriving NY of much needed revenue, making them journey to neighboring states to see the sport live, and forcing fighters to engage in unregulataed underground contests without standard blood tests, medical personnel, etc.
A pro MMA bill currently making its way through the NY legislative process with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Madison Square Garden, and countless millions of voters is expected to once again be shelved before it comes before the full Assembly.
Opposition to the bill is believed to be fueled by Nevada union interests upset with the lack of unionization at Station Casions, which is owned by the Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, who also own controlling shares in UFC parent company ZUFFA.
The Troy Record details Reilly's departure.
Assemblyman Bob Reilly will not make a run for a fifth term as the elected representative of the 109th Assembly District.
“I get in, do my thing, and I get out,” he said. “That’s what I’m doing, getting out. There’s a difference between what I see as a citizen legislator and someone who makes a career of it. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just not me.”
The last election was extremely close with Reilly pulling out a victory over Republican Jennifer Whalen by 542 votes.
One of early pieces of Legislation was a proposal to take pensions away from elected officials who get convicted of crimes and sent to prison. In recent years he has become the face and voice in the legislature for preventing mixed martial arts from being held in the state. His position, one which he describes as the boy with the finger in the dike, has brought him national and now international attention.
Reilly said the new district’s proposed boundaries made no difference in his decision to not seek another term of office, however it did make him stop and think. “What was enticing to me was the newness of running with the support of a longtime established party structure,” he said. “But in the end I decided I’ve done my thing.”
Reilly, poked fun at himself with a Letterman-style top 10 list of the reasons why he is not running:
10. Not paid enough.
9. Wants a full-time job.
8. Afraid of running in a Democratic district.
7. Hurt his leg.
6. Seniors won’t vote for a young person.
5. Wants to spend less time with his family.
4. Wants to spend more time with his cows.
3. Reilly’s Running T-shirts no longer fit.
2. Sold Reilly’s Running logo to Nike.
1. Everything is fixed.
Read entire article...
MMA gear now available at the UG Store