Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was once the most hated man in mixed martial arts, as back in 1997 he tarred it as "human cockfighting" and drove it from the airways.
But fighting is good, and McCain's fight against MMA transformed it, into the world's fastest growing sport.
In an extraordinary transformation, when UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones fight Glover Teixeira at UFC 172, McCain told Jones he will be buying the PPV.
“I thought that was pretty cool,” said UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta accurately.
“I have to give him credit. Without him doing what he did back in the ’90s to force Regulation, this sport would be dead. It wouldn’t exist. Honestly, for all the negatives he caused, he actually allowed the sport to foster and grow.”
“He wasn’t saying in the past that he was necessarily against martial arts, he was saying, ‘This needs to be regulated. It just can’t be a free-for-all. There had to be some structure to it. Once the states then embraced it, he was comfortable and he’s been a supporter since then.”
McCain and a number of MMA notables met at the nation's capitol to announce support for the Cleveland Clinic Professional Fighters Brain Health Study (FBHS).