Ultimate fighters in New York fight for their right to pulverize one another:
To me, it's just one more way that New York creates a hostile business environment. That state should be doing all it can to promote companies doing business there. Instead, they are riding their moral high horse into the barbed wire fence of no revenue.
Mr. Serra, a native of Long Island — whose last fight, in Montreal (which he lost and still wears the bloodied eye to prove it), was the most attended Ultimate Fighting event in the company’s history — said that he wants mixed martial arts in New York for one simple reason:
I fought in Canada two weeks ago versus a Canadian. So that big 22,000-people crowd was booing my name. How would you feel about that? It was awful. If I fought the same guy in Madison Square Garden things could’ve been different.
Joining Mr. Serra and another tough guy, Matt Hamill, of Utica, Mr. Epstein opined on the virtues of the new incarnation of Ultimate Fighting and its warriors.
He said things have changed since posters advertising the Ultimate Fighting matches read, “There Are No Rules.”
The early days of Ultimate Fighting featured more of a “freak show and a spectacle,” said Mr. Serra, a former welterweight champion.
But new ownership brought new rules, regulations, extensive drug-testing policies and safety measures that banned extremely dangerous moves and maneuvers, he said.
Mr. Epstein described the fighters as “smart guys, articulate guys, college graduates, helping in their community and making a living in the U.F.C., too.”