For those who aren’t into the politics involved with mixed martial arts, the movement spearheaded by notable UFC veterans to include MMA under the same Ali Act that protects boxers is making some serious progress.
Thursday, UFC VP Marc Ratner testified in front of the United States Congress in an attempt to halt the efforts of the bill moving forward, and protect the interests of the UFC.
One congressman in particular seemed to have a deep knowledge of the UFC, and as such seemed rather qualified to inject his opinions ,and provide the necessary insight to make his inquisition very relevant to present day UFC. His name is Markwayne Mullin, from Oklahoma, a former MMA fighter himself,. And with Ratner in the hot seat, Representative Mullin unloaded a variety of questions that made all UFC die-hards proud.
During representative Mullins questioning, he brought up UFC fan favorite Nate Diaz to drive one of his points home.
In addressing the UFC’s present rankings system, something that the Ali Act would more strictly enforce, the Congressman asked UFC’s Marc Ratner about the time they just dropped Nate Diaz for being unable to come to terms on a contract.
Here’s the transcript:
Mullin: What about Nate Diaz, who was dropped from the UFC because he was involved in contract negotiations? He was trying to negotiate with the UFC and they dropped him, is that true?
Ratner: I don’t pay attention to the rankings, but I’m sure that…
Mullin: You are involved in it all the time. Was he not dropped from the UFC?
Ratner: He’s still under contract to us…
Mullin: I’m talking about at the time.
Ratner: I’m sure you’ll see him fight again.
Mullin: I know that, but the answer to that is yes. And we go back to the same thing. When you were saying that [boxers and MMA fighters are treated the same way], what I’m trying to draw here is that they are not even close. When you make a broad statement like that, you are misleading Congress…
Ratner: Not at all
Mullin: …and you are misleading the American people. When you make those statements, clarify specifically on what it is you are talking about, because once again you are talking about the health of the fighter. The Ali Act deals with the compensation of the fighter. It also deals with a merit-based ranking system.
Here’s a replay of the session for those wanting the long watch: