White threatens no UFC in CA if AB 2100 passes
April 29, 2012
UFC head Dana White has threatened to cease holding events in the state of California if a controversial piece of legislation passes in the state. Assembly Bill 2100 was introduced last Wednesday and is supported by the Culinary Workers Union while opposed by the UFC among others.
Via San Jose Mercury:
(Assembly member Luis) Alejo wants to eliminate what he sees as abusive contracts, freeing up fighters to make Assembly Bill 2100 would prevent promoters from claiming unreasonable future merchandising rights, prevent unreasonable restrictions on fighters’ seeking outside sponsors and prohibit other onerous contract provisions.
Dana White told the OC Register:
“Do you know what’s going on in Sacramento, right now?” White said. “They are trying to pass this bill to raise our taxes and do a bunch of crazy (expletive) to us. They voted 4-2 for the bill. There were a couple of people not present to vote on it. If that thing passes we won’t do anymore fights in California. All kinds of crazy (expletive) they’re trying to throw in this bill for MMA. You know who’s doing it? The Culinary Union from Las Vegas. These guys have been (expletive) with us in New York, too. That’s why we’re not in New York. These guys got a bunch of lobbyists together to try to pass this bill against MMA. They are putting pressure on my partners, the Fertitta brothers, because they own the fourth-largest gaming company in the country and they are non-union.”
More info on AB 2100 can be found in our previous post.
H/t: Bloody Elbow
Would it hurt the UFC economically if it did not run events in either New York or California? It’s an intriguing question considering the UFC derives most of its income from PPV revenues and many of its live events are expanding to new areas or in Las Vegas. The UFC is expanding internationally and could find new venues in the US to hold events. Still, not holding events in the two biggest states in America does seem odd. The self-imposed ban on the state of California would affect Strikeforce more than it would the UFC. Although the UFC held its biggest event in Anaheim (UFC on Fox 1), Strikeforce has held events in San Jose or San Diego more often than the UFC has held events in the states. Of course, we do note that UFC on Fuel TV 4 will be in San Jose and UFC on Fox 4 will be in LA. So, maybe the strategy is to stress the economic impact Zuffa creates in the state with the 2 upcoming events and threaten that this will all end if AB 2100 passes.