Judge denies UFC’s Preliminary Injunction to hold UFC 198 at MSG

January 25, 2016

Judge Kimba Wood has denied the UFC’s request for a Preliminary Junction which would have allowed UFC 198 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.  The UFC will either appeal the ruling and/or seek another venue for UFC 198.

In denying the Preliminary Injunction, Judge Wood cited the Pullman doctrine, a legal case which dictates that a federal court must abstain from ruling on a state court law until that state court had a chance to adjudicate the matter.

The court indicated it would issue a longer opinion, but the one issued today is below:

Zuffa PI – Court Denies PI by JASONCRUZ206

The New York Attorney General cited this argument when it filed its opposition to the Preliminary Injunction.

Via our December post regarding the Pullman doctrine:

New York also claims that the U.S. District Court should abstain under the Pullman doctrine.  Under this case, where a state law is allegedly vague, a federal court should abstain from interpreting the law until the state courts have a reasonable opportunity to construe the statute.

Railroad Commission v. Pullman Co. is a 1941 U.S. Supreme Court Case which dictates that a federal court should stay (i.e., hold off on deciding) a decision on state law when the state court has yet to interpret.  It bases the decision on three factors:

  1. The case presents both state grounds and federal constitutional grounds for relief;
  2. The proper resolution of the state ground for the decision is unclear; and
  3. The disposition of the state ground could obviate the need for adjudication of the federal constitutional ground.

Frankly, the UFC should have saw this coming as Judge Wood indicated a state court might be a better venue for its claims.  She wrote this in her concluding order dismissing the UFC’s original lawsuit against the state:

Kimba Wood opinion

Payout Perspective:

Earlier in the day, we wrote about New York’s response to the UFC’s demand for an order by today.  Looks like the UFC got what it wanted so to speak.  The UFC may appeal the ruling which would mean that the UFC could have two appeals in the Second Circuit related to legalizing the sport in the state.  The other avenue to legalization in New York, is of course, through the legislative process.  We will see what the UFC’s decides to do at this point.  As for UFC 198, it looks like that the UFC will need to find another venue outside of New York.


14 Responses to “Judge denies UFC’s Preliminary Injunction to hold UFC 198 at MSG”

  1. tops E on January 25th, 2016 4:11 PM


  2. The Greatest on January 25th, 2016 5:16 PM


  3. d on January 25th, 2016 5:23 PM

    After viewing PBC’s ratings, the anti-mma, boxing fans grasp desperately for any victory they can find. HAHAHAHA!!

  4. Chris on January 25th, 2016 7:51 PM

    Sucks, mma not being legal in NY is a joke, corrupt politics.

    Gov put it in the budget so hopefully this is the year, would have been nice to see Jones/DC in MSG though. I love GGG but GGG vs a bum or Jones/DC, not even close.

  5. The Greatest on January 26th, 2016 12:48 AM

    GGG vs a bum will sell in NYC.
    NYC isn’t big into mma. Its looked at as inferior.
    Concrete jungle is a fast pace environment where takedowns dont work.
    You can’t take someone down on a concrete stoop and expect to arm bar him. That’s for non fighters.
    You got to have hands in NYC and is why no one cares about MMA in NY.

  6. The Greatest on January 26th, 2016 12:50 AM

    PBC had more viewers than the UFC last year and PBC hasnt even been around yet for a full year.

  7. tops E on January 26th, 2016 2:25 AM


  8. d on January 26th, 2016 5:23 AM

    Delusions of grandeur.

    GGG vs a bum would do very minimal numbers in NYC.

    PBC’s gates at Barclay’s for big fights, despite pushing millions into promotion have fallen flat. The ratings of PBC are so much worse than the UFC across the board, it would be insane to say otherwise. The numbers aren’t even close on average.

    MSG would sell out if Jones fought Cormier there and they would do another 800k buys at least for the ppv.

    He is still clinging to the Art Jimmerson fighting system. HAHAHA! He bought the glove. TG is over 20 years behind the curve and is blinded by the fact that mma is what works in real fights and not a limited sport with inferior athletes like boxing.

  9. The Greatest on January 26th, 2016 9:39 AM

    GGG-Jacobs would do well in NYC.
    GGG-Canelo will be massive but will be in Vegas or possibly Dallas.

  10. tops E on January 26th, 2016 12:21 PM

    Ufc first quarter would be affected by cain werdum fight…flash is pissed? hahaha

  11. tops E on January 26th, 2016 12:21 PM

    Ufc first quarter would be affected by cain werdum fight…flash is pissed? hahaha

  12. d on January 26th, 2016 11:19 PM

    GGG-Canelo is a fight that very likely will never happen. Even if it does, won’t hit Mayweather numbers. The sport’s ppv is in a gutter. That is literally their only potential big fight and won’t happen in 2016 almost certainly at this point.

  13. The Greatest on January 27th, 2016 11:59 AM

    Only potential big fight?
    Wilder-Fury, Joshua-Fury, Ward-Kovalev, Garcia-Khan II or Khan-Brooks.
    Plenty of them.

  14. d on January 27th, 2016 8:55 PM

    “Only potential big fight?
    Wilder-Fury, Joshua-Fury, Ward-Kovalev, Garcia-Khan II or Khan-Brooks.
    Plenty of them.”


    Name one of those fights that breaks even 400k ppv buys.

    Those are low profile tv fights. They aren’t ppv caliber fights. The only boxer who can sell a ppv these days is Canelo and he won’t fight the top guys at mw.

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