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Thursday, 05/08/2014, 06:31 pm

Bellator Boss: ‘Culinary Union Should Not Back Off The Fertittas’

“Every state has approved mixed martial arts. They run shows just about anywhere. You’ve got shows that generate revenue everywhere — from hotel rooms, to restaurants, to the actual fights. It’s regulated appropriately by every state commission in the country. The New York State Athletic commission is one of the top athletic commissions in the country and would be able to regulate the sports at a drop of a hat.”

“I think it’s pretty obvious to everyone what it really is, and it’s funny that more people don’t state it for what it is. The unions have a tremendous amount of power and influence in the state of New York, and the Fertittas have a horrible relationship with unions. That is obviously the crux of the problem and the motivation between the lack of MMA in the largest media market in the entire United States. And for people to shy away from it or try to position it as something else is just inaccurate. And that’s what it is, that’s the problem at its core.”

“I’ve stayed out of it, to a large extent, because I recognize that the issues that are prohibiting the sport here are so much bigger than my perspective or my opinion. I’m the chairman and CEO of the world’s second largest MMA organization, largest tournament MMA organization in the world, an organization that is consistently beating the UFC — Spike versus FS1 — in the ratings. We’re climbing very quickly from that perspective. I could spend 20 hours a day [in New York] and it’s not going to move the needle in terms of getting sport into the state of New York.”

“Anytime someone calls me to ask me, ‘hey can you do this, can you speak on that,’ I’d be more than happy to. But I’m smart enough to know that unions are very important to this country. They play too vital of a role in people’s lives for them to back off, nor do I think they should back off in their fight that they are putting up against the Fertittas.”

In an interview with ‘The Latin Post’ (via MMA.tv), Bellator Boss Bjorn Rebney discusses the ban on MMA in New York and the fight between the Culinary Union and the Fertitta owned Station Casino’s.

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