The Boston City Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to pass a measure to ban minors under the age of 16 from attending mixed martial arts events, including the UFC, unless accompanied by an adult.
The measure, proposed by City Council President Stephen J. Murphy, had originally sought to ban minors under the age of 18, but was revised to under 16 before passage.
On Wednesday evening, the UFC issued a statement in response to the measure’s passing in Boston.
“Zuffa, LLC, owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, learned today that the Boston City Council passed a non-binding resolution regarding mixed martial arts (MMA),” read the statement.
“The non-binding resolution merely concludes that the city of Boston should follow existing state law. However, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is extremely disappointed that the non-binding resolution is filled with blatant inaccuracies and falsehoods. The UFC organization finds it shocking that Councilor Murphy would present such a misleading document for consideration to the City Council,” the statement added.
In the response, the UFC asserts that the measure’s passing was based on misconceptions about the sport and its athletes.
“UFC is proud of the recent event it put on at the TD Garden, which was televised around the world. By all measures, the event was a resounding success, generating millions of dollars in economic benefit for the community and cast the great city of Boston in a positive light,” the statement read.
“Councilor Murphy’s resolution demonstrates a complete lack of understanding about what mixed martial arts is, the amazing world class athletes that compete in the sport, and the many benefits it brings to a community,” stated the UFC. “There is clearly a reason why MMA is one of the fastest growing sports in the world.”
In the press release, the UFC claims the Boston City Counsel was manipulated by union officials in a dispute with UFC owners Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta over the union’s desire to bring the brothers’ Station Casinos employees into the union.
“Consequently, it is unfortunate that Councilor Murphy’s actions caused the Boston City Council to be manipulated by a union based in Las Vegas, Nevada. We would hope that the City Council, once it learns the truth about MMA and all of the positive aspects of the sport, would consider revoking this non-binding resolution.”