An Octagon arrived on Long Island, and on Saturday, UFC fighters were standing inside it.
If their attire had been different -- topless with board shorts rather than the T-shirts and jeans they did wear -- that would be a significant piece of news.
But, alas, professional mixed martial arts remains illegal in New York for reasons that are less about sports and more about politics.
It is somewhat obligatory when a UFC fighter is in New York City or Long Island to get their take on the issue while breathing air in the one state in the Union that denies them the opportunity to earn a paycheck in their chosen profession.
The answers, as you would expect, are in favor of the sport being legal here. (Once again, anything different would be a significant piece of news.) Still, here's what several former and one current UFC champion had to say at UFC Gym in New Hyde Park last Saturday about the fight to fight in New York.
JON JONES, UFC light heavyweight champion from Ithaca, N.Y.
“It’s very surprising that MMA isn’t legalized in New York yet. There’s such a strong demand for the demand here in New York State. It’s just surprising, it really is. It’s inevitable. There's so many people who want to see it.”
FRANKIE EDGAR, former UFC lightweight champion from Tom's River, N.J.
“I’m hoping I don’t miss the boat. It’s definitely going to happen in the future, I think when these politicans wisen up or whatever’s going on. It’d be a shame if I couldn’t fight in The Garden or in New York and have my family come there. I want that opportunity. It’s more than fair that this sport should be legal. It’s kind of ridiculous at this point.”
CHUCK LIDDELL, EVP of UFC business development and retired former champ from San Luis Obispo, Calif.
"It doesn't make any sense. How great would it be to have a fight in The Garden? It doesn't make any sense why they wouldn't have it here. It's everywhere else. What are they waiting for?"