weather icon Clear

Sisolak throws water on Culinary’s UFC complaint

Culinary Local 226 and the Ultimate Fighting Championship are mixing it up again, and this time the Clark County Government Center has become the octagon.

Union leaders are attempting a rear naked choke on the UFC by opposing a recent County Commission approval of an outdoor water feature at UFC’s proposed new global headquarters in the south valley.

The Culinary union charges the water feature is decorative and “wasteful” at a time when businesses are being asked to conserve water.

Filing an appeal with the commission to reconsider its decision, the union argues the commissioners approved the UFC’s water feature even though county planning staffers recommended denying it.

But commission Chairman Steve Sisolak countered, saying the water feature is not decorative and that it’s actually a shallow pond serving as a functional part of a cooling tower. The commissioners serve as the zoning panel members.

Sisolak explained Tuesday that staff initially recommended against the water feature because they misunderstood the UFC application before realizing it was part of the cooling tower and made to look attractive.

Indeed, Nancy Amundsen, director of department of comprehensive planning, wrote to a county commissioner: “As I stated at the public meeting, upon learning that the proposed water feature at the UFC Headquarters was actually a necessary and functional component serving an allowable use (the cooling towers), under Title 30, the regulation would be exempt …”

But in a press release Tuesday, the union included the political contributions from the UFC to Sisolak and fellow Commissioners Susan Brager, Lawrence Weekly and Mary Beth Scow.

“It’s definitely a fact you have to consider,” Jim Sullivan, Culinary Local 226 research analyst, said of the political contributions.

Commissioners Tom Collins and Chris Giunchigliani dissented.

The union and UFC are bitter foes because nonunion Station Casinos is owned by the Fertittas, including Lorenzo, who is UFC’s CEO.

“I don’t believe it’s just about the water feature,” Sisolak said of Local 226’s opposition to the cooling pond at UFC’s new headquarters.

UFC blames the union for applying political pressure in the New York Legislature, which recently declined to adopt mixed martial arts legislation that would legalize sanctioned MMA fight events in the Empire State.

“This is the latest attempt by the Culinary union to harass an innocent company,” said Lori Nelson, Station Casinos spokeswoman. “This is one of thousands of bully tactics they have tried to use because they have been unsuccessful in persuading the majority of team members to join the union.”

Contact Alan Snel at asnel@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5273. Find him on Twitter: @BicycleManSnel.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Covering The Cage Videos
Dana White on Contender Series contracts: "I'm looking for killers."
On opening night at the UFC's newest facility, the UFC Apex, the promotion signed Punahele Soriano and Yorgan De Castro to contracts after their performances on Dana White's Contender Series. UFC president Dana White explains why he signed the fighters he did.
UFC Apex is the promotion's newest cutting-edge facility
The UFC Apex will officially open as Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series kicks off on June 19. Here's a look at what the promotion's newest facility in Las Vegas has to offer.
UFC President Dana White on the UFC Apex, ESPN deal, when Conor McGregor could return and more
UFC President Dana White gave the Review-Journal an exclusive interview where he spoke about the promotion's new facility, the UFC Apex, their new deal with ESPN, when Conor McGregor may return to the octagon and more.
Shevchenko says defending the UFC flyweight belt is her number one challenge
UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko claimed the vacant title when she defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231 last December. She will put the belt on the line for the first time in Chicago, Ill., when she faces Jessica Eye at UFC 238 on June 8.
UFC title contender Jessica Eye says her move to Las Vegas gives her an edge
Ohio native Jessica Eye says she moved to Las Vegas to get an edge in performance ahead of facing UFC women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 238 in Chicago, Ill., on June 8.
Greg Hardy, former NFL star, on MMA knockout
The former NFL star needed just 17 seconds to score a knockout on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series (Adam Hill/Review-Journal)
Marlon Moraes says Henry Cejudo will regret stepping up to bantamweight - VIDEO
UFC flyweight champion Henry Cejudo is coming up to the bantamweight division to battle Marlon Moraes for the vacant belt on June 8 at UFC 238. Moraes said Cejudo will regret going after a second title in a new division and added that he thinks his path will cross with former champion TJ Dillashaw in the future.
Paige VanZant details her arm injury, when she can return - VIDEO
UFC strawweight Paige VanZant was briefly linked to fight at UFC 236, but had to withdraw from the bout due to a broken arm. As a guest on the RJ Ringside Podcast, she detailed the injury and also spoke about joining the M-1 Global booth as a color commentator.