Monday, January 26, 2015

Speaker Sheldon Silver to Step Down

NEW YORK


Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was arrested by federal authorities on corruption charges last week, will be stepping down from his post while he fights the charges. As per the New York Daily News:
Embattled Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has agreed to step aside from his powerful perch while he faces federal corruption charges, the Daily News has learned.
A source with direct knowledge of the deal says the chamber will be run jointly by five veteran Assembly Democrats — Majority Leader Joseph Morelle (D-Rochester), Herman "Denny" Farrell (D-Manhattan), Joseph Lentol (D-Brooklyn), Cathy Nolan (D-Queens) and Carl Heastie (D-Bronx).
"It's done," the source said.
This sudden and dramatic turn of events is likely very good news for the MMA in New York effort, as four of the five names mentioned who will be stepping in to run the legislative show are supporters of the sport. In fact, Majority Leader Morelle was the sponsor of last year's MMA bill.

In terms of a timetable for getting an MMA bill done, it's hard to pin down when that could be - suffice to say that the session ends in June, and an MMA bill would be a low legislative priority compared to other issues. Regardless, with Speaker Silver out of the picture and four pro MMA Assemblyman helping run the show, it's safe to say that things are certainly looking up.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Ring of Combat 50 Liveblog

NEW JERSEY


Due to a confluence of events, my plan of sitting cageside for tonight's New York Fight Exchange event in Jamaica, Queens is a "no go". However, guess what's on pay-per-view for me to liveblog from the comfort of my own couch? That's right, ROC 50. So sit back and relax as I kick it old school and write about what I see.

NYFE 5 Is Tonight

NEW YORK



Ring of Combat 50 Is Tonight

NEW JERSEY



Thursday, January 22, 2015

New York State Assembly MMA Bill Scorecard

NEW YORK


Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is in cuffs, and the possibility of him getting the boot and a replacement being chosen could mean no more impasse when it comes to getting the MMA bill to the floor for a vote. But who would be his successor and would they be in favor of lifting the ban on the sport in New York? At this point, it's impossible to predict who could assume the role of Speaker, as the process could involve some Game of Thrones-esque power grabbing and bloodletting. However, thanks to hindsight, we can tell who in the Assembly supported MMA bills in the past. And here's the list!

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to Be Arrested on Corruption Charges Today

NEW YORK


Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver - widely credited as the man who is keeping any and all MMA bills from getting a floor vote in the State Assembly - is expected to be arrested on corruption charges today. The charges stem from an investigation conducted by federal authorities on Speaker Silver's finances. Here's the New York Times with the skinny:

Friday, January 16, 2015

Underground Boxing in the Bronx, Because Why Not?

NEW YORK


I'm not much of a boxing fan, but I couldn't resist posting this one. Obviously, it's an "underground" event, but the crowd is pretty sizable and into it. It looks like many of the countless unsanctioned MMA events I've covered, minus the sloppy takedowns.

Assemblyman Asks New York Governor to Legalize MMA Through the Backdoor

NEW YORK


Assemblyman Dean Murray has long been a friend to the MMA movement here in New York, and yesterday, that friendship manifested itself in the form of an open letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo requesting that he include the legalization of the sport in his 2015 Executive Budget Proposal.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Shakeup at the New York State Athletic Commission and What it Means for the Sport

NEW YORK


Longtime New York State Athletic Commission Chairperson Melvina Lathan was ousted today, and named as her replacement was Thomas Hoover, whose resume includes a stint running the boxing program for the Oneida Indian Nation in Upstate New York. It's unclear at this point where Commissioner Hoover stands on MMA, but the sport is certainly losing an ally with Commissioner Lathan's departure.

Watch a Kung Fu Master Get Smoked in Chinatown

NEW YORK


You know what probably sucks? Touting yourself as a master of kung fu, throwing down in a very public challenge match, getting creamed, and having the video disseminated across YouTube like the secret recipe to Kentucky Fried Chicken. Such was the case with Sifu Sharif Bey, who is based out of Syracuse and is a proponent of a particular style of kung fu called Hung Gar. Last month, Sifu Bey found himself taking on some guy wearing MMA gloves at the pavilion in Chinatown's Columbus Park - a spot where kung fu practitioners often meet to train and test themselves - and, well, let's just say that Sifu Bey got the worst of it.

Here's the video:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The 2015 Guide to MMA in New York

NEW YORK


If 2015 ends up being anything like 2014, then the New York MMA scene is going to be rich, vibrant and full of growth... and there will be about one thousand mainstream reporters, podcasters, radio broadcasters, TV producers and Columbia University School of Journalism students reaching out to me for some insight on it. So here is a handy-dandy guide to the scene, complete with info on the efforts to get pro MMA legalized, the key players in government, the promoters who've carved out their respective niches, and even some fighters to keep an eye on. Because what kind of journalist would I be if I didn't keep you informed? (Answer: a crappy one.)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Amateur Champ Marcus Surin Wins Pro Debut

AWESOME


(Photo courtesy of Rafca Mercilus.)
The New York amateur MMA scene lost one of its more prominent champs on Saturday night, as Victory Combat Sports lightweight king Marcus Surin took the professional fighting plunge at a Reality Fighting installment at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. Surin, the epitome of an ace grappler, won via rear naked choke - likely the first of many such victories to come.

It is a sad truth that all top amateur fighters will inevitably graduate to bigger and better things, but there is some upside to New York City losing one of its best: NOW A NEW KING MUST BE CHOSEN.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Five New York MMA Championship Bouts From 2014

NEW YORK


Now that we're officially cruising into 2015, we can look back at 2014 and reflect upon the year that was for the New York MMA scene. Was the law finally changed that would allow pro iterations of the sport back into the state? Hell no, but in terms of amateur fights, New York saw some huge growth and maturity.

To celebrate that, here are five title fights that occurred throughout the year in various promotions' cages. Note: this isn't a ranking of which were the best ones. This is just a walk down memory lane.