Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day! Here's a Video of Aikido in Action!


Happy Labor Day! To celebrate, here's a video of what happens when an Aikido black belt takes on a submission grappler. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The View From Upstate, Part 1 - An Interview With Cory Schafer of the ISKA


New York is a big state. So big, actually, that to drive from Montauk – the state’s eastern-most point – to Buffalo would require about nine hours and a ton of coffee. The state’s great size is why, when talking to a native New Yorker, the geographical parlance of the conversation will include references to “the city” (i.e., New York City), “out on the island” (i.e., Long Island), and “upstate” – a catchall for anything north of the Big Apple. And a glance at the map will tell you that the area encompassed by the word “upstate” is huge.

In 2012, when the Zuffa vs. New York State lawsuit forced the Attorney General to admit that amateur MMA was legal, that huge area was suddenly awash with aspiring promoters and hastily-erected cages. But who would regulate them? Who would oversee the goings-on in and around the cage, making sure events were staffed by trained officials and guided by codified rules? Not the New York State Athletic Commission – the law banning pro MMA also prevents the Commission from playing a role in amateur versions of the sport. No, for the folks upstate, the void created by the influx of fight shows was filled by a third-party sanctioning organization. Overseeing amateur MMA was, for the most part, handled by Cory Schafer’s International Sport Karate Association (ISKA).

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

More Tidbits From Zuffa vs. New York Lawsuit


We're definitely at a cool juncture in the Zuffa vs. New York State lawsuit. All the evidence needed to make the respective parties' arguments has been gathered, and for the sake of bolstering each side's motions for summary judgment and rebuttals, a multitude of facts are being revealed. Here's some of the pretty interesting stuff gleaned from the most recent round of filings:

Check Out This Interview With CFFC Honcho Rob Haydak


You know what's awesome? Years ago, before the advent of social media and the need for promotions to maintain an online presence, I had to do all the legwork and rustle up these kinds of interviews. Now they get done for me! Anyway, here's Cage Fury Fighting Championship grand poobah Rob Haydak, talking shop. Watch and gain some insight on one of the Northeast circuit's top organizations.

MMA Platinum Gloves Sizzle Reel


We're less than two weeks away from the next installment of the MMA Platinum Gloves, which is turning into one of Long Island's preeminent fight shows. I've only been to one of them, and the promotion is on show number six, so for a somewhat more accurate glimpse into what you may expect at their September 6 event, check out the sizzle reel below.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

More Trouble in New York


From the Facebook of someone in New York in the know:
Supplying bloodwork for Hep B, Hep C and HIV in order to participate in amateur MMA event in NY is pretty much the norm. Problem is, not everyone is requiring bloodwork and that is a sad, stone cold fact. I know of one recent case that will be made public very soon, which I'll be sure to share any links when they become available.
I call for more up to date bloodwork, dated after participation with the shady promoters of the state. In other words... If a fighter's bloodwork IS up to date, but they've fought with a questionable promoter, require new bloodwork.
For the safety of the athletes and the officials, blackball those supporting the troublemakers or require more recent bloodwork.
It is sad that those that are making a conscious effort to be safe, may be putting others in harms way, without any knowledge of it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Next MUSU Is Saturday - What the Hell is Going to Happen?


The next installment of Manup Standup is on Saturday, and though I've been to a handful of them, the way they've hyped this coming show has me scratching my head and wondering what the hell is going to happen. Seriously, it's usually just some unsanctioned fights with a serious kung fu slant. But videos such as the one posted below are keeping me guessing.

There Was a Fight Show in Brooklyn This Weekend


There was another installment of Take It To The Top in Brooklyn this weekend. I missed it, but thanks to the wonders of YouTube, you and I can still get a feel for what it was like. Behold! One of the kickboxing bouts on the mixed MMA/kickboxing card!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Whither Thou Goest, Atlantic City


The Revel, which has been hosting UFCs for a while now, will soon be closing its doors, the victim of lack of revenue, the ever-changing tides of legalized gambling and Atlantic City, N.J.'s role as a regional hub for people who like to throw their money away. But what, if anything, does this mean for the strange yet enduring marriage between MMA shows and the casinos there? After all, AC has been hosting such events for about 14 years, and has long been the home for such organizations as Ring of Combat and the Cage Fury Fighting Championship.

According to the Press of Atlantic City, "Atlantic City is betting on sports such as mixed martial arts to help save the city."

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Top Team Serra/Longo Prospect Signs With Bellator


A few months back I was wowed by Jonny Bonilla-Bowman's performance at a Combat at the Capitale and wrote about it. Well, according to former Bellator matchmaker Sam Caplan, the Team Serra/Longo prospect is one of the revamped Scott Coker-run organization's most recent signings.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Latest on the Zuffa vs. New York Lawsuit


The latest round of filings (i.e., the responses to the recent motions for summary judgment) in the Zuffa vs. New York State lawsuit were filed today, and while I'm still going through them, I just thought I'd post this little gem here. It's from the State's side and it's about how their interpretation of the law in regards to amateur MMA has been "consistent" throughout the years.

Gladius Fights Poster


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throwback Thursday: A Pic With One of the Sport's Top Journos


He may be a West Coaster, but there have been occasions when renowned MMA journalist and trailblazer Josh Gross has come out east. One such instance was for an M-1 Global press conference here in Manhattan back in 2007. Never mind that Monte Cox was there wearing a suit, and Fedor Emelianenko was giving interviews. The highlight of my day was getting a pic with my esteemed peer. RESPECT.

MMAMadhouse Radio Liveblog: Part 4


  • A lot of talk about how New York State is falling short and how it's inexplicable that the sport isn't regulated.
  • Okay, things have really gone off the rails with a ton of talk about judging, same-day weigh-ins, mandatory title fights and things like that. Stay on point, guys!
  • Hey, the conversation is coming back to relevancy. MMA shows in Indian reservations upstate have happened, with Gladius having done a pro show on one.
  • "I really didn't feel comfortable working with some of the promoters in New York State," says Forrest. 
  • Forrest is going to be working with Gladius - "They do the best job out of everyone."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

MMAMadhouse Radio Liveblog: Part 3


  • One promoter in Poughkeepsie once told Forrest that his own events were "so safe I don't even need an ambulance."
  • One time, a trained referee Forrest knows went to an unsanctioned show as a spectator, and the officiating was so horrifying that he couldn't help but climb into the cage and take over.
  • Forrest acknowledges that there certainly has been fighters competing in New York State - even upstate - who have fought with HIV and Hepatitis.
  • Cory Schafer, the head honcho of the ISKA comes on as a guest. I interviewed him at length last week, but I've been waiting to hear what Forrest has to say before I posted it. Guess I'll put the interview up tomorrow...
  • Schafer: "The misconception is that regulation is meant to protect the fighters from promoters. It's not. Regulation is meant to protect the fighters from themselves."

MMAMadhouse Radio Liveblog: Part 2


  • First up is Forrest giving some background on himself, which includes how he hooked up with the ISKA and became their point man in sanctioning amateur MMA in Upstate New York.
  • He admits that he quit his role because it was an all-encompassing, time-consuming endeavor. 
  • What's some of the stuff that goes on at unregulated shows in New York? No blood work, no uniform standards for equipment, lacking of suitable medical care, etc.
  • According to Forrest, there are some promoters who don't use sanctioning bodies who do actually self-regulate pretty well. He names Don Lilly as one of them.
  • On the flipside, there are some sanctioning bodies that absolutely suck.
  • MMA is so young in New York that it's reflected in the quality of competitor. This was hammered home to Forrest when Fighters Source came to town with their national fighters. "For the most part, the bulk of the athletes in New York State are nowhere near the level of the rest of the country."

MMAMadhouse Radio Liveblog: Part 1


Former ISKA rep Forrest Hobbick is about to go live on MMAMadhouse's radio show to dish on what he's witnessed firsthand in regards to the shadiness of New York amateur MMA promoters. Yes, I'm listening in, and yes, I'm taking notes (which will appear here). So sit down, strap in, sip your latte and get ready to hear some dirt.