Friday, April 1, 2016

A Breakdown of What the New Combative Sports Law Will Require


The Assembly finally did their part, and we'll soon have a brand-spanking new Combative Sports Law on the books that will radically change the landscape here in New York. But even though the MMA Bill is readily available online, confusion still reigns as to what those changes will be (after all, who besides me likes reading dry legislative mumbojumbo? Answer: Probably no one.). So to help provide some clarity, I've put together a table of the impending requirements under the new law.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hell Yeah, Mofos


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Statement From Assemblyman Dean Murray

A statement from Assemblyman Dean Murray (R,C,I-East Patchogue)

“Assembly Bill 2604-C, which would legalize professional mixed martial arts in New York State, passed the Tourism, Parks, and Sports Development committee today by a vote of 15-5 and then passed the Codes Committee by a 16-5 vote. The bill is now on its way to Ways and Means.

“As the ranking Minority member on Tourism, Parks and Sports Development, I’m excited that the new Speaker has finally allowed this bill to move forward. The Senate has now passed this bill for seven straight years. I'm looking forward to having the bill go to the floor and getting past its greatest hurdle, the Assembly, so it can be sent to the Governor to be signed into law.”

Monday, March 21, 2016

What to Expect From Tomorrow's Assembly Proceedings Re: The MMA Bill


This afternoon the Assembly Speaker's communication director tweeted the following:
Yeah, you read that right. The MMA Bill is passing either tomorrow afternoon or Wednesday. That's huge, as it means the MMA landscape in New York is about to undergo some drastic change - most definitely for the better.

So what exactly is going to happen tomorrow? Here's a breakdown in case you want to follow along.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Observations From My Couch: Cage Fury Fighting Championships 57


(March 19, Philadelphia, P.A.) The long-running Northeast promotion Cage Fury Fighting Championships returned to Philadelphia, and with it came all the usual top-level and talent and thrills you've come to expect from the CFFC brand. Two flyweight titles were up for grabs - one for females and one for males - while veterans and rising stars alike battled it out on the undercard. Highlights on the night included:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The New York MMA Bill Will Pass Next Week


The New York State Assembly will take up the MMA Bill as early as Monday, and given that amount of support the bill has in the Democratic Conference and on the floor, passage is practically assured.

That's right, folks. Professional MMA will soon be legalized in the last place in all of North America that's kept it illegal.

Friday, February 19, 2016

What Will Happen After the New York MMA Bill Passes, Part 2: Amateur MMA


When the State Attorney General's Office admitted that the law banning professional combative sports didn't apply to amateur fights, the floodgates were cast open, and New York was suddenly filled with would-be Dana Whites organizing bouts in cages. Some shows were relatively safe affairs, with medical personnel present and trained officials and many of the other trappings of an event held in jurisdictions with state sanctioning. Many more shows were not so safe, with every possible corner cut and fighters literally risking their lives for nothing. But the common denominator shared by all was that, under the 1997 Combative Sports Law, the Athletic Commission could regulate none of them.

Thanks to the MMA Bill soon becoming law, that will all change. Drastically.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What Will Happen After the New York MMA Bill Passes, Part 1: The Timing


History has been most unkind to proponents of sanctioned mixed martial arts in New York, but the future glimpsed within the shifting sands of the hourglass is more positive than ever. So let's talk about what will happen once the MMA Bill passes and the changes it will bring - specifically, the timing of it all.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Monday, February 8, 2016

Flashback: International Fight Night, Brooklyn's Russian MMA Promotion


New York teeters on the precipice of drastic change, all set to tumble headlong into the chasm of acceptance, and soon what was will nevermore be – all of which is just a fancy way of saying it’s time to take a walk down memory lane.

If you were in Brooklyn in 2001, and you wandered south of the Belt Parkway to the Russian enclave of Brighton Beach, you might have seen the posters. Colorful posters, taped to lamp posts and hanging in the windows of shops whose awnings bore Cyrillic letters. The posters promised violence, promised heroes to cheer for, promised a slice of the kind of thrills offered by the UFC (which was at the time banned from pay-per-view, but would soon make a comeback in a big way).

The posters advertised something called “International Fight Night”.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Senate Passed Their MMA Bill Yesterday - Why This Time Around It's Special


The New York State Senate approved their version of the MMA Bill yesterday by a vote of 48 to 14, making it the eighth time in seven years they've done so (last year they did it twice, with the extra thumbs-up coming after the MMA Bill was overhauled and revised). The Republican-run Senate has never been much of a problem for proponents of the sport - the hold-up has traditionally been in the Assembly, which has yet to vote on their version and whose approval is needed to turn both bills into a law. So big deal, right? The Senate just did what it's always done, and there's nothing to be too thrilled about - right? Not quite. Before you dismiss what happened yesterday as something less than noteworthy, consider the timing of the Senate's actions.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

An Interview With New York MMA Pioneer Nardu Debrah


In the early 2000s, Nardu Debrah was fighting in rings set up in Russian restaurants in Brighton Beach, hotel ballrooms in Midtown Manhattan, and nightclubs off the Long Island Expressway. Nowadays, though, he's an elder statesman of the sport, with a black belt under Renzo Gracie and a school out in Brooklyn - a school that's produced none other than ROC champ and UFC newcomer Randy Brown. 

While Brown was fulfilling his contractual obligations of talking to the assembled media at the UFC on FOX 18 open workouts in Hoboken, N.J., Debrah was kind enough to let me stick a camera in his face and grill him. 

Why would I want to skip over the fresh-faced rookie for a chance to rap with the salty veteran? Because Brown's got all the time in the world to make history, but when it comes to the history of MMA in New York, Debrah long ago made himself an important part of it.

UFC Newark Open Workouts: Sage Northcutt Making the Girls Swoon