Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Truth About Underground Shows

MMA Journalist certainly enjoys quite a bit of latitude in reporting on the underground shows that take place in New York State, but as this site is truly about the news and reporting on all angles of it, now would be a good time to point out some negatives attached to competing. Yesterday, respected coach Ray Longo issued a statement saying that student Arjang Jameh was banned from his school - a direct result of Jameh's decision to compete in an unsanctioned MMA event. And earlier this year, Nick Lembo of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board decreed that anyone who fights in an unregulated event cannot compete as an amateur in New Jersey. Harsh? Maybe, but both Longo and Lembo have valid reasons, not the least of which is fighter safety. Was there an EMT at the last UCL? Yes, however, I can't say if there was one at those underground events near Albany and on Long Island, and either way, were accurate records kept of who was injured and who would need a suspension (for a KO, as an example)? As the law currently stands, amateur MMA is legal but completely unregulated in New York, and fighters such as the Funaro brothers, Josh Candon, Mike Milian, and Kirland Campbell are gaining valuable experience for future MMA battles - like Frankie Edgar and Bryan Vetell did before them. But there are consequences, and people interested in competing in these events must ask themselves: is it worth it?

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