Saturday, December 27, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Monday, December 22, 2014

Because If You Ain't Wing Chun-ing in Central Park, You Might As Well Go Home


Wing Chun versus Tae Kwon Do in Central Park - presented without comment:

Grapple at the Garden: Don't Mess With the Wrestlers


Rule #1: Don't mess with wrestlers.

Rule #2: See Rule #1.

These rules were in full effect at the Team Renzo vs. Team Warren clash at Sunday's Grapple at the Garden, which saw teams fielded by Renzo Gracie and Bellator champ Joe Warren go at it on a mat laid down in the center of the arena at Madison Square Garden.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gladius Fights 14 Poster


A Few More Fights From Saturday's Aggressive Combat Championships 9


While you were watching Junior Dos Santos and Stipe Miocic kill each other on FOX on Saturday night, I was perched beside the cage at ACC 9, wielding my trusty Galaxy S4 like a futuristic combat correspondent. Curious about what you missed? Then be curious no more!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Watch Me On the Last East Coast MMA Show Installment of the Year


It's been an interesting year for New York MMA fans. As a whole, the scene has grown and evolved to the point where there are over 50 events annually, while fighters, camps and even promotions have honed their craft to near perfection - or not. This was the topic of discussion at last night's year-end installment of the East Coast MMA Show, with host Tom Kilkenny and I hashing out the good, the bad and the ugly of 2014.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Aggressive Combat Championships Ends Year With a Bang


Aggressive Combat Championships ended 2014 with a bang on Saturday night, with their fifth and final installment of the year bringing together two ultra-talented female fighters in the cage and letting them battle it out for a championship title.

In a very competitive three-round war, Jillian DeCoursey and Hannah McGuckin did 115-pound fighters everywhere proud as they struggled to impose their respective wills on each other - and for both ladies, who hail from strong grappling schools, that "will" involved finding the dominant position on the ground. Ultimately, it came down to the third round and who could gain the advantage, and that ended up being DeCoursey, who trapped McGuckin against the cage and rained hell from above.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Aggressive Combat Championships 9: Tino Nalpantidis Impresses


Okay, this is the last ACC 9 preview post - I promise. And I'll keep it short: Tino Nalpantidis, East Coast United Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, young up-and-comer. Boom. Watch the video.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Aggressive Combat Championships 9 Primer: Watch Out for Pedro Villa


Once upon a time, if you lived in New York City and had an interest in learning grappling, you either went to Renzo Gracie's academy, dropped by one of the budding boutique jiu-jitsu schools that were sprouting up here and there, or just went to Oishi Judo's open mat night. That was it, and "it" was expensive. But with time there came to be another, less costly option, and it involved shelling out $25 for a year-long New York City Department of Parks & Recreation membership, going to the Hamilton Fish Recreation Center on the Lower East Side, and helping unfurl the mats for Tuesday/Thursday meetings of the Twin Towers Wrestling Club.

Wrestling was, of course, the focus of the club. However, some of the members did work on submissions, and now, with years of training and competition under their belts (plus the infusion of some high-level instruction), they Twin Towers Wrestling Club has some serious badasses.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Grapple at the Garden Hype Reel


In less than two weeks, the arena in Madison Square Garden will be packed with wrestlers shooting for takedowns and sprawling like their lives depend upon it, while music blares and extremely partisan sections of the crowd cheer for their respective teams/heroes. To stand on the floor for that is the ultimate in sensory overload, so yeah, The MMA Journalist plans to be there once again for the event. In the meantime, here's a hype reel for us to savor.

Aggressive Combat Championships 9 Primer: The Ascent of Hannah McGuckin


Kat Morales may have the "top female fighter in all of New York City" spot sewn up, but there's another name worth noting: Hannah McGuckin. McGuckin, of Maxum BJJ, returns to the ACC cage on Saturday night for a main event bout that will pit her against Jillian DeCoursey of East Coast United. Yes, there's a strawweight belt up for grabs. Yes, McGuckin can scrap, so odds are ACC 9 is going to be capped off by a pretty entertaining battle. And yes, I do have video of McGuckin in action.

Watch and enjoy.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dead Serious MMA 13 Poster


Aggressive Combat Championships 9 Primer: Christian Medina Kicking Ass


The last big MMA show in New York City for 2014 will be this Saturday's Aggressive Combat Championships 9, which will bring with it all the combative goodness you've come to expect from an ACC event. There are a bunch of reasons why this installment is worthwhile, and they include the polished production, the talent-rich pool of camps that sends competitors into the ACC cage, and the always exciting fights. But instead of laying it all out in boring words, I'm just going to show you a video of one of the fighters on Saturday's card in action. Christian Medina is his name, and here he is, kicking some ass at an ACC in May.

Friday, December 5, 2014

New York Fight Exchange 5 Poster


Underrated Fighter Finally Gets His Due


Aaron Sifflet may not have a perfect record, but he's put in the hard work in the gym, fights hard in the cage, and wins when it matters. At Victory VII at Madison Square Garden, he rose to the occasion by tapping out a tough Yuting Hong with an armbar - proving to the world what many already knew: Sifflet is a pretty damn dangerous fighter.

Below is a short video on him. Watch it, absorb it, enjoy it, and gain a little insight on one of the people that makes the New York MMA scene what it is.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame Dinner is Friday


The annual New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame awards dinner is Friday night, and though I won't be attending, I'll be there in spirit. Notable honorees this year include UFC fighters Chris Weidman, Dan Miller and Nick Catone, a badass cageside physician in Dr. Steven Oxler, Frankie Edgar's boxing coach Mark Henry, and MMA pioneer Chris Ligouri. The full list of inductees is below.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

Now This Is A Victory Dance


ICYMI, Here's Me on Gross Point Blank


In case you missed it, I was on my old chum Josh Gross' Gross Point Blank podcast this week talking MMA at Madison Square Garden and the New York scene in general. Listen to it here.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Five Fights To Be Thankful For This Year


The strong scent of roasting turkey wafting through the air, the sounds of family bickering over things irrelevant and silly, unattended kids eating paint chips in the corner - it must be Thanksgiving! So what are you thankful for this year?

Fans of fighting in the New York/New Jersey area have plenty of things on that list, especially since there have been a ton of decent scraps in 2014. Here, then, is a list of five fights I'm thankful I got to see in person.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Official New York City Fighter Rankings - November '14 Edition


There's just one more MMA major event scheduled for New York City before 2014 comes to a close (Aggressive Combat Championship on December 13), but it looks like all of the top amateur fighters in the area are done for the year - which means it's time for one last edition of the Official New York City Fighter Rankings!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Some Really Cool Victory VII Photos


Although she had never shot a fight show before, I think Leeza L. did a fine job capturing some really cool moments at Friday's Victory VII show at Madison Square Garden. Of course, it helped that she was right there on the ring apron and had zero concerns about getting splattered with blood...

Anyway, here are a handful of her pics. Enjoy.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Victory VII: Kicking All Kinds of Ass at MSG


Victory Combat Sports brought it very special brand of action to Madison Square Garden on Friday night, cramming nearly 4,000 people into the Theater for a mixed Muay Thai/amateur MMA card that ended up kicking all kinds of ass.

Though the kickboxing matches provided much excitement - thanks to such rising stars as Chris Kwiatkowski, NJ Mac, Codie Payne and a spirited battle between Jason Van Oijen and Paul Banaslak - it was the historic, first-ever MMA bouts at the venue that were the focal point of the evening. And man, did those fights deliver.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Victory at MSG Primer: Chad Hernandez


You know what's awesome about this Victory at Madison Square Garden show, aside from the fact that it's at Madison Square Garden? The fact that it has top fighters from all the New York City organizations on the card. There are badasses from Aggressive Combat Championship, Golden MMA Championships, and Victory itself slated to fight on Friday night. There's even probably one of the best fighters to come out of the UCL ready to throw down.

I'm talking about Chad Hernandez.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Victory at MSG Primer: The Great Chike Obi


We're a week away from Victory VII and the first-ever MMA bouts at Madison Square Garden, so it's time for some preview content to get us primed and ready. Today's installment revolves around Brooklyn warrior Chike Obi.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Here's a Little Something Discovery Channel Did on Manup Standup


As the author of a book on the underground fight scene in New York City, I have for years been the person TV producers call when they want to film something gritty and fight-related here. So of course when Discovery Channel reached out to me about doing something on unsanctioned fights, I hooked them up with Novell Bell and his Manup Standup organization.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Al Iaquinta In a Kickboxing Bout, Circa 2008


Al Iaquinta may have shocked the world when he put away Ross Pearson in the Octagon this past weekend, but the TKO only confirmed what we here in the Northeast already knew: Al is, and always has been, a badass. For some further perspective on the Long Islander's combative sports chops, here's a video of a kickboxing bout he did back in 2008. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

ICYMI: MMA Platinum Gloves 7 In Its Entirety


After seven installments, it's pretty safe to say that MMA Platinum Gloves has become the preeminent Long Island-based fight promotion - a notion that doesn't change the fact that the events take place on Long Island and you need a car to get to them. But lo! Here's a video of their last show! Check it out and see what your Long Island Railroad-riding ass missed!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Victory at MSG Hype Reel


It's short and sweet, and worth a look.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The 2014 Election and How It Affects MMA in New York


There was an election in New York yesterday, which means that the potential for shakeups in government and the shifting of political winds in regards to MMA was at its highest. So now that the votes have been tallied and the dust has settled, who's in and who's out? Here's a scorecard for you:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

This Is The Price of Competing In Unregulated New York


Bobby Aylward fought at the Upstate New York promotion Kaged Kombat last month, and though he won, he damaged his hand to the point where it required surgery. Unfortunately for him, the promoter did not have insurance - by law, none was required - so pictured above is just one of the medical bills Bobby is going to have to eat.

As per his Facebook:

Monday, November 3, 2014

Things of Note That Happened Over the Weekend: 11.3.14 Edition


A lot of things worth noting happened over the weekend. And here they are!

  • Lyman Good fought Jonavin Webb for the Cage Fury Fighting Championship welterweight title at CFFC 43 in Atlantic City, and by all accounts, Good was slaughtering him. But an accidental foul (eye poke) had Webb saying he couldn't continue before the third round was up, so the bout was ruled a "no contest". THAT SUCKS.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Josh Mayville: The Amateur MMA Hero New York Needs


Team New York got its ass kicked in the last Fighters Source tournament, but one shining star from upstate named Josh Mayville very much did not. In fact, when Mayville flew over to the UK for the tournament finals - where he took on a rep from Team UK - he pretty much laid down some devastation that painted the New York amateur scene in a decent light. Here's the video of that bout. Oh, and don't blink.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

This Guy Is Fighting Lyman Good at CFFC 43 On Saturday


Jonavin Webb has done well for himself on the regional circuit. He went undefeated as an amateur, transitioned to pro and remained undefeated in all seven of his subsequent fights, and earned himself at Cage Fury Fighting Championship belt along the way. Too bad he has to face Lyman Good at CFFC 43 this weekend.

Here are the relevant facts:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I Admit It, I Love These


Okay, I admit it - I love these videos of the Manup Standup dudes sparring in Central Park. Yes, people throwing down and/or practicing martial arts in New York City parks is pretty commonplace and really nothing out of the ordinary. But I think it's a combination of the MUSU guys actually fighting for real every few months and using these sessions as training for it that makes them somewhat glamorous (for lack of a better word) in my mind. Anyway, here are some videos from a recent meet-up.

Monday, October 20, 2014

World Class Kickboxing Championship 2 Poster


A Fight From the Last Victory Show to Whet Your Appetite


November 21 is quickly approaching, and with it comes the realization of the long-held dream of seeing MMA bouts at Madison Square Garden. To whet your appetite for the meal of violence that is to come, here's a bout from the last Victory show. According to the promoters, both of these fighters will be on the MSG card.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Spirit FC 6 Poster


There are Two Kickboxing Shows in Manhattan Tonight


There are two big kickboxing shows set to go down in Manhattan tonight. Putting aside how awesome/nuts that is, here are the details:

One is Combat at the Capitale, promoter Lou Neglia's long-running show that always features fighters on their way to or from the MMA world. As per the card posted above, MMA vets on the card include Munah Holland, John Salgado, Villi Bello and Shennen Maceo.

Thursday, October 16, 2014