Monday, June 30, 2014

Remembering Billy Craparo on the Anniversary of His Death


Today is the five-year anniversary of the death of Billy Craparo, a trailblazer in the local New Jersey MMA scene who encapsulated what it meant to be a blue collar fighter in the early, pre-Zuffa days of the sport.

Here's what I posted on Craparo when he passed in 2009:

Nationwide Amateur MMA Tournament to Culminate at MMA World Expo on July 26


The July 26 an 27 MMA World Expo at the Javits Center in Manhattan will have a lot to offer MMA fans, not the least of which is the amateur MMA show slated to go down. Thanks to the good folks at Fighters Source, a nationwide tournament will culminate in the cage there, and as the following card indicates, fighters who've fought and won throughout the country at FS events will be mixing it up.

Things to note about the lineup: New York City has one representative in Stuart Gordon, with a fighter from Syracuse coming down to lend some more somewhat local flavor. Also, it seems the team from Fresno has been kicking a ton of ass this year. A ton of ass.

AKBF Fight League Poster


Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Clip From Last Night's Battle at the Aviator


No, I did not go to the event, but thanks to the magic of social media, we can relive some of the action that we missed. Enjoy this clip, which is of two ladies scrapping hard.

Flashback: Aggressive Combat Championship's First MMA Show


The next big MMA show on tap for New York City is Aggressive Combat Championships' July 12 shindig at York College. In honor of that affair, here's a video on their first full amateur MMA card, which took place on January 26, 2013.

Go ahead, take a walk down memory lane.

MMA Battle at Schuetzen Park Official Results


  • Troy Green def. Robert Maldonado via Unanimous Decision
  • Miguel Lopez def. Vernal McCalla via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:43, R2
  • O'Brayan Ramirez def. Kenneth Ward via TKO at 2:09, R1
  • Marcus Diaz def. Hamsel Burgos via Unanimous Decision

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Whole Lotta Fights Going Down Tonight


If you live in the New York/New Jersey area, your combative sport options today are pretty copious. What are the options?

If you want to catch some amateur MMA action, you have a Lou Neglia/Dead Serious co-promotion in North Bergen, N.J. to check out...

Friday, June 27, 2014

New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame Poster


Another UFC Double-Header Tomorrow


There's another UFC double-header on tap tomorrow, with UFC Fight Night Auckland rocking our computer monitors at 2:30am (it's on UFC Fight Pass) and a UFC Fight Night out of San Antonio coming to us on FOX Sports 1 in the evening. Yes, it's crazy how much UFC action we get nowadays, and if you're an ardent fan, it's pretty much impossible to keep up with it all and still maintain a life.

Anyway, here are some preview videos to get you motivated to watch some - or none - of tomorrow's events.

What Are You Doing on Saturday Night?


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mid-Year Combative Sports Stats for New Jersey and New York


We're halfway through the year, and as is the custom, New Jersey State Athletic Control Board Grand Poobah Nick Lembo has released some stats on what has transpired in 2014 thus far. Of course, not to be outdone, I've compiled some stats regarding New York mixed martial arts. Compare them, contrast them, do whatever with them. I don't care!

MMA Platinum Gloves Poster


Official New York City Fighter Rankings - June '14 Edition


It's that time again, time to flesh out something of a pecking order in the flourishing New York City amateur MMA scene. Since last we visited this topic, there have been four fight shows, and with championship belts changing hands, new stars have emerged. So let's get to it!

Throwback Thursday: Larry Hazzard Sr.


Though Dana White and Zuffa get a lot of credit for making MMA into the sport we know and love today, one figure who often gets undeservedly overlooked is Larry Hazzard Sr. Hazzard was commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board for 22 years, and it was during his watch that he (and Nick Lembo) developed and implemented the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kung Fu Quarrel in New York City Threatens Very Fabric of Society


The funny thing about beef between kung fu instructors is that once you have some, you're almost immediately hungry for more afterwards. So here's New York City star kung fu-ist David Ross, talking about some sort of blood feud between him and his arch-nemesis.

Things to note: The fact that interviewer Jess-One is wearing sunglasses indoors, and all the excess chi floating about.

Sometimes Karate is Really Cool


If you grew up in the 70s and 80s, you probably thought karate was most - if not all - one needed in terms of a complete fighting style. And that's fine. Prior to the advent of the UFC and MMA, why would we know any better? Still, sometimes it's nice to look back on those days and long for the innocence our ignorance wrought.

Or we can just watch karate man Lyoto Machida retire the legendary Randy Couture with the very first technique you learn in karate class. That works, too. Os!

Check Out the Latest East Coast MMA Show


Promoter Christian Defiris' Battle at the Aviator is just a few days away, so he's doing the media rounds to spread the word on it. Last night's stop on the promotional tour: the East Coast MMA Show. Check it out and you'll get a good idea of what to expect on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The History of MMA in the Five Boroughs: Brooklyn Edition


This weekend will see the debut of the Extreme Cage Fighting's Battle at the Aviator at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, and in honor of the borough that the Beastie Boys recommend no sleeping until you get to, here's a little stroll through the County of Kings' history in regards to mixed martial arts.

Lyman Good Still Crushes His Enemies


If there was ever any doubt, it was put to rest via KO at Cage Fury Fighting Championships 36 on Saturday night in Morristown, N.J. On that night, we learned that former Bellator champ Lyman Good is still in the business of crushing his enemies, seeing them driven before him, and hearing the lamentations of their women.

Opponent Matt Secor lasted four minutes and 21 seconds, and now the big question is, "What's next?" Said CFFC matchmaker Arias Garcia Jr.:
"With this victory, Lyman made a huge statement in the welterweight division. With his credentials and his impressive victory this past Saturday, he's probably going to face the winner of the Jonavin Webb-versus-Dan Stittgen fight in August."
Now look at these awesome pics of Good vs. Secor by Earl Campbell.

MMA Battles at Schuetzen Park Poster


Monday, June 23, 2014

Republican Assemblyman Thinks MMA Should Be Legalized


Because most of the action - or inaction - in the New York State Assembly in regards to MMA can be credited to the Democratic majority who controls what gets done, we rarely  hear how the Republicans feel about the sport. Well, thanks to an editorial in today's Brighton-Pittsford Post, we learned what Assemblyman Brian Kolb, a Republican, thinks. Said Assemblyman Kolb:

ICYMI, There Was a Sports Law Chat on MMA Last Night


Last night I took part in the Sports Law Chat on Twitter, and though the name is pretty self-explanatory, what made the affair relevant to my field of expertise was the focus: MMA, and especially MMA in New York. Depending on what Twitter app you use, you can see the entire hour-long conversation if you do a search for "#SLChat".

Or you can just read it below. Your choice.

Some More Fights From Saturday's GMMA Card


Yeah, New York took it on the chin at Saturday's Golden MMA Championships. But so what? Our guys fought their asses off, and for that they deserve a ton of credit.

Here are two more bouts from the five-fight card. Watch them, study them, and remember what it looks like to see the away team win... 'cause it ain't ever happening again.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Team New York Gets Clobbered at Golden MMA Championships


The traveling MMA organization known as Fighters Source came to town last night, and with the Golden MMA Championships as its local promoter base, a team comprised of amateurs from Chicago and Miami squared off against a team of New Yorkers.

And the New Yorkers got clobbered.

A Resolution Could Be Soon in the Zuffa vs. New York Lawsuit


It appears a resolution could be soon in the Zuffa vs. New York lawsuit. According to an order file on June 19 by presiding U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood, a firm timetable is set now that discovery (i.e., the turning over of evidence to support each side's arguments) has been completed.

Said Judge Wood:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

GMMA: Justin Vargas vs. Mike Hauben


GMMA: Marwin Roque vs. William Calhoun


GMMA: Eric D'Arce vs. Chris Francis


GMMA: Fighters Waiting to Be Introduced


GMMA Primer: The Return of Marwin Roque


Tonight's Golden MMA Championships in Corona, Queens, features some strong local talent - not the least of which is Marwin Roque. Roque, a UCL vet, is a jiu-jitsu ace and instructor at the Renzo Gracie Academy outpost in Astoria. He's also the guy who fought the guy who broke his leg in that bout Gawker wrote about. Sure, it was a freak accident, but not many people can say, "Yeah, I won when the other dude broke his leg."

Battle at the Aviator Poster


Mike Constantino: "Cage Fury Is a Legitimate Promotion"


Cage Fury Fighting Championships 36 is tonight in Morristown, N.J., and though I'll be going to the Golden MMA Championships in Queens instead, I'll be there in spirit. Or something like that. Anyway, MMAJunkie did a profile on CFFC president Mike Constantino ahead of the show, and it's definitely worth checking out.

Some of the more salient quotes include:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Check Out These Insanely Good Photos by Joe LoBianco


Photographer Joe LoBianco has got some skills, as evidenced by the amazing pics he took at the last NYFE event. Check them out here, and then be excited for the photos he's going to take when he goes to next weekend's MMA Platinum Gloves show on Long Island.

GMMA Primer: Q & A with Mike Hauben


At the last Golden MMA Championships back in November, Mike Hauben latched on to Ken Sweeney's leg and didn't let go until Sweeney was screaming in pain and tapping out. It was an impressive win, and one Hauben probably wants to repeat when he steps into the cage at GMMA this Saturday night.

To get a little more insight into the Merrick, Long Island native, TheMMAJournalist reached out to him and got these tidbits...

Watch Me on The MMA Beat


Ariel Helwani had me on his show yesterday, and believe it or not, we didn't talk about MMA in New York at all! Check it out here, and big thanks to Ariel for the invite.

There's a Manup Standup Coming Up - Were You Challenged?


Whatever you do, don't give up watching this video before the 2:10 mark. Trust me, it is so worth it.

Battle at the Aviator/Brooklyn MMA Expo Poster


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Some Clarification Re: The Senate Bill That Would've Regulated Amateur MMA


Not that it makes any difference for 2014 - since today was the last day of the legislative session and the Assembly let the issue die - but the Senate bill that passed yesterday that would have regulated amateur mixed martial arts WOULD have dramatically changed the landscape for everyone in the state. How so?

The bill would have empowered the New York State Athletic Commission to handle all amateur MMA shows, regardless of which third-party sanctioning organization a promotion had used (or not) prior.

Throwback Thursday: Strikeforce's Visit to New York City


In honor of Scott Coker taking over Bellator, here's a nice little throwback to when his Strikeforce baby came to town. Oh man was the food spread at this press function fantastic. Just fantastic.

And yes, that is my daughter in some of the pics.

GMMA Primer: Eric D'Arce in Action


He's tough, he's talented, and he's fighting at the GMMA show on Saturday night in Queens. That's right, I'm talking about Eric D'Arce, who mixes ace grappling, dangerous striking and an epic beard to great effect in the cage.

To get you motivated for his fight, here are some videos of him in action at other shows.

Battle Rock 2 Poster


I Just Can't Resist Posting This Interview With Sifu David Ross


Although he's somewhat retreated from the realm of MMA to focus solely on kung fu, Sifu David Ross will always hold a warm and loving spot in our collective hearts. After all, he pretty much is to New York MMA pretty what Dana White is to boxercise.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Bellator's Times Square Billboard


Remember when Bellator was young and still finding its legs and everyone was excited because it was going from the Home Shopping Network (or something like that) to MTV2?

I remember that.

Zach Arnold's Words of Caution About the NYSAC and MMA


Veteran MMA journo Zach Arnold is like the Dark Knight - he's not necessarily the hero we deserve, but he's one we need. In a recent post on his site FightOpinion, he examined the UFC's efforts to seek regulation in all 50 states, and cautioned that not all state athletic commissions are created equal.

In light of the Senate bill that just passed that would put regulation in the hands of the New York State Athletic Commission, here's what Zach had to say about New York:

New York State Senate Passes Bill to Regulate Amateur MMA


The New York State Senate has just passed Bill S4877, a bill that would serve to regulate amateur mixed martial arts. Senator Joseph Griffo sponsored the bill, and an analysis of the legislation can be found here.

Cage Fury Fighting Championships 36 Poster


GMMA Primer: Up Close With Omowale Adewale


When last we saw Omowale Adewale, the 35-year-old personal trainer from Brooklyn was hobbled by simultaneous shin kicks at NYFE's March show - an initially confusing turn of events that saw him and his opponent bleeding profusely and the bout being called by the doctor. But Adewale gets back in the saddle on Saturday's GMMA show, so why not get to know him a little better?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fighter Hassan Hope Talking MMA


Richie Pabon to Fight at Upcoming UCL Event


Rich Pabon has been fighting pretty much on every New York City amateur MMA card lately, and he'll continue that streak with an appearance at the upcoming Underground Combat League event on June 29.

As per the UCL's Facebook account:

There was an Octagon in Times Square Yesterday


Hey, guess what? The Octagon was set up in Times Square yesterday, and within it, a bunch of UFC stars fought.

Well, fought as in "played video games" - EA Sports' new UFC game, to be exact.

The above pic is taken from the UFC's Instagram account.

Some Golden MMA Fights to Whet Your Appetite


The next installment of Golden MMA Championships is slated for Saturday in Corona, Queens, and if it lives up to the standards set by past shows, it will be glorious. Don't believe me? Then watch these fights from past GMMA events and see how good it can get.

Listen to the Latest Darce Side Radio, Learn More About MMA in New York


Even though he's moved to Detroit, Mike Stets is still around. In fact, he had me on his Darce Side Radio show on Sunday to talk about all things related to MMA in New York. Give it a listen.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Flashback: Golden MMA Championships - 6.15.13


This coming Saturday will see another installment of the Golden MMA Championships at the Elmcor Center in Corona, Queens - a venue so close to my house it takes me no more than five minutes to drive there AND  find parking. But besides convenience, GMMA has a lot to offer in terms of quality fighters in quality fights. Here's a look back at their first show, which took place back in June of 2013.

Here's the Fourth Clip From the Gerald Javier Documentary


The documentary by 750 Sq. Feet on Aggressive Combat Championship title holder Gerald Javier rolls on with this, the fourth clip in the series. Watch and enjoy.

Haters Gonna Hate: Amateur MMA Edition


That Deadspin article I wrote that took to task the holes in New York's amateur MMA scene is the gift that keeps on giving. The following is a comment that was posted by someone supposedly "in the know".