Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pat Curran: "New York is Nice"


Yesterday was Bellator MMA's media day, which was held at a Dave and Busters in Times Square, and on the menu for reporters to interview were the likes of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Tito Ortiz, King Mo, Will Brooks and Michael Chandler. 

I got to speak to all of them, but here's me talking to champ Pat Curran - a Chicago native who thinks New York is "nice". Nice? Dude...

Throwback Thursday: IFL - 4.4.08


Once upon a time that was a promotion called the International Fight League. It sucked. But it did give us some pretty good fights, a few of which occurred when the traveling organization visited New Jersey.

Here's a look back at the IFL's April 4, 2008 show - an event that featured the likes of local fighters Jim Miller, Jamal Patterson, Brendan Barrett and Carmelo Marrero.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Kung Fu Challenge Matches Are Alive and Well and Awesome


Amazingly, it's the year 2014 and we still have kung fu challenge matches going on in New York City. The video below is one such fight, which occurred very recently and came about because one instructor was badmouthing another and... well, I'll let you read Novell Bell's own words on the matter, since he was one of the combatants.

Tito Ortiz on New York's MMA Ban


Scenes From a Bellator Media Day in NYC - Part 1


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Aggressive Combat Championship 8 Poster


An Interesting Tidbit About the Last UCL


UCL matchmaker Rage Rivas was on the panel discussion for amateur MMA in New York at the MMA World Expo this past weekend, and he told me that the only way they could get people to agree to fight is if they all got their blood screening done.

Screening for HIV and Hepatitis at an unabashed underground show. That, my friends, is called progress.

Another Muay Thai Bout From Friday Night Fights


We're now in the midst of the New York City midsummer combative sport doldrums, and to get through this lull, we need to celebrate some of the great battles that have come before. And hey, here's Friday Night Fights with another video - hooray!

The next FNF is slated for September 19. BattleRock has yet to announce a date for their third show, so it could be that September's FNF installment will be the next time there's live Muay Thai fights in New York City.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Watch Tom DeBlass Defeat Renato "Babalu" Sobral


The MMA World Expo this past weekend had something for everybody - including a grappling superfight between retired MMA legend Renato "Babalu" Sobral and New Jersey king of combative sports Tom DeBlass.

What's especially cool about this match is that DeBlass will be fighting King Mo at the next Bellator installment - and Bellator was fine with him doing the match!

More Fights From Saturday's Fighters Source Show


It's going to be at least four week until New York City gets another taste of live MMA action, so let's savor what we got on Saturday night - courtesy of the Fighters Source show at the Javits Center - and revisit some of the beatings and beatdowns.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

MMA World Expo: Some Brazilian Doing a Seminar


Crushing KOs and Sudden Subs at the Fighters Source Finals


What happens when you put a bunch of amateur fighters in the cage at the Javits Center, fighters from all over the country who previously fought and won just to earn their spot on that New York City card? You get the Fighters Source 2014 tournament finals, which saw a slew of top-notch competitors shine, and punch their tickets to a trip to the UK and a bout against an elite amateur there.

Sadly, no New York City-based fighters made the cut for that trip across the pond. But in the case of Stuart Gordon, at least he fell to an ultra-promising scrapper from Syracuse. That fighter was Josh Mayville, and based on what we've seen of him thus far, it would be smart to remember his name.

Twenty-one seconds was all Mayville needed, and he would've held the record for the fastest finish of the night if not for the quick and accurate fists of Angela Hancock. Hancock caught opponent Suzie Wyatt-Walters moving forward with her guard down, and fed her a right that put her away in just eight seconds.

A battle between reps from Colorado and Florida took a bit longer, with Adam Martinez and Will Calhoun beating each other silly in an affair that was pretty back-and-forth until a finish materialized near the end of Round 2.

Meanwhile, with scores of cheering supporters (and what appeared to be his mother, crying tears of pride), Tom Farrel waged a short but furious war against Californian Mike Jenkins. For all of 51 seconds this one was a seesaw, but it ended via armbar - and Farrel tapping out.

It may have been short on local fighters, but Saturday night's Fighters Source finals showcased some seriously high-level amateur talent from across the country. While much of the MMA world was home watching a UFC on FOX, those of us who came to Manhattan to sit around a cage set up in a cavernous convention hall were witness to a solid evening of fights.

Full results:
  • Joseph Goyette def. Corey Simmons via TKO (Punches) at 1:43, R2
  • Chris Francis def. Jesse Henderson via Unanimous Decision
  • Adam Martinez def. Will Calhoun via Submission (Guillotine) at 2:30, R2
  • Josh Mayville def. Stuart Gordon via KO (Punches) at :21, R1
  • Mason Fowler def. Ray Ceballos via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:05, R3
  • Mike Jenkins def. Tom Farrel via Submission (Armbar) :51, R1
  • Brandon Hester def. Justin Vargas via Unanimous Decision
  • Angela Hancock def. Suzie Wyatt-Walters via KO (Punch) at :08, R1
  • Fernanda Araujo def. Danielle Gallagher via TKO (Punches) at 2:20, R1

Friday, July 25, 2014

Long Island MMA Highlight Video


Long Island MMA kicked some serious ass at the last New York Fight Exchange event, with nearly all of their fighters on the card coming away with the "W" (and some even won belts).

Relive their glorious night with this highlight video, and keep an eye on them in the future. They're killers.

The MMA World Expo is Tomorrow


Thursday, July 24, 2014

UFC on FOX 12 Primer: Dennis Bermudez in Action


Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown are going to take years off their lives beating the hell out of each other on Saturday's night's UFC on FOX 12 card, but before they do, Long Island native Dennis Bermudez will battle the frenetic Clay Guida in a bout that should be pretty fun.

Since Bermudez is a veteran of the Northeast MMA scene, here's a highlight reel I found of his handiwork from when he was just a young buck. Enjoy.

Two Worthwhile Panel Discussions at the MMA World Expo This Weekend


There's a ton of stuff to warrant the discerning MMA fan at this weekend's MMA World Expo at the Javits Center, but two things stand out to me more than the rest (probably because I'm part of them). On Saturday, from 2 to 4pm, there will be a panel discussion on the Legalization of MMA in New York, while on Sunday, from 1 to 2pm, there's a panel discussion on amateur MMA in New York.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chris Weidman Signing at the MMA World Expo


Another Muay Thai Video Because Why the Heck Not?


I have no clue when the next FNF event is (maybe it's their Rumble on the River show?), but in the spirit of kicking and punching in the Big Apple, here's another video they've released. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Watch the Black Taoist Throw Down


He organizes rooftop fights in the projects of Harlem, Manup Standups in Jamaica, Queens, and training sessions in Central Park with like-minded kung fu fighters. I'm talking about Novell Bell, a.k.a. "The Black Taoist", of course, and if you were curious about how well he throws leather, well, check out this vid.

Flashback: Fistfight in Queens


Believe it or not, the site of this particular underground fight show (which took place circa 2007) is now a pristine UFC Gym in Astoria, Queens. It's pretty doubtful that franchise would sign off on holding another event of this ilk.

Where have all the good times gone?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sambo Steve Interviews Fighters Source Honcho Anthony Medina


The next big MMA show in New York City is the Fighters Source event slated for the MMA World Expo of Saturday, and in advance of that, "Sambo" Steve Koepfer interviewed FS honcho Anthony Medina for his blog. Read the whole thing here, but here's a quote I liked:

Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting in Central Park


Kung fu fighting in Central Park is definitely a thing, but what makes this little get-together from the weekend even more remarkable is that someone came all the way down from Syracuse to be a part of it. That's some serious dedication.

I'm guessing this is all in preparation for the upcoming installment of Manup Standup - an event that has attracted competitors from as far away as Maine and Utah.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Here's Another Old Underground Fight For You


Here's an old underground fight (circa 2009) for you. Martial Arts Madness was the name of the promotion, so there are some things to note:
  • This was their third event. Also, their last.
  • It took place at a boxing gym two blocks from my home.
  • Competitors had to wear headgear, rules were loose, and the promoter was shady as hell. So shady, in fact, that the promoter's dad tried to affect the outcomes of fights by halting them when an unpopular fighter was winning.
  • This event occurred after the promoter had fought on his own show and paid his opponent to take a dive.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

This? Oh, Just Some Old Underground Fight


Kirkland Campbell was an interesting dude. Quiet, almost introverted, he was the most unassuming person in the world whenever he was outside of the ring. Inside the ring, however, he was an animal. Here's one of Kirkland's UCL fights from a few years ago.

Note the Team Tiger Schulmann shorts - Kirkland did not represent them, had only trained with them a few times, but damn if he didn't wear those things every single time he fought.

Flashback: Fighters Source's First NYC Show


In just one week, Fighters Source returns to New York City for what will be the culmination of their current national amateur MMA tournament. In honor of that, here's a look back at FS's first visit to the Big Apple, which took the form of a show called "Kings of New York" and took place on March 23, 2013 at a packed Hammerstein Ballroom.

Featured in this video: Hipster jiu-jitsu stud Diego Lopez, kicking ass and taking names.

New York Fight Exchange 4 Poster


Friday, July 18, 2014

Another Friday Night Fights Video


The folks at FNF have clearly figured out the value of an active YouTube page, because they've released yet another video. This one features a bout between Team Tiger Schulmann's Mike Trizano and Team Workshop's Pawel Zawistowski. Muay Thai, people. Live it, love it.

Cage Fury Fighting Championship 38 Poster


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Highlight Reel From the Last AKBF Fight League Show


Everyone is doing highlight reels of their shows nowadays - which is fine by me since it's physically impossible to cover all these events in person. Here's one from the June AKBF Fight League show in June.

Throwback Thursday: Manup Standup - 12.5.11


Amateur MMA in New York has evolved into a beast that trots around on four legs and comes when you whistle for it, but not too long ago it was slithering through the primordial ooze. Which brings us to Manup Standup, the last bastion of free-wheeling fight show, and perhaps the only remaining vestige of a truly "underground" event. They're still going on - in fact, there's one at the end of August - and they're still pretty cool.

Here's a look at one from 2011.

Sizzle Reel for MMA Platinum Gloves 6


Long Island's MMA Platinum Gloves returns on September 6 for its sixth installment, and just in case you're unsure of what to expect, it will look a little something like this...

Take It To The Top 4 Poster


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Best of MMA in a Catering Hall


I love checking out fight shows at different venues, and Fists of Fury - which is based out of Long Island - has completely got the "amateur MMA show in a catering hall" market cornered. From the chandeliers, to the carpeted floors, to the retirees operating the concession stand doling out food they just made with the care only a retiree can muster, FOF has got it all.Don't believe me? Then check out this highlight video and draw your own conclusions.

Kings of New York Poster


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Just a Karate Dude and a Kung Fu Dude Sparring in the Park


Question: What's a New York City park without some form of fighting going on in it? Answer: Not a New York City park.

Here's a Goju Karate dude taking on an Urban Bagua stylist.

Some Interviews From Saturday's Aggressive Combat Championship 7


Yeah, I missed Saturday night's Aggressive Combat Championship 7 - so what? It doesn't mean I don't care. In fact, I've been scouring YouTube for videos to post about it. Here are two interviews "The Amateur Corner" did with a couple fighters. Watch them and you'll get a sense of what you and I both missed.

Will This Man Bring NYC a Win at the Fighters Source Finals?


Aggressive Combat Championship 8 and 9 Poster


Monday, July 14, 2014

Shout Out to a Fellow New York MMA Newsite


New York is a big state and I can't cover it all, so here's a shout out to Warriors Instinct MMA. They cover things upstate, and today they got a little love from The Daily Mail.
“We set out to give the amateur MMA fighters in New York state a larger voice,” diMonda said. “Hero Fight League (at Basilica) was in Hudson then and they invited me in, so I came and my two sons came in representing Warrior Instinct MMA.”
Their site,, contains event schedules and results, photos and videos from events, as well as a directory of gyms and fight organizations.

Watch a Referee Fight a Muay Thai Bout


It's not everyday that we can see a seasoned official lace up the gloves and step into the ring, so let's savor this video of World Kickboxing Association official Joel Bekker, who in May threw down at a Friday Night Fights event in Manhattan.

Say what you will about some of the goofy-looking characters we sometimes see reffing fights, but Bekker got in there and got it on. Props to him.

UFC Fight Night 45 Primer: Jim Miller vs. Chris Liguori II


Jim Miller is headlining a UFC Fight Night on Wednesday, and he gets to do so in his old stomping grounds of Atlantic City, N.J. This will be Miller's eighteenth venture into the Octagon, and after nearly six years of calling those hallowed grounds his home, it's hard to imagine he'd ever fought anywhere else.

But he did. Once upon a time, Miller was a rising star in the Northeast circuit, taking on the best and taking out the rest. He even had a little friendly rivalry going with perpetual Garden State tough guy and MMA pioneer Chris Liguori.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Highlight Reel For One of New York City's Unsung Warriors


Richie Torres. Unless you've been plugged into the combative sports scene in New York City for the last decade, that name might not ring a bell. But Richie's always been there, always been a part of it, scrapping MMA-style in early UCL events and in New Jersey shows, and later shifting his focus to kickboxing.

He doesn't compete much now, and though he does keep sharp in the gym, honing other fighters until they're a keen edge, it's probably more accurate to view him as an elder statesman of fistfights than someone willing to throw down anywhere and anytime.

Here's a highlight reel video for Richie. Watch and learn.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Night Fights Primer: Another Video, This One Featuring Ladies


FNF is tonight, and continuing in their efforts to drum up interest, the promotion has released yet another video of a bout from a past show. Now, I'm not entirely sure if these ladies are actually fighting on tonight's card, but hey, so what? It's still Muay Thai.

Some Aljamain Sterling Fights to Whet Your Appetite


UFC Fight Night 45: Cowboy vs. Miller will make Atlantic City, N.J. interesting this coming Wednesday, with the eponymous bout of Donald Cerrone and Jim Miller pretty much guaranteeing fireworks. But there are some sparks waiting to fly on the undercard, and you can credit a lot of them to the capable hands of Northeast MMA star Aljamain Sterling.

In case you've forgotten Sterling's level of badassery when he was a regional fighter, here's a little reminder.

Aggressive Combat Championship 7 Primer: A Manup Standup Champ vs. Team Tiger Schulmann


Saturday night's Aggressive Combat Championship 7 at York College in Queens has a lot to offer in terms of compelling amateur MMA bouts, but there's also an intriguing Muay Thai bout or two lurking on the card - not the least of which is former Manup Standup champ Will Cavali versus Team Tiger Schulmann rep Steve Inoshima.

To fully grasp the potential for excitement in this pairing, watch the following videos. Then we'll be on the same page.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday: EliteXC's "Heat" Event


EliteXC's "Heat" event, which was on October 4, 2008 at an arena near Ft. Lauderdale, F.L., was awesome on so many levels. The backstage food spread for the press was epic, there was high drama with Ken Shamrock cutting himself with a razor to sink the main event, and there was Kimbo Slice falling to last-minute replacement Seth Petruzelli - thereby pretty much killing EliteXC's prospects for a sustainable future.

By the way, I apologize for the quality of these pics. I was using a model of BlackBerry so retro, it had a rotary dial for making calls.

Aggressive Combat Championship 7 Primer: Up Close With Rashad Clarke


As they're oft to do, another refugee from the underground fight scene will soon be making the transition to "above the board" event. I'm talking about none other than Rashad Clarke, who's been a staple in the Underground Combat League for years, and who will step into the cage on Saturday night at Aggressive Combat Championship to face Eric Taylor. In the spirit of getting to know New York City's MMA fighters better, The MMA Journalist shot Clarke a few questions; here are his answers.

Yes, There Are Compelling Regional MMA Stories Outside of New York - Why Do You Ask?


Sometimes it's good to gaze beyond the borders of the Empire State and examine the regional scenes that exist elsewhere in the world. Thanks to Portland, O.R.-based filmmaker Jin Ryu, here's a brief documentary on an aspiring local fighter (local to Portland, that is) named Hadi. Check it out.

Friday Night Fights Primer: Another Video Featuring NJ Mac


Based on the frequency with which the promoters are releasing videos of kickboxer NJ Mac, you'd think Friday's edition of Friday Night Fights is all about that fighter and what he's going to do to the rest of the unsuspecting competitors of the eight-man tournament. Anyway, here's Mr. Mac in action once more. Watch him below, then show up at the Broad Street Ballroom down by Wall Street tomorrow night and watch him again.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Flashback: Aggressive Combat Championship - 5.10.14


Aggressive Combat Championship 7 is just about upon us, so here's a look back at their last show, which took place in May at the same venue in Queens. On Saturday you can expect more of this brand of thrills and action.

Pics From the Last MMA Platinum Gloves


In case you missed the last MMA Platinum Gloves event on Long Island, fear not, photographer Joe LoBianco has got you covered. Check them out here.

Check Out This Commercial for the Upcoming Fighters Source Show


On July 26, the MMA World Expo at the Javits Center will play host to the culmination of Fighters Source's latest national amateur MMA tournament. If the prospect of seeing top amateurs from across the country isn't enough to convince you to come check it out, maybe this video will do the trick.