Like the Gregorian calendar's demarcation of the birth of Christ as the starting point for the numbering of years, the timeline of MMA in New York has its own very special Year Zero - a time of rebirth, change and hope. That year is 2012 of course, when, during the course of litigation of Zuffa's lawsuit against the State of New York, the State Attorney General was forced to concede that amateur MMA is and always has been legal. Yup, that was the year that it all began for the scene that exists today - a scene that includes massive 2,000-spectator events in Midtown concert halls and armories, and 1,000-spectator shindigs in high school and college gymnasiums in the Five Boroughs.
The numbers themselves tell the whole story. In 2011, there seven amateur MMA events in the state; in 2012, there were 24 - a number that doubled in 2013.
The floodgates, as the say, have been opened.
Of the 19 different promotions who put on events in 2013, one has managed to navigate the sudden rushing waters to greatest effect, holding seven MMA events over the course of the year (four more than their nearest competitor). That promotion with the most shows: the Aggressive Combat Championship.
It's Saturday night of Day Five on my week-long odyssey through the New York City MMA scene, and ACC is holding an event at the Fitzgerald Center at Queens College. After a day spent at a judging seminar in Manhattan, I head on out to the borough I call home.