Thursday, March 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Bob Reilly's "The Case Against Ultimate Fighting in New York" Memo


For a few years, the battle for lifting the ban on pro MMA in New York invariably involved dealing with the anti-MMA vitriol spouted by Assemblyman Bob Reilly (who has since retired). No one against the sport was as vocal as Assemblyman Reilly, and because any MMA bill on its way to the Assembly floor had to first get past the subcommittee he sat on, we were constantly subjected to his cries of excessive violence and the decay of society.

In the 2009 legislative session, Assemblyman Reilly circulated a memo titled "The Case Against Ultimate Fighting in New York", delivering it to his fellow legislators to help sway their opinions on the matter.

Of course, since the email addresses of all New York State legislators are readily available on their webpages, there was nothing stopping a concerned citizen from drafting a memo of their own and sending it out to the Assembly.

Which is what I did. You can read my memo below.

Throwback Thursday: Christian Montes vs. Joe Lauzon


Photo courtesy of Full Contact Fighter - I think. God, it was so long ago that I can't even remember.
One of my first longer features for Full Contact Fighter was "A Tale of Three Fighters", a 2003 story which involved me interviewing three fighters who were at three very different points in their careers, the interviews happening both before and after a fight they had coming up. Nick Strehle was the rookie, and he was stepping into the ring at a BAMA Fight Night; Ricco Rodriguez was the UFC champ, and he was to defend his belt against Tim Sylvia. Playing the role of journeyman was Christian Montes, who was slated to compete at a Reality Fighting.

Back then, you could almost divide up the New York City MMA scene into cliques, with the Team Renzo guys dominating a big portion of the cafeteria, the Matt Serra/Ray Longo guys hanging out by the gym teacher, the Tiger Schulmann crew hitting on the lunch lady, and the various other smaller groups trying to eat their mac & cheese and drink their chocolate milk in relative solitude. But smoking cigarettes behind the janitor's shed were the Jeet Kune Do dudes - the original martial arts cross-trainers - who were learning jiu-jitsu techniques along with boxing and stick fighting and whatever else looked cool.

Christian was part of the JKD clique (he was Straight Blast Gym - pretty much the same thing).

Anyway, Christian won his Reality Fighting bout, which made for a happy ending to my article (especially considering that Rodriguez got KO'd by Sylvia). Below is the fight Christian took afterwards, a Mass Destruction match-up against some youngster named Joe Lauzon. Enjoy.

NYFE 2 "Ides of March" Preview, Part 3


We're just a couple days away from the NYFE event now, which is good because I'm running out of relevant videos to post. Anyway, Saturday's card will see Jerome Mickle - who owns a shiny UCL belt to go with his NYFE welterweight championship strap - take on... well, someone. I think it's Jonathan Lopez now, but at various times it was other people who for one reason or another had to drop out. But that's okay! Because a fight's a fight!

And for your viewing pleasure, Jerome's last fight is after the jump!