Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top Five of 2015 Countdown - #2: The NYFE and Aggressive Combat Championships


We're counting down the top five most notable aspects of New York MMA from 2015, and we're up to...
#2: The NYFE and Aggressive Combat Championships - It's easy to make a buck as a promoter in New York when you cut corners on fighter safety. The tricky thing is to run a show that is safe - where the officials are trained and the fighters screened and cared for by medical personnel. The promoters who can manage that, and stay in business, well, those are the special ones.

Monday, December 28, 2015

AXS-TV's Latest on the Battle for MMA in New York


Top Five of 2015 Countdown - #3: Jillian DeCoursey


We're counting down the top five most notable aspects of New York MMA from 2015, and we're up to...

#3: Jillian DeCoursey - It's impossible to deny that, in terms of mainstream impact, 2015 was a year dominated by the ups and downs of a female fighter named Ronda Rousey. But something similar happened in the microcosm that is New York MMA - and her name was Jillian DeCoursey.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Top Five of 2015 Countdown - #4: The USMTA


We're counting down the top five most notable aspects of New York MMA from 2015, and we're up to...

#4: The USMTA - By now the story is so old it's growing grey hairs: The UFC filed a lawsuit against the State of New York in late 2011, claiming the law banning MMA was Unconstitutional, and in early 2012, in a legal brief that was responding to those claims, the State Attorney General offhandedly admitted that amateur MMA wasn't banned at all. Thus the modern amateur MMA scene in New York was born, and with that birth came the inclination for some promoters to "do things by the book" and be sanctioned.

The Top Five of 2015 Countdown - #5: The Revised MMA Bill


The timekeeper has given us the ten-second warning, and the clock is running out on 2015. That means it's time to count down the top five most notable things pertaining to New York MMA from the last 12 months. Because although we can't have a UFC here - yet - we sure as hell have a ton of mixed martial arts.

#5: The Revised MMA Bill - This year was not politics as usual when it came to the seemingly never-ending slog to get the law banning pro MMA changed. First, longtime hater Sheldon Silver fell prey to corruption charges, which prompted him to step down as Assembly Speaker. He was replaced by Assemblyman Carl Heastie, a supporter of the sport, and while the sudden shift in power may not have forced a recalculating of the legislative math, it did create an opening.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

New York Fight Exchange Livens Up the MMA World Expo


It was a slimmer, trimmed-down version of the MMA World Expo at the Javits Center on Saturday, but livening up the festivities was an abbreviated of the New York Fight Exchange's brand of amateur MMA action.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Top Notch Kickboxing Going Down in NYC on Friday Night


Between the three UFC events on TV, the Legalize MMA rally on Friday and the MMA World Expo and New York Fight Exchange event over the weekend, there's a lot of action in the cage New Yorkers have to savor. But there's also some sweet violence happening in the ring - Friday Night Fights' ring, to be exact.

Broad Street Ballroom is the venue, doors open at 7pm, and the kickboxing is going to be top notch. FNF has been doing their thing for years, so expect some high-quality stuff.

Jon Jones at MMA World Expo on Saturday


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Assembly Hearing Canceled, But Legalization Rally Still a Go


The Assembly's Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development has canceled their scheduled hearing on injuries in combative sports, which was set for Friday at 10:30am. However, the rally - slated for 9:30am at 250 Broadway - is still a go.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Five Reasons to Be Excited for Tomorrow's Aggressive Combat Championships 13


Aggressive Combat Championships is closing out 2015 in style thanks to a solid card set for Saturday night at the Queens Theater (in Flushing-Meadows Park). Want reasons to watch on or in person? Heck, I've got five of them!

Go to MMA in New York Rally, Get Free UFC Tickets


Monday, November 30, 2015

Sheldon Silver Found Guilty of Corruption - What Does This Mean for New York MMA?


Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver - the man widely believed to have for many years kept any and all bills pertaining to MMA on ice through either indifference or influence - has been found guilty of corruption charges in a federal court. This means he'll have to give up his seat in the Assembly (and possibly go to jail). Earlier this year, Silver vacated his position as Speaker; he was replaced by Assemblyman Carl Heastie (who's more amenable to mixed martial arts).

So, now the big question is what this means for MMA in New York - does it help us?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Legalize MMA Rally Set for December 11 in New York City


It's time once again for fans of MMA in New York to assemble for a rally. Details are still being finalized, but here are the facts thus far:

  • When: December 11, 2015 at 9:30am
  • Where: 250 Broadway, in Manhattan. This is right outside of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie's office.
The rally is scheduled to happen right before the Assembly Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development's hearing on injuries in combative sports. Expect guest speakers and signs and chants and all the usual fun stuff.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Weekend of December 11 Is Going to Be Big For New York MMA


December 11 through 12 is going to be big for the New York MMA scene. While most of the MMA world will be focused on Las Vegas and the three UFCs scheduled for that week, the Big Apple will play host to another installment of the MMA World Expo, a New York Fight Exchange show, and an Assembly hearing on injuries in combative sports. Here's what you need to know about each event:

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Observations From My Couch: ROC 53


(Photo courtesy of Keith Kelleher)
I did not get to watch Ring of Combat 53 from cageside, but a GoFightLive broadcast works just as well. My thoughts on the event:

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ring of Combat 53 Official Results


Courtesy of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

Best Wishes for a Speedy Recovery to Elijah Punzone


Top New York-based amateur fighter Elijah Punzone was in a motorcycle accident on Friday. As per Facebook, he seems to be out of danger and recovering in the hospital. The MMA Journalist sends him best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

New Jersey Commission to Rap About Head Injuries and Concussions


From an official press release:
TRENTON –Commissioner Larry Hazzard announced today that the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board will host a Combat/Contact Sports Medicine Symposium on November 17th. The combative and contact sports communities are invited to engage with ringside physicians on the topic of Concussions and Head Injuries, and standards of care and clearance for combat and contact sports athletes wishing to return to competition post suspension for such injuries.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Dana White Is Coming to ROC 53 - Who Will Impress Him?


Ring of Combat's 53rd show will go down on November 20 at the Tropicana in Atlantic City, N.J., and as always, it will provide all the usual thrills and violence. But thanks to a UFC president filming a reality TV show, this event will be special - very special.

In case you haven't heard, Dana White will be present with camera crew and discerning eye, all for the sake of "Dana White: Looking for a Fight". The premise of the show is, duh, White uncovering talent at regional shows, and in the pilot we saw superhero Sage Northcutt get discovered. Who, if anyone, will be the "Sage Northcutt" of ROC 53? Well, I have some theories...

Dead Serious 17 Poster


Friday, November 6, 2015

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Five Reasons to Care About Cage Fury Fighting Championships 52 This Weekend


Cage Fury Fighting Championships touches down in Atlantic City, N.J. for their 52nd show, and whether you're watching from the bleachers or on CBS Sports Network, you're in for a treat. A UFC vet who's been out of action since 2011 will return to begin his climb back into the spotlight, a rising star lightweight will fight for a belt, and a pair of ladies will throw down. Interested? Well, if you're still on the fence, here are five reasons why you should care about CFFC 52:

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Saturday, October 24, 2015

NYFE Champ Sam Watford Debuts at Bellator, Kicks Ass


New York Fight Exchange champ Sam Watford, who ruled the lightweight division with an iron fist, made his pro debut at Bellator 144 last night, and dominated all three rounds for the unanimous decision.

This marks the first time an NYFE vet has gone straight from the amateur ranks to Bellator, and Watford definitely made the most of it - and definitely made us all proud (even though he's from Connecticut).

From the Instagram of Kevin Roddy, Who Fought at Bellator Last Night


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Watch Two UCL Champs Battle It Out


New York Fight Exchange 8, which took place on September 8 in Queens, saw a ton of fights go down, but one of the most notable of the bunch was the scrap between Jerome Mickle and Jonathan Velez.

Mickle and Velez aren't just a pair of UCL vets, they were champions in the organization, so this one was compelling for that reason alone. But since graduating to the NYFE, Mickle has carved out a heck of a reputation as a slugger and a career trajectory that seems destined for bigger things. Velez, meanwhile, just likes to fight.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Aggressive Combat Championships 13 Poster


Extreme Cage Fighting Press Release



Extreme Cage Fighting Returns to Queens with Another Loaded Fight Card

Astoria, N.Y. (Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015) – Premiere martial arts organization Extreme Cage Fighting (ECF) will be returning to the Melrose Ballroom in Astoria, Queens, this Saturday night, presenting another incredible night of fights at ECF 7: Total Domination. A leader in MMA, K-1, Muay Thai and grappling super fight matches, ECF is the fastest growing amateur league in New York and guarantees to entertain.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Five Reasons to Care About Aggressive Combat Championships 12 This Weekend


Thanks to a female kickboxer with a gigantic rack, you've been bombarded with stories about this show throughout the Internet - you probably just didn't realize it. That's right, I'm talking about Aggressive Combat Championships 12, which goes down on Saturday night at the Queens Theater in Flushing-Meadows Park, and features some of New York City's best and most promising talent clashing in the cage. In fact, if you're looking for a reason to care about this event, there are five very good reasons why you should buy a ticket (or watch live on and they have nothing to do with boobs.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Breaking Down the UFC's Preliminary Injunction vs. New York


On Monday, the UFC filed another lawsuit against the State of New York that claimed the Combative Sports Law banning professional MMA was Unconstitutional. That was the jab. Yesterday came the right cross, in the form of a preliminary injunction.

A preliminary injunction (PI) is a request for a court order that would make a party refrain from an action that causes a potential harm, and it's filed before the court decides on the merits of a particular case. That's what the UFC filed yesterday, and it essentially asked the presiding Judge Kimba Wood of the Southern District of New York to order the State Attorney General, the New York State Athletic Commission, et al. to not shut down the planned UFC event at Madison Square Garden in April.

Here's a breakdown of the PI:

If the MMA Bill Passes Early, There Will Be No UFC at MSG in April


Timing is everything, and that's especially true of the UFC's announced event at Madison Square Garden in April. For the groundbreaking event to happen, Judge Kimba Wood of the Southern District of New York must grant the UFC their preliminary injunction, which was filed yesterday. But all bets are off if the legislature repeals at the beginning of the legislative session the Combative Sports Law banning pro mixed martial arts .

I spoke in detail about this possibility on Sherdog's Press Row - listen to it here.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Deja Vu All Over Again: Breaking Down the UFC's New Lawsuit vs. New York


In March, the UFC's 2011 lawsuit against the State of New York - which initially attacked the state's ban on professional mixed martial arts on First Amendment grounds but was later switched to "vagueness" claims - was dismissed by Judge Kimba Wood of the Southern District of New York. She cited a lack of standing by the UFC (meaning the UFC wasn't sufficiently injured by the ban), but her parting words were encouraging:
"Plaintiffs, particularly Zuffa, may consider filing new vagueness claims based on events that occurred after this lawsuit commenced, including the OAG’s recent statements that the Ban prohibits sanctioned professional MMA (despite its plain language to the contrary)."
Today, the UFC took her advice.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fiddling While Rome Burns: New York MMA Edition


Legend has it that the Emperor Nero, by many accounts an ineffectual and apathetic leader, did nothing but play a fiddle while Rome burned around him. Whether that tale is true or not, it's an apt metaphor for what's going on in the Empire State.

Last week, NBC New York cast its investigative reporting spotlight on the amateur MMA scene. What they found was a sport unregulated by the state, and from that lack of oversight and uniform standards comes a heightened level of danger to those bold enough to step into the cage. The report was not well received by promoters.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

New Jersey Fighter Needs Our Help


Friends fundraising to help wrestler Jared Platt cover costs of fighting Stage 4 cancer
SEPT. 17, 2015
Jared Platt, 26, a prep wrestling star at Blair Academy who also wrestled at Penn State, has been diagnosed with cancer. Platt has also been a Mixed Martial Arts athlete, and has been very active as a wrestling coach.
According to Platt’s Facebook page, he has been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer from a mass found in his back.
Platt posted this on his Facebook page today: “That is most of what the difficulties we go through in life are... Tough Tests. You never know how small or large the test will be... but it will be there. Be positive and know that the little tough tests, lead you to be strong enough for the bigger ones. Grow stronger, grow tougher, grow enlightened.”
Friends have created a GoFundMe website to assist Jared in covering the costs of his medical care. They have set a goal of raising $100,000, and in six days have secured 583 donors who have donated $60,020 to his cause.
A New Jersey native, Platt was active in USA Wrestling during his youth, high school and college career, with a number of major achievements.
Platt was a Junior Nationals freestyle champion in 2007 at 215 pounds. He placed second in the 2010 University Nationals and fourth in 2008 University Nationals. He also won gold medals in both freestyle and Greco-Roman at the 2007 Pan American Junior Championships.
Platt was a two-time Prep School National champion for Blair Academy in high school, winning at 215 pounds in 2006 and 2007 and competing for the legendary coach Jeff Buxton. In 2007, Platt was named to the ASICS High School All-American Team as its third team member at 215 pounds. He was honorable mention in 2006.
Platt has many friends across the nation through wrestling.
To contribute to his medical fund, visit:

Jared Platt is a fighter.
Jared was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at an extremely young age. He and his family have had to fight this affliction his entire life. From countless doctor visits to everyday needle-pricks and extensive monitoring. Recently, he began a website- to raise awareness of this disease. This is a fight he has been battling his entire life, but this is not the opponent he is facing today.

In early September Jared was admitted to Morristown hospital for emergency surgery because of extreme back pain. He had suffered a traumatic injury to his lower back while wrestling in a college tournament five years ago. Over the years he had been struggling with crippling pain and temporary paralysis in his back and legs. It wasn't until early this month that the pain became so great he conceded to an ER visit. His wonderful wife and father scoured all of New Jersey for the right surgeon and within hours he was admitted to the OR. Jared underwent emergency surgery on his spine.

While in surgery a growth was spotted by the operating surgeon. After what appeared to be a remedying surgery, the meds wore off, and Jared was in pain again. This time the pain was not relegated to his lower back but even more extreme and spread throughout his body and vital organs. He was readmitted, this time to quell his pain and investigate the troubling growth. After multiple tests, scans, and biopsies it was determined that Jared has cancer, the nature of which is unknown.
Jared is an incredible person who has touched the lives of many people. We are starting this page so that vital funds can be donated. So that Jared can figure out the best way to fight and beat this. So he can get back to his wife Candace, his 2 little girls CaiLee and Cara-James, his family, and his friends.
If you know Jared personally, you know that words can’t do this outstanding man justice.
If you don’t know Jared and are visiting this page considering donating, please learn about this wonderful person. Please learn about this man who has fought so hard and helped so many. Please consider how a man like Jared Platt can affect your life, like he has so many. Please know that a contribution to Jared Platt’s Medical Fund will be in effort to help a father, a husband, a son, a brother, a friend, and a remarkable person get back on his feet.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

NBC New York Delves Into the Amateur MMA Scene


NBC New York turned their investigative gaze towards the amateur MMA scene in the state, and their findings took the form of a segment in today's broadcast, as well as an article on their website. It's titled "Battle Over Regulating Amateur MMA Fighting in NY Rages Amid Potential Health Risks", and it does a good job of touching upon the safety and regulatory issues that have been plaguing amateur fighting here for years.

Here are a few choice bits:

Here's a Fight From Combat at the Capitale Last Weekend


Monday, September 14, 2015

Watch This 16-Second KO From the Fighters Source Tournament Opening Round


Rob Ovalle is a good fighter, but even good fighters get caught once in a while. For him, that moment came at the recent Fighters Source event in Alabama, which saw the Victory Combat Sports welterweight champ square off against Tom Connolly.

Cagefighting can be a harsh mistress.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

From Jerome Mickle's Instagram


Taken from Jerome Mickle's Instagram after last night's NYFE 8 fight. Mickle defeated fellow UCL champ Jonathan Velez via disqualification after two rounds.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

If You Watch Anything on GFL Today, It Should Be CFFC 51


The Cage Fury Fighting Championships touches down at the Sands Casino & Resort in Bethlehem, P.A., tonight, and the two fights at the top of the card make it must-see TV on GoFightLive.

The Problem With Sponsoring Illegal Fight Shows in New York


This past week the New York City-based illicit boxing promotion BX Fight Club began hyping their upcoming September 15 show on their Instagram, saying how rapper 50 Cent will be in attendance and promising all the usual thrills their events provide. And BX Fight Club events certainly provide thrills - their March event was one of the best times I've ever had at an underground scrap, and I've been to quite a few. But in promoting their Tuesday throwdown, the promoters revealed that VICE Sports would be there to film a reality TV show.

That might have been a bad move.

Someone Is Going to Punch Their Ticket to the UFC at the Next Ring of Combat


It has long been heralded as an organization that feeds directly into the UFC, and on September 25 you'll get to watch that process in action. At Ring of Combat 52 in Atlantic City, N.J., bantamweight champ Julio Arce will be taking on Brian Kelleher. Given their respective resumes, it's pretty much guaranteed that the winner will be in fighting in the Octagon next.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Watch New Jersey-Based Fighter Andy Main on Fight Pass


As Expected, Tom Gallicchio and James Jenkins Kicked Ass on TUF 22


The first episode of the TUF 22 season premiered last night, and as usual, a bunch of fighters had to earn their berth in the TUF House by winning in the cage. Two of those men - Tom Gallicchio and James Jenkins - are longtime Northeast fight scene veterans, so of course The MMA Journalist had a vested interest in the proceedings. How did they do? Well, let's just say they handled their business the same way they always do, in their respective badass fashions.

Here's a little more insight into these guys: