Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Official Statement From the UFC on Dismissed Lawsuit


March 31, 2015

Despite Finding that New York is Misapplying Its MMA Law,
Court Dismisses on a Technicality UFC’s lawsuit Challenging the Law

Judge Kimba Wood of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled on UFC® and other Plaintiffs’ claim that New York’s mixed martial arts (MMA) law is so vaguely written that reasonable people could not understand what it prohibited.

While avoiding ruling on the legality of New York’s MMA statute on technical grounds, the judge advised UFC to “consider filing new vagueness claims.” She said that the Attorney General’s “recent statements that the Ban prohibits sanctioned MMA” were made “despite [the law’s] plain language to the contrary.”

The Court’s decision confirms that New York law allows sanctioned professional MMA and that the AG is wrong in prohibiting it. UFC is a responsible corporate citizen and has chosen not to act contrary to the AG’s position, even though that position is legally unsustainable.

UFC, through the legislative process, has worked for years to have professional MMA legalized in New York, as it is in every other state in the nation. New York’s law was passed in 1997, when MMA was in its infancy and lacked the safety regulations that the UFC has introduced over the last decade.

The poorly written law, as interpreted by the State Athletic Commission, prohibits professional MMA, but allows (without State regulation) martial arts events that combine martial arts styles, like K-1 and Muay Thai. Also the law – which the AG conceded in this lawsuit does not prohibit amateur MMA – leaves amateur MMA wholly unregulated, a fact the Association Boxing Commissioners have condemned.

UFC and the Plaintiffs are considering all options, including an appeal of the decision and the Court’s suggestion that they file new claims challenging the law.

The plaintiffs are being represented in this action by Barry Friedman, the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, and Jamie A. Levitt of Morrison & Foerster LLP in New York.

UFC's Lawsuit Against New York Dismissed


The federal lawsuit filed by Zuffa LLC against the State Attorney General, a suit that was meant to strike down the statute that kept MMA competitions out of New York, was dismissed today by presiding Judge Kimba Wood on the grounds that Zuffa lacked sufficient standing for the suit.

NYFE 6 and the Efficacy of the Amateur Scene


If the purpose of an amateur scene is to fine tune future pro fighters into well-oiled machines of martial combat, than Saturday night's New York Fight Exchange 6 in Jamaica, Queens, was proof positive that the scene works. Two champs capped off flawless amateur careers with victories that left no doubt that they're ready for the pro leagues, while others on the card stepped into the fire and got a taste of what they needed if they wanted any kind of success. But when all was said and done, the true sign of the efficacy of New York's amateur circuit took the form of an underdog's amazing performance against a former champ.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Judo


NY Open Judo Championship: USA vs. Poland


NY Open Judo Championship: Germany vs. France


How to Fix a Bill, New York MMA Edition


Yesterday I wrote about how the pending Assembly bill to lift the ban on pro MMA would effectively kill amateur MMA in New York. What I neglected to point out is how this bill can be fixed.

My bad, people. My bad.

NYFE 6: Sarah Click vs. Destiny Quinones


Saturday, March 28, 2015

NYFE 6: Anthony Newton vs. Eldar Nurullaev


NYFE 6: Joe Ninomiya vs. Dakota Spencer


NYFE 6: Ozzie Perez vs. Mason Digiacopo


NYFE 6: Ethan Olavarrie vs. Danny Maldonado


How New York's MMA Bills Are Going to Kill Amateur MMA


Things are about to change in New York, and they're going to change in a big way. No, I'm not talking about the fact that the ban on professional MMA bouts will finally be lifted after 18 years of legislative smackdown - although that is surely happening and it's a huge deal in its own right. What I'm referring to is the MMA bill that just passed through the Senate and the concurrent piece of legislation that will likely soon get the stamp of approval from the Assembly. Those bills - designated S02159 and A02604 - contain some pretty tight verbiage that will stamp out all amateur MMA in the state.

Victory VII Poster


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The MMA in New York Battle and Where We Stand Right Now - March 25, 2015 Edition


We're about halfway through the 2015 legislative session, so it's time for an update on where we stand on getting the pro MMA ban lifted in New York.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The NYFE Experience: How One Promotion's Online Presence Is Rising Above


A funny thing happened when I went to the New York Fight Exchange's website to check out videos of their last show. There were all the usual bells and whistles, such as links to social media accounts, a background soundtrack, and video players offering up highlight reels. But mixed in there was something else, something special. When I went to the NYFE's website, I saw the future.

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Few BX Fight Club Videos for Your Enjoyment


Yes, I obviously went to an underground fight show last Sunday. No, I am not done writing the article on it - it takes time to make the words pretty. But in the meantime, here are some videos from the event. In terms of atmosphere, BX Fight Club is one of the best shows I've ever been to, and you can get a glimpse of that here.

Events are every Sunday, so if you're interested... well, the first rule is I'm not supposed to talk about it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Catching Up With Kaream Ellington


When last we left Kaream Ellington, he was in the midst of adjusting to the next phase of his life - a phase that hopefully didn't involve corrections officers and having to watch your back 24 hours a day. But nearly two years have passed without issue, and the Northeast MMA pioneer can boast an existence that has moved both onward and upward. Kaream is now the proud owner of a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt courtesy of Carmine Zocchi, and his current gig is as an instructor at the massive Fight Factory Gym in Brooklyn. Things are definitely looking up.

Monday, March 9, 2015

New York MMA Bill Vote Could Come After April 21


We're finally getting a firmer inkling of a legislative timetable for the 2015 MMA bill. According to Speaker Carl Heastie...
...A bill to legalize mixed-martial arts will likely be considered by the conference after the budget is complete.
“After we pass the budget and come back from Easter recess, we’ll probably conference MMA and if there’s enough support from the conference, we’ll bring it to the floor for a vote,” he said.
The conference the Speaker is referring to is the closed-door session where 100 Democrats meet and hash out which issues they plan on tackling. An informal vote is taken, and if three quarters of those present are in favor, the bill in question gets to go to the floor of the Assembly, where both Democrats and Republicans get to weigh in. In prior years, insufficient support within the conference is what kept the MMA bill on ice; however, the recent shift in the political landscape likely means that ice has melted.

April 21 is the day the Assembly returns from Easter recess, so expect some definitive action on the bill after that.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Rundown of the UFC's Day in Albany


UFC boss Lorenzo Fertitta and Long Island-based fighter Dennis Bermudez went to Albany today to stump for the sport, and if positive press is any indication of where things are this year compared to last year, proponents of sanctioned MMA in New York are in a very good place.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Necks Risked and Taken at Aggressive Combat Championship 10


Will Cavali with a new championship belt.
It takes an act of bravery to willingly risk your neck within the cage, and sometimes a neck is what you're giving and sometimes it's what you're taking. At Aggressive Combat Championship 10, fans who came down to the York College Arena in Jamaica, Queens on Saturday night got to witness a successful jiu-jitsu instructor risk all for his first taste of caged combat, and they saw firsthand the dominance of a featherweight hell-bent on redemption. From crushing KO's to hard-fought battles, ACC 10 had it all, but ultimately it was about necks given and necks taken, and the bravery on display throughout.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Female Champ Destiny Quinones on MMA in New York


(February 28, Queens, N.Y.) Last week the National Organization of Women sent New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie a letter asking that he drop his support of mixed martial arts because they believe the sport is hostile to women. But 19-year-old Ozone Park resident Destiny Quinones - who became the New York Fight Exchange's female amateur MMA 115-pound champ last month - doesn't see it that way.