Thursday, January 28, 2016

An Interview With New York MMA Pioneer Nardu Debrah


In the early 2000s, Nardu Debrah was fighting in rings set up in Russian restaurants in Brighton Beach, hotel ballrooms in Midtown Manhattan, and nightclubs off the Long Island Expressway. Nowadays, though, he's an elder statesman of the sport, with a black belt under Renzo Gracie and a school out in Brooklyn - a school that's produced none other than ROC champ and UFC newcomer Randy Brown. 

While Brown was fulfilling his contractual obligations of talking to the assembled media at the UFC on FOX 18 open workouts in Hoboken, N.J., Debrah was kind enough to let me stick a camera in his face and grill him. 

Why would I want to skip over the fresh-faced rookie for a chance to rap with the salty veteran? Because Brown's got all the time in the world to make history, but when it comes to the history of MMA in New York, Debrah long ago made himself an important part of it.

UFC Newark Open Workouts: Sage Northcutt Making the Girls Swoon


UFC Newark Open Workouts: Josh Barnett Attacked by Luchador


UFC Newark Open Workouts: Rumble Hitting the Pads


Monday, January 25, 2016

The UFC Lost in Court Today, But What Does It Really Mean?


The UFC lost in court today, but it's not as bad as you may think.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

More Reason to Be Optimistic That MMA Is Getting Legalized Soon


In case you already weren't feeling optimistic about professional MMA getting legalized in New York this year because of the governor including it in his budget proposal, Josh Rosenblatt over at Fightland has got something more to lift your spirits. According to a source on the inside, an MMA bill being passed is practically a done deal.

Take it away, Josh:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Why Governor Cuomo Supporting MMA Is a Big Deal


Yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his budget proposal for 2016, and in it he included a provision for sanctioning both professional and amateur MMA in New York.

In case you were unsure, this is a big deal. A very big deal.

To fully grasp why, you need to understand a little history and a little politics.

Combat at the Capitale Poster


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Statement From UFC on New York Governor Supporting MMA


Statement from
Lorenzo Fertitta, UFC Chairman & CEO
On Governor Including Legalizing MMA in Executive Budget

“On behalf of the UFC and on behalf of all MMA fans in New York, thank you, Governor Cuomo.

“We are very pleased that, as part of his budget proposal, Governor Cuomo has called for legalizing professional MMA in New York – the only state in America where it is illegal – and has asked the State Athletic Commission to regulate both professional and amateur MMA. It’s the right thing to do for fans and more importantly, it’s the right thing to do to help protect the health and safety of athletes.

“Of course, we continue to be strongly supportive of and grateful to Senator Joe Griffo and the New York State Senate, which has passed a bill to legalize and regulate MMA for the last six consecutive years. We also remain supportive of Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, the more than 70 Assembly sponsors and additional Assembly supporters of his bill.

“We will be working with the Governor and both houses of the Legislature to make 2016 the year that UFC and other MMA promoters have the opportunity to bring the fastest growing sport in the world to arenas from one end of the state to the other.”

New York MMA Bill Status Update - 1.13.16


New York's 2016 legislative session has begun, and with it comes the renewed fight to get the 1997 ban on professional MMA competition reversed via the "MMA Bill".

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Top Five of 2015 Countdown - #1: You


We're counting down the top five most notable aspects of New York MMA from 2015, and we're up to...
#1: You - It was close - so very close - but it didn't happen. That's right, I'm talking about the passage of the MMA Bill, which would have lifted the ban on professional MMA that's been in place since 1997, and it would've taken measures to make amateur iterations of the sport much safer.

However, what did happen is we all got to see how deep and passionate the MMA fanbase is here in New York.