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Tag: MMA in NY


(“Everybody in the car, we’re going out for some celebratory gabagool!!” via Chris Weidman’s Instagram)

The struggle to bring MMA to New York has been a long, frustrating, and well-documented one. It’s a battle that has largely been fueled by a general ignorance of what the sport actually is, a corrupt union, and a group of even more corrupt politicians. First it was Bob Reilly comparing it to dogfighting, then it was that literal fraud Sheldon Silver shooting the MMA bill down at every turn. It’s been nothing short of a Sisyphean struggle since day 1.

As the years passed, so did the hope that our beloved sport would ever be legalized in one of the country’s biggest markets. And for the majority of yesterday’s absolutely bonkers Assembly meeting, it seemed like the bill was destined to fail once again.

But somehow, someway, it did the opposite of that.

Full story after the jump. 


MMA Is Defeated By the NY Court System: Entry #453621

(“Addishunally, I put fawhth dat mouthguards should be replaced wit’ slices of gabagool.” via Chris Weidman’s instagram)

Next to mankind’s eternal battle with death, the UFC’s battle with New York legislatures might be the most one-sided and ultimately futile effort in the history of ever, and I say that with 100 percent sincerity.


MMA Bill Fails in New York. Sky Is Blue. Water Wet.

(Wait, you brought Koscheck? NO WONDER NO ONE LIKES YOU. via Getty.)

Should I even bother dressing this article up with fancy words and intro paragraphs? It would just be reiterating that same sh*t New York-born/based MMA fans have been dealing with for as long as I can remember, with the lone exception being the arrest of Sheldon Silver — one of the biggest opponents of the MMA in NY bill — being arrested on corruption charges in January. Nah, I think I’ll just cut to the chase.

The bill to legalize professional MMA in NY has died once again before it reached the legislature. In other news: The sky is blue. Water is wet. Arrested Development was cancelled way too soon.


BTW, NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Was Arrested on Corruption Charges Last Week

(“And for my next impression, I give you a fish taking a shit.” via The New York Post.)

While we here at Castle CagePotato have been in full blown crisis mode these past few days, there has actually been a lot going on in the MMA world worth talking about. Go figure, right? Most notably, perhaps, is that NY State Assembly and supervillian of MMA, Sheldon Silver, was arrested on corruption charges related to accepting millions of dollars in undisclosed income from an NYC lawfirm. And because I gave you my word that I’d start publishing you Taters if you wrote in, after the jump is one such hot taek on Silver’s arrest, via CP reader Mike Reilly. Enjoy!


New York’s Professional MMA Ban Is Actually Posing a Health Crisis Now


Despite calling it my home for some 22 years, I have long since given up on the idea of MMA being legalized in New York. We’ve had the carrot dangled in front of us several times before, sure, but when push came to shove, the rug was always pulled out from under us thanks to what I can only describe as “bureaucratic big-whiggery bullshit.” I blame you for all of this, Bob Reilly, you rat-faced c*cksucker.

While the fight towards professional MMA legalization in NY rages on, there have been some small steps made over the years, mainly in the realm of amatuer MMA. Unfortunately, the lack of anything resembling regulation has created something of a health crisis, with athletes that have previously tested positive for everything from HIV to Hepatitis C flooding the state to compete in unsanctioned MMA and kickboxing matches after being banned from doing so in states with actual regulation. As Jim Genia wrote in a recent piece for Deadspin:

Nick Lembo, chief counsel for the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board and overseer of all things MMA in the Garden State, lays out the issue as straightforwardly as anyone could.

“There have been many contestants who have been banned from regulated combative sport in New Jersey because of subdural hematoma, hepatitis C, HIV, detached retinas, and other medical concerns who have competed freely in amateur MMA and kickboxing in New York under the direct supervision of state-approved sanctioning bodies, or at shows without such direct supervision,” he says.

He can’t name these athletes—New Jersey privacy laws and federal HIPAA regulations prevent that—but according to him, dozens of them have fought and bled in New York rings and cages.


New York Tells UFC to Go F*ck Themselves, Basically

 Andrew Cuomo New York MMA
("This one. Right up your ass.")

Despite a high-profile appearance at Madison Square Garden last month in which the UFC announced its intentions to bring MMA to New York State — as well as a reported $75,000 in palm-grease to Andrew Cuomo’s gubernatorial campaign — MMA Payout broke the news last night that Governor Cuomo neglected to include a provision in the state’s 2011-2012 budget that would sanction MMA in New York. In fact, Cuomo’s Executive Budget actually proposes eliminating the chairperson of the state athletic commission altogether. So not only is the Governor not backing MMA as Zuffa had hoped, he doesn’t seem to have a high opinion of combat sports in general. 

At this point, the MMA ban in New York can still be lifted through the more traditional route of a legislative bill — of which there are currently two in the assembly and one in the senate, all awaiting review — but we saw how well that worked last time. Making MMA part of the state budget was supposed to be the easy way in, and it just ain’t happening. If I were Dana White, I’d be furious right now. Money has been donated. Big press conferences have been held. And now, the current timetable of MMA regulation in New York is: Who freakin’ knows?


Video: KahL-One’s ‘New York MMA, Episode 2: Two Perspectives’

(Props: KahL1One)

Not just a badass highlight reel editor and part-time cartoonist, Kahleem Poole has put a lot of effort into promoting New York’s MMA scene, which is often overlooked due to the bullshit political climate in this state. Here’s the latest installment of Kahl’s "MMA in NY" series, which focuses on Evolution Muay Thai and Ultimate Gym. Shameless plug time: Evolution is the gym where I (BG) personally train, so I was incredibly excited to see how well this episode turned out; it’s awesome to see folks like Brandon Levi, Rene Driefuss, and Angela Hill start to get the recognition they deserve. If you live in New York City and you’re interested in taking up Muay Thai or BJJ, you should really come by sometime and say hello…


Video: Mainstream Media Continues to F*ck It Up When Dealing With MMA

(Props: NYPost via Fightlinker)

After UFC officials swung through New York yesterday to hype up their commitment to bring MMA to New York state, local media outlets were forced once again to confront the question: "What’s Mixed Martial Arts, anyway? It’s that human-dogfighting stuff where you get to hit each other in the balls, right?" Seriously, listen to the opening narration in this New York Post news feature. At the 1:04 mark, Frankie Edgar specifically explains that groin-shots are illegal in MMA, but I guess that wasn’t enough to convince the person writing copy for this report. Unless the reporter was referring to leg kicks…but come on, how much credit do you really want to give these people?

My favorite part of the video is when they give equal time to people who support MMA, and people who have no fucking idea what it is. "I know that what they’re trying to say is that, what they want to do is put two different styles together," says the time-traveler who just arrived here from the year 1993. I guess you can’t claim to be unbiased unless you give voice to the informed and the ignorant…


Watch the UFC’s Madison Square Garden Press Conference Live at 2 p.m. ET

Frankie Edgar UFC MMA New York Jets photos
("Well…I’m not much of a foot guy, but I guess they’re alright, Mrs. Ryan." / Photo via MMAWeekly)

At 2 p.m. ET today, the UFC will hold a press conference at New York’s Madison Square Garden to formally announce their intent to bring MMA to the Big Apple as soon as possible. In attendance will be UFC president Dana White, Zuffa co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta, lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, light-heavyweight contender Rashad Evans, and Madison Square Garden Sports president Scott O’Neill.

A new economic impact study is scheduled to be released in the hopes that New York will join the 44 other U.S. states that currently regulate the sport — even though cash doesn’t seem to be a big motivator among MMA’s stubborn critics.

Despite our long history of promoting the "MMA in NY" cause, CagePotato has unfortunately been barred from attending the event due to the whole Arianny Celeste Playboy leak fiasco. Their loss. When the first media question is from some spaz asking if he can sit in Dana’s lap, they’re gonna wish they had some real freakin’ journalists in the building…

The video player is after the jump.


MMA in NY Regulation Bill Delayed Until Late 2010 at the Earliest :’ (

New York governor David Paterson
(New York Governor David Paterson. You’d think a guy who lost his eye in unregulated vale tudo matches in the late ’80s would have more sympathy to our cause.)

I doubt many of you follow New York politics, but it’s a freakin’ mess out here right now. Virtually nothing constructive has gotten done in the NY senate over the last two weeks, and as an emergency session comes to a close today — ending the legislative body’s 2009 schedule — one bill that will be left out in the cold is our beloved S2165A, intended to regulate mixed martial arts in New York State. Originally, the bill was on the docket for a June 9th vote. Unfortunately, things fell apart on June 8th. MMA Weekly has the story: