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Tag: New York

Your Move, New York: Major MMA Legislation Passes in Canada and Connecticut


(Image #5 on a Google search of “Canada MMA.” Therefore, relevant.) 

Good news, Potato Nation! Thanks to some legal mumbo jumbo (although I’m told it was more “mumbo” than “jumbo”), our beloved sport has taken another giant step forward in the fight to become legalized in all 50 states. And Canada.

Yesterday, a bill to legalize mixed martial arts was passed in the Connecticut State Senate by a margin of 26-9, after passing in the State Assembly by a vote of 117-26 on May 7th. Although the bill still has to be signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy, the UFC’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, Marc Ratner (a.k.a the man who was also behind the recent marijuana threshold increase for international UFC events), told MMAFighting that he is more than optimistic for the bill’s chances:

Today is a real big day for the sport. I want people to understand there are 47 states that have athletic commissions that have approved the sport, and two states without commissions that allow the sport. 

We feel very confident [the bill] will be with the overwhelming support.

Additionally, a bill that aimed to clarify the legality of MMA in Canada also passed 267-9 in Canada’s House of Commons yesterday. You might be saying, “Wait…MMA illegal in Canada? Then how UFC?” While you should probably learn how to use transitional words before moving forward in life, we’ll allow Dave Meltzer to explain Canada’s previously hazy laws regarding MMA:

A bill that formally changed the criminal code in Canada to remove the grey area regarding whether mixed martial arts is legal passed 267-9 in Canada’s House of Commons, The bill amends an 1880′s law that stated that prize fighting was illegal in Canada. That law was amended in 1934 to legalize boxing. The law had been interpreted in various ways throughout the country. Many provinces that had allowed MMA events, interpreted it by saying that in 1934, there was no such thing as MMA, that they could interpret the amendment of allowing fighting within the realm of a professionally regulated sport, to cover it. But in other provinces, most notably Saskatchewan and British Columbia, there was more uncertainty about what was and wasn’t legal.

Although two major obstacles have been cleared with the passing of these bills, what does this mean for the never-ending battle to legalize MMA in New York? Simply put: Not Much.

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UFC Scores Major Victory in Legal Battle With New York State; Promotion Could Begin Holding Events Under Third-Party Sanctioning


(Is this real life? / Dream-fight poster via NixsonDesign)

A hearing yesterday afternoon related to the UFC’s ongoing lawsuit against the State of New York — which challenges the validity of the state’s 1997 MMA ban on constitutional grounds — ended in the UFC’s greatest victory thus far in its fight to hold events in the Empire State. Jim Genia was on the scene at the U.S District Court of the Southern District of New York, and broke the news for Fightline.com:

In what was supposed to be a day of oral arguments pertaining to the State Attorney General’s most recent motion to dismiss, attorney John M. Schwartz — representing the Attorney General’s office — acknowledged unequivocally that the law prohibiting pro MMA did not apply to amateur versions of the sport, and that as per the statute, a pre-approved third-party sanctioning body could oversee MMA events in the state. The admission of the latter prompted the counsel representing Zuffa’s interests to say that if that were truly the case, then there’d be no further need to pursue the lawsuit – which in turn prompted the presiding Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S District Court of the Southern District of New York to push both sides to immediately settle…

Notwithstanding whether a settlement is reached, the door is now open for Zuffa — or any other MMA promotion — to circumvent the ban by utilizing one of the pre-approved sanctioning bodies enumerated in the statute. Those sanctioning bodies include the World Karate Association (since renamed the World Kickboxing Association, a.k.a. the “WKA”), the Professional Karate Association and the U.S. Judo Association, among others…

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With MMA Opposition Weakening in New York, UFC Hopes for 20th Anniversary Event at Madison Square Garden


(In honor of Reilly’s impending retirement, we proudly present the most embarrassing moment of his entire political career. You crazy for that one, Bob.)

By Elias Cepeda

Alright, we don’t want to get your hopes up but…

According to a New York State Assembly “insider” quoted in a new report by NY Daily News reporter Kenneth Lovett, “It’s getting harder for [Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver] to keep blocking this,” referring to the bill partially crafted by the UFC to sanction MMA in New York.

“Resistance to it is getting less,” Speaker Silver admitted.

Lovett went on to explain in his report that Assemblyman Robert Reilly — better known around here as “Bob,” and one of New York’s most passionateconfused, and dishonest opponents of MMA sanctioning — is miraculously retiring this week (!!!) and that his departure should take a good deal of steam out of the opposition to MMA in New York. The ban on professional MMA in the state was signed into law by then-Governor George Pataki in 1997, but now even he is calling for the sport’s legalization.

Sources tell The Daily News that if the bill to legalize and regulate professional MMA in New York were brought to a vote in the general assembly right now, it would be passed. However, hurdles remain for the sport and its largest promotion, the UFC. Members of the NY Assembly including Deborah Glick and Daniel O’Donnell still oppose MMA’s legalization, the report says, and they might be able to prevent the measure from getting through committee and to the general assembly for voting.

In addition, the Culinary Workers Union — MMA’s most powerful arch-nemesis in the fight for New York MMA regulation — continues its loud propaganda campaign against the UFC, slamming everything from Dana White’s language to Mandy Moore’s judgment. (Funny story: If you go to the Culinary Union’s anti-UFC website UnfitforChildren.org right now, the lead story is a screen-cap of a CagePotato article. Wisely, they didn’t reprint the article’s first line, which refers to the Union as “two-faced, propaganda pushing arseholes.”)

Nevertheless, UFC President Dana White seems to be as optimistic as ever that his organization will soon put on an event in New York. After UFC 155, the promoter told assembled media that he hoped to host a UFC 20th Anniversary event in Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden this coming fall. “We have a date, and we have a match,” White revealed.

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What the Heck Is Going on in New York? MMA’s Legal Gray-Area in the Empire State



(A nice little Sunday at the Underground Combat League. / All photos courtesy of the author.)

 By Jim Genia

The UFC held a show in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1995, and all was well and good. That is, until New York banned professional mixed martial arts in 1997 on the grounds that it was “human cockfighting” and fights to the death suck. Or something like that. But the passage of time has seen the sport evolve, and now MMA is sanctioned almost everywhere in the country — everywhere but New York.

So last year Zuffa filed a lawsuit against the state alleging that the ban violated all sorts of Constitutional rights, and while the suit is currently mired in the muck of the judicial process, and efforts to change the law via the legislature get bogged down year after maddening year, something has changed. Depending on where you live in the state, it’s now possible to take in an MMA event live. There are shows sprouting up on the sovereign territory of Indian Reservations, and amateur MMA competitions are kicking off in ice skating rinks and in armories — all of them happening pretty much unmolested by an athletic commission that went from “search and destroy” mode to laissez-faire in seemingly the blink of an eye. Which begs the question: What the heck is going on in New York?

The short answer is that there’s a lot going in New York. The long answer, however, involves an athletic commission finally admitting that amateur MMA is legal, fights on Indian Land, and an underground fight scene that shows no signs of slowing down.

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Real-Life Action Hero Renzo Gracie Live-Tweets His Own Attempted Mugging [WTF AWESOME]


(Somewhere in Manhattan, there’s a dumb bastard with the phrase “IFL Pitbulls” reverse-imprinted in his forehead.)

Late last night in New York, legendary fighter/trainer Renzo Gracie was accosted by two men with obvious bad intentions. And since Renzo is one of the gamest S.O.B.s of all time, he wound up beating the shit out of them. Actually, let me re-phrase that: He beat the shit out of one of them, tracked down mugger #2 after he went running off into the night, “raccooned” mugger #2 (explanation below), and tweeted out a live play-by-play of the whole experience including photos. Are you kidding me? Renzo Gracie is like a prime Steven Seagal with an iPhone.

Now, did all this really happen, or was this entire situation just a staged social media infomercial for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu? I don’t know. But I want to believe. Here’s the entire story, from beginning to end, as taken from @RenzoGracieBJJ:

3:11 AM: 22nd street and 10th ave right now two guys following me, can’t help but have a big smile upon my face Im talking about a happy one ;-) )))

3:12 AM: Waiting for them… Are they really thinking I’m drunk??? They have to be kidding. Hahahaha

3:13 AM: 25th and 10ave ;-) they are getting closer lol ;-)

3:16 AM: I just stop to take a pic, they pretend they are looking at the window, can’t lie… My blood runs in a different speed, man I miss Brazil

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New York Drops the Ball Once Again, Will Not Regulate MMA in 2012


(Sheldon Silver: Son of a bitch.)

You know, there was a time when we believed that an online petition could change the world. Ah, the naivete of youth. But despite years of UFC lobbying efforts and fan support, MMA is still at square one when it comes to regulation in New York State. In what has become an annual letdown, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver — who has never been an ally of the sport — determined during a closed-door meeting yesterday that a bill seeking to legalize MMA in New York didn’t have enough support to pass. According to a New York Daily News report, the circumstances seemed profoundly shady:

The decision not to bring the bill to the floor helped highlight a growing split between younger members of the Assembly and older lawmakers, insiders said. “[Silver] is still siding with a dwindling number of aging veterans,” one source in the room griped.

The source said after eight people had spoken in favor of legalizing MMA and eight against, Silver called on members who don’t support the bill to raise their hands. About 25 members did. Then he asked for a show of hands of those who support it before saying that it looked even, the source said. 

An upstate member who supports the measure complained it didn’t look even to her, the source said…The speaker took another informal vote, with 25 again raising their hands against. The “ayes” seemingly had more than 60, the source said.

Silver then said others had expressed opposition privately and that the votes weren’t there to move the bill.

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Forget MMA, New York Should Ban Cheerleading If It Really is Concerned About Safety


(Video courtesy of YouTube/

With all of the resistance New York and it’s crooked supporters have put up against the legalization of MMA in the Empire State, it’s surprising that none of these do-gooder groups have ever raised a stink about any really dangerous sports like football, or cheerleading — the latter of which accounts for nearly 67 percent of catastrophic sporting injuries in females.


(Video courtesy of YouTube/katrinaberarducci)

A recent report showed that between 1982 and 2007, there were 103 fatal, disabling or serious injuries and three deaths recorded among female high school athletes, with the vast majority occurring in cheerleading. The study went on to say that 25% of NCAA Insurance program funding went towards cheerleading-related injuries.

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New York MMA Legalization Bill Passes Through Another Hoop; May Be For Naught


(“Mr. Reilly, how long will it take for you to produce these documents? It’s been five days already.”)

The bill to regulate MMA in New York State, A04146A, was passed by a margin of 16-3 by a Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development committee vote today and will be passed along for voting by various other departments before a final decision on the matter is made by State Assembly.

Unfortunately for MMA fans in the Empire state, the bill will likely not be pushed through in time for a vote before the current session ends in seven days, meaning it will be back to the drawing board next session.

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West Virginia to Regulate MMA

(Watch your back, Bob Reilly. Your evil empire is crumbling before your eyes.)

It looks like just three of the last four hold-out states reluctant to sanction mixed martial arts are left standing with their arms interlocked in protest against the sport. West Virginia has now given in and agreed that MMA is a legitimate sport if regulated properly by a competent commission under the Unified Rules.

With West Virginia now on board, the only three states dragging their collective heels are Connecticut, Vermont and New York, but progress is being made in at least one of those centers. The New York Senate Standing Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation  passed New York Senate Bill S01707A on March 15 and its expected that the bill will go directly to full Senate as vote, which could mean that the sport could be greenlit in the Empire State before the end of the year.

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Gina Carano Visiting New York Next Week to Promote ‘UFC Personal Trainer’

Fat Gina Carano biggest loserGina Carano weigh-ins thin MMA photos
(Hey, you can’t argue with results.)

The UFC’s ongoing tour of the East Coast includes a public press conference at Radio City Music Hall in New York tomorrow, UFC 128 in Newark on Saturday, and the TUF 14 tryouts next Monday. But there’s one more little surprise in store for fight fans — Gina Carano will be doing an appearance in New York next Wednesday to promote “UFC Personal Trainer,” a fitness game slated for a June release on the Xbox 360 Kinect, PlayStation Move, and Nintendo Wii.

It’s interesting — and by “interesting” I mean “fucked up” — that the UFC is sticking to their “no girls” policy when it comes to fighting, but will happily use Strikeforce’s poster-girl to sell video games. And I hate to be the asshole that has to say what everybody’s thinking, but is Gina the best spokesmodel for a fitness product right now?

Not that I wouldn’t smash that. Because I would. I would totally smash that.

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