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Tag: New York

Strikeforce New York Fan Experience Highlights: Heavyweight Grand Prix Fighters Assemble, Werdum Makes That Weird Face Again

Fabricio Werdum Strikeforce funny face smile MMA photos

(That’s what we call commitment to the bit. Props: MMA.us)

Approximately 1,500 MMA fans swarmed the Roseland Ballroom in New York City yesterday afternoon for a special meet-and-greet with the participants from Strikeforce’s heavyweight grand prix. The action begins this Saturday at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey, with two quarterfinal matches — Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva and Andrei Arlovski vs. Sergei Kharitonov — and three reserve matches, featuring Shane Del Rosario, Chad Griggs, and Valentijn Overeem. If you’re going to be there in person, please swing by the press pit to receive a complimentary fist-bump from BG.

We’ve collected some video highlights from yesterday’s festivities after the jump: First, all eight members of the heavyweight GP are introduced to the crowd by horrific YAMMA/Affliction vet Scott Ferrall. Then, Alistair Overeem talks to Ariel Helwani about his new love of American football, getting ducked by Fedor, and Dana White’s opinion that he’s not a top ten heavyweight. Finally, Fabricio Werdum shows off his special move for the tournament, and we have to admit, it’s pretty damn special. Check it out.

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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?

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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…

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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…

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Video: New York MMA Documentary


(Another of NY’s many aspiring criminals)

With states like New York refusing to regulate mixed martial arts, MMA gyms have basically become modern day speakeasies.

It’s in those establishments where fighters not only hone their skills, they also compete in smokers and unsanctioned underground fights which are a by-product of archaic lawmakers who refuse to legitimize the sport.

MMA opponents like Bob Reilly likely look at MMA gyms in the same light as his counterparts in Washington look at Al-Qaeda training camps.

The irony that fighters can legally train to break the law and trainers can supply them with the tools to commit such "crimes" in these locales is head-shakingly ludicrous, yet in 2010 we continue to fight for ordinance of a sport that is in essence, the oldest and purest form of competition known to man.

Our boy, KahL-One, has put together an incredible series of mini-documentaries about the thriving fight community in New York.

Check out episode one after the jump.

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MMA Loses Another Battle in New York; State Assembly Pulls Sport From Budget Bill

UFC 111 poster New York City
(So the UFC is too brutal for New York, but children are allowed to see "Mamma Mia"? Explain that one to me. / Photo courtesy of graciemag.com.)

NYDailyNews.com breaks the unfortunate turn of events:

ALBANY – The push to legalize ultimate fighting in New York is on the ropes. Assembly Democrats stripped approval for the wildly popular violent sport from a budget bill that lawmakers will take up as soon as today.

Gov. Paterson sought to legalize mixed martial arts, saying fights could pull in more than $2 million in tax revenue for the cash-strapped state.

"The majority of voices who spoke about this issue in our conference were not supportive of approving it as part of the budget," said Assemblyman Steven Englebright (D-L.I.), a fight fan. Englebright said it’s a long shot the Assembly will revisit the issue. The state Senate has already approved the sport.

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New York MMA Bill S 2165-B Passed Another Hurdle Today


("All those for MMA in New York State, say ‘Aye’. All those against, say ‘duh’.")

New York’s MMA bill S 2165 made it over another major hurdle today by passing a third senate reading and vote and being referred to ways and means.

If this sounds familiar, its because the parallel bill, A 2009-C was recently passed by the Committee of Parks, Tourism and Sports Development onto the Codes Committee for a June 14 vote, where it was passed on to ways and means as well.

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NY Assembly to Vote on MMA This Week or Next

Matt Serra UFC 69
(The Long Island boys are right.  It really does feel like we’ve been here a hundred times before.)

Remember when we told you the vote to legalize mixed martial arts in New York was imminent?  Turns out it’s even imminenter (that is so a word) than we thought.  The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle cites the UFC’s Julie Wood in a report that says a vote on the bill to lift the MMA ban in New York is expected this week or some time in early May.  The moment of truth, she approaches.

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Assemblyman Rob Walker Launches Facebook Group for MMA Support in New York


(Do it for the Hammer, the Terror, and Bones.)

With the vote to lift the ban on MMA in New York State imminent (or so we hear), our NY state assemblyman friend Rob Walker has taken to Facebook to drum up some more support. In the mission statement for his newly-launched group "Support Mixed Martial Arts in New York State," Walker writes the following:

I have been in talks with representatives from the UFC and we are trying to pass a bill that will allow for the sanction of the UFC. By joining this group we hope that it will help show people how much people want to see the sport be once again allowed in New York. The problem we are having is the miss conception of what the sport is. It has been called, "Human Cock Fighting" it has been criticized by everyone but what people do not realize is how far the sport has come.
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Matt Serra to NY Legislators: Please Let Me Fight in Front of a Crowd That Likes Me


(Most honest post-fight reaction…eva.)

Strong Island native Matt “The Terra” Serra has penned a piece for Newsday appealing to New York legislators to lift the ban on MMA and regulate events in his home state.  He makes some of the same arguments we’ve all been making/hearing for years – it brings in money, it isn’t that violent, it’s not as bad as boxing, etc. – but Serra is in the unique position of being able to lead with this very personal appeal to emotion:

Last April, I fought Georges St. Pierre in a rematch of the Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight title match. Our sport is banned in New York, and this fight was held in Montreal, St. Pierre’s hometown. The sold-out crowd of 21,000 was less than welcoming – everywhere I went that weekend, I heard jeers and boos. When I eventually lost the match, the cheers for my opponent were deafening.
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