Monday, December 31, 2012

NY MMA Already in the News for 2013

By Kenneth Lovett, NY Daily News

ALBANY — It once looked down for the count, but the push to legalize mixed martial arts in New York now seems like it could be a winner in the coming year. Several lawmakers say support is growing in the Assembly, where the effort has been blocked for years — and where the most outspoken legislative critic of the sport is set to retire.

“It’s getting harder for (Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver) to keep blocking this,” said one Assembly insider.

Read the entire article here

By John Morgan, MMA Junkie

LAS VEGAS – If UFC President Dana White's latest prediction if correct, the UFC's 20th anniversary show will take place at New York's famed Madison Square Garden.

Following Saturday night's UFC 155 post-event press conference, White revealed the company has gone so far as to reserve a November 2013 date at the Garden in hopes that MMA will finally be legalized in New York in time for the event.

"I plan on being in New York in 2013 for the UFC's 20th anniversary," White said. "That's my goal, so we'll see."

Read the entire article here

By Mark Jacobs, Black Belt Magazine (Winter, 2013 Issue)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Amateur MMA comes to Ithica, NY - January 26, 2013

Gladius Fights live amateur MMA comes to Ithica, NY on January 26th, 2013
Check out for more information!

Get out there and support our local fighters!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sanctioned Amateur MMA Comes to NYC in January!

On January 26, 2013, for the first time in over 10 years, sanctioned MMA comes to NYC thanks to Aggressive Combat Sports, who have been regularly hosting non-MMA martial arts events in the Hudson Valley, Long Island, and NYC. 

Nearly a year ago, as a result of the Zuffa, et. al. federal lawsuit to lift the professional MMA ban, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman acknowledged that amateur MMA is legal and unregulated in the state. Since that time, the sport has moved out from the underground and a budding amateur MMA scene has begun to grow in NY. Several new events have been put on outside the NYC in Westchester, Rochester, Buffalo, Tonawanda, Albany and Ithica to name a few. This event will be the first within city limits.

For more information about Aggressive Combat Sports, visit their Facebook page

Come out and support your local fighters!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

UPDATED: February 2013: ABC Approved MMA Judge and Referee Course in Levittown, NY!

The Coalition to Legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York is proud to bring to Levittown, New York an Association of Boxing Commissions approved MMA Judge and Referee training course with Robert Hinds (veteran referee, judge and ABC certified trainer) and Sean Wheelock (veteran referee and Bellator color commentator)! 

This is the first time this training has ever been offered in New York State.

This course is suitable for aspiring referees & judges, coaches, fighters, MMA journalists and fans. Whether you want to simply educate yourself, better understand our sport, or aspire to work as a ref or judge, this course is for you.

Saturday, February 16th, 2013 at Tiger Martial Arts:
10am - 6pm (check in at 9am): ABC approved MMA judge training course. This interactive training includes lecture, discussion, demonstration, video review and a final exam. Subjects covered include requirements, Unified Rules scoring system & judging criteria, scoring of rounds, bout decisions, challenges, and ethics.

Sunday, February 17th, 2013 at Tiger Martial Arts:
10am - 6pm (check in at 9am): ABC approved MMA referee course. This interactive training includes lecture, discussion, demonstration, video review and a final exam. Subjects covered include the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, pre/during/post fight duties, communication, mechanics, injuries, decision making, challenges, results, ethics.

We are very honored to have two very important special guests in attendance at this training! Also speaking at this training will be Michael Mazzulli, Director of the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation and Melvina Lathan, Commissioner of the New York State Athletic Commission!

*A UFC on Fuel viewing party is being planned for the evening of February 16th. More information on that coming soon!

*Stay tuned to find out what other special guests will be participating in the course!

Check out this interview with Sean Wheelock about this event on Darce Side Radio!

Listen to internet radio with thedarceside on Blog Talk Radio

For more information and to register, visit:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Is the UFC Already Planning an Event in New York?

Check out Jim Genia's blog to find out! You won't regret it.

Is the UFC Already Planning an Event in New York?


By Jim Genia
December 4, 2012

Promoters had advertised the inaugural Elite Cage Challenge on Nov. 17 as Westchester County’s first cage-fighting show, and a “chance to watch some of the best fighters in the tri-county area.” But no superlatives were needed: For New Yorkers like myself, any chance to see MMA in your home state is a chance you have to jump on.

In 1997, New York passed a law banning professional mixed martial arts, leaving fans on their own. Want to see a wrestler take on a jiu-jitsu practitioner or a kickboxer take on a karate master? “Too bad,” was the state’s official stance, “you’ll either have to go the underground route (which we don’t and can’t and won’t recommend) or get your thrills elsewhere.”

Monday, December 3, 2012

No Backsies Eric: Doublespeak from Albany Regarding NY MMA

Ready for the next chapter in the continuing NY MMA saga? To catch up on the back story about why professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is still banned in New York State (NYS) after fifteen years and the Zuffa, LLC spearheaded federal lawsuit which addresses the ban, read this summary.

On October 26, 2012 NYS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman filed his latest Motion to Dismiss the Zuffa, et. al. federal lawsuit against the NYS ban on live professional MMA.
As I read through this document, which I encourage you to do, several passages simply made me shake my head in wonder.  Here is one (page 4):
“Sections 1 and 2 of [NY Unconsolidated Laws] 8905-a together prohibit the conduct in the state of New York any “combative sport,” which is defined as “any professional match or exhibition” the rules of which permit “kicks, punches or blows of any kind” to the opponent’s body other than boxing, sparring, wrestling, or martial arts by any number of organizations specifically listed in the statute and connected to judo, karate, tae kwon do and kenpo. The State Athletic Commission is authorized to establish a process to allow inclusion or removal of martial arts organizations from this list.”
Aside from the fact that there are many more martial arts than judo, karate, tae kwon do, and kenpo; as a coach and promoter (who could arguably be a criminal based on the NYS argument), NYS resident, and head of a martial arts organization I have had the pleasure of discussing this very topic in the mid 2000’s with the NYS Athletic Commission. I attempted to have the American Sambo Association added to the list of approved organizations in New York. I was told by Hugo Spindola, then Executive Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel of the NYS Athletic Commission, that it was impossible as it would require a statutory change! Now MMA supporters are trying to change the statute and the state is arguing that we don’t need to because the commission can amend the approved list its own?

The Motion then goes on to address several points in NYS’s argument with tons of legalese, detail, and counterpoint. Most of which is expected, and has been consistent all through the case.

Then, on page 16 it starts to get good (or bad?). As you may recall, in January this year, NYS filed its original motion to dismiss. Within that document, drafted by Eric Schneiderman, the following text appeared (bold added):
 “Plaintiffs also object to NY Unconsol. Law Sec. 8905-a, because, while it prohibits ‘live professional MMA,’ it is silent as to amateur MMA contests, which ‘undoubtedly occur every day’.  They further claim the statue is ‘vague’ as it is unclear whether the ban applies to amateur MMA exhibitions.  To the extent that it does not ban amateur MMA exhibitions, Plaintiffs assert that the disparate treatment of professional and amateur MMA activities violates the equal protection clause.  This claim, too, is meritless.  The statute’s provision on its face explicitly speaks to ‘professional’ combative sports and does not address amateur sports.  Moreover, while the legislature, in another statute, regulates amateur boxing and wrestling, the legislature has not enacted a provision expressly addressing any amateur martial arts activity.  Accordingly, the statute does not treat amateur MMA bouts any differently from amateur bouts involving traditional martial arts.  And, to the extent that the legislature, with regard to traditional and mixed martial arts, has drawn a distinction between amateur and professional bouts, it hardly needs saying that a rational basis exists for such a distinction.  Moreover, Plaintiffs, themselves, aver in the Complaint that it was not until the statute was enacted that amateur MMA contests began to proliferate.  Plainly, the legislature had a rational basis for explicitly banning professional MMA bouts, but not to address amateur contests.”
This admission that amateur MMA is legal in NY, largely overlooked at first, literally transformed the face of MMA in our state. Since that time non-underground amateur events have cropped up all over the state with full knowledge and non-interference of the NYS Athletic Commission. Clearly, Schneiderman made a tactical error and as a result, the NY MMA scene seemed to have breathed a bit of new life into its lungs.

Now, it seems, after the Plaintiff’s amended complaint clearly points out Schneiderman’s declaration that amateur MMA is legal as well as NY’s long history of flip flopping on the legality of amateur MMA (demonstrating the vagueness of the law), Mr. Schneiderman is trying to use some Orwellian doublespeak to cover his tracks and correct his blunder. In essence he is eloquently saying “I take that back. I only said it because you did!”
From the current motion (bold added):
“Defendant Schneiderman’s Reply Momorandum of Law in support of the First Motion to Dismiss (Docket # 26) at 5-6 (emphasis added). It was not presented as the Attorney General’s interpretation of the statute, but rather a description of an assertion in the plaintiff’s Memorandum of Law that flatly asserts (citing their original complaint) that “today highly-regulated professional MMA is banned, while amateur MMA occurs under dangerous conditions without regulation.”  Plaintiff’s Memorandum of Law in Opposition to the First Motion to Dismiss (Docket # 23) at 25, citing the original complaint (Docket # 1) ¶¶76, 103-110, 285. Thus the position that amateur MMA was not covered by 8905-a was not that of the Attorney General, but rather of the plaintiffs See Original Complaint (Docket # 1) ¶¶76, 103. The Attorney General took no position on that question, but rather argued that such an “alleged loophole” did not warrant striking the law on equal protection or due process grounds. An argument with which this Court ultimately agreed. 8/13/12 Order at 11-2. The Attorney General’s Reply Memorandum on the First Motion to Dismiss has no bearing on whether the statue does or does not cover amateur MMA.
Then Schneiderman tried to backtrack on his own assertion from the original motion to dismiss that the law currently provides a channel, and was designed as such, for professional MMA in NY were it to be sanctioned by one of the approved martial arts organizations noted in the 1997 law (such as the WKA, who does sanction professional Muay Thai in NY).

On page 6 of the original motion to dismiss, Schneiderman states:
“The proposed Muay Thai event appears to confirm that the 1997 Legislation provides a procedure by which a sport claiming to be a “martial art” or to have similar characteristics, can enter the New York market under the sponsorship of a listed organization. The UFC has apparently even decided not to explore this path, preferring an all out attack on the statute. But, the procedures availability shows the legislature’s reasonable intent in 1997 to allow for future flexibility.”
Now, in his current Motion to Dismiss:
The Attorney General’s observation was clearly not intended as a “formal position” on the meaning of the law, but rather a somewhat puzzled response to plaintiff’s categorical statement in their papers on the First Motion to Dismiss that Muay Thai was a mixed martial art that was “not exempted from the Ban,” whereas its events were allegedly sanctioned by a banned organization.”
MMA Journalist Jim Genia also points out Schneiderman’s “suggestion that Zuffa could circumnavigate the longstanding ban on professional MMA by utilizing one of the statutorily-approved sanctioning bodies to get a UFC event into the state.”
He quotes an October 26th letter drafted by attorneys representing Zuffa, et. al. to Schneiderman:
“Based at least in part on positions taken by your Office in this case, MMA and other combative sport events are proliferating in New York.  Thus, the UFC is beginning the process of planning a professional MMA event to be held in New York, under the auspices of one of the exempt organizations listed in the Combative Sport Ban and pursuant to the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts.”
There is plenty more in the new Motion to Dismiss for you to sink your teeth into. I highly suggest you read the original documents. They are long, but worth it to see what lengths NYS will go to keep this prohibition of professional MMA alive.

Stephen Koepfer
Founder, Coalition to Legalize MMA in NY

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Creates Blood Emergency!

November 15, 2012/New York, NY. After Hurricane Sandy, the New York Blood Center supply dropped 6,000 units. You saw what happened with a two day interruption of gasoline supply? Now imagine that same interruption in blood supply. The New York City martial arts community can help now by stepping up and donating blood! We martial artists and fighters spend enough time shedding blood (all in good fun!); now let’s donate some for the good of our city!

New York Blood Center (NYBC) serves more than 20 million people in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and New Jersey. Together with New York Combat Sambo, we are asking you to join the post Hurricane Sandy recovery! New York Combat Sambo will be hosting a blood drive on December 27, 2012 from 3 – 9pm.

If you can’t make it to donate, please help us by taking a moment to promote the blood drive on your websites, blogs, to your students, on your podcasts, radio & television programs, anywhere you can! We want to beat the NYBC goal of 30 donors. Let’s show our city what its martial art community can do! If you need promotional materials, let us know and we will get them to you.

"We anticipated some of the potential effects of Hurricane Sandy and delivered blood in advance to our 200 partner hospitals" said NYBC Vice President Rob Purvis. "Our first priority remains getting them whatever they need for the care of patients, including surgeries that had to be delayed. Plus - with the holiday season right around the corner - we're in a tough spot," Purvis added. "We need the help of our communities to recover and replenish the supply."

Blood donors at the New York Combat Sambo Drive receive a free mini-medical exam (temperature, blood pressure and hematocrit levels). Donors must be at least age 16 (with parental permission), weigh at least 110lbs, and in good health.

To donate blood at the New York Combat Sambo Drive, please call or e-mail the club to register your name, phone number, and time you expect to show up (between 6-9pm). 917-617-5650 or

You can also register on line here:

Learn more about the drive by visiting our event page by searching for “NY Combat Sambo Blood Drive” on Facebook or following this link:

There will be cookies and juice for all donors. In addition, New York Combat Sambo is currently seeking donations of martial arts memorabilia and products to thank our blood donors on a first come first serve basis (less than $25 value per item please). Please contact us if you would like to donate an item for our drive!


Learn more about the NY Blood Center here:


Stephen Koepfer
Founder, Coalition to Legalize MMA in NY
Head Coach, New York Combat Sambo
225 West 36th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10018

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stephen Koepfer sits in on the Hiyaa Martial Arts Podcast

Coalition to Legalize MMA in NY founder Stephen Koepfer sits in on episode 18 of the HIYAA! Martial Arts Podcast to talk about the current state of the battle for regulated professional MMA in NY, the state of amateur MMA in NY and elsewhere, and women's MMA.

Listen to the HIYAA Podcast here or subscribe on iTunes!

Friday, October 12, 2012

UFC Urges Cuomo & ESDC to support MMA

An October 10, 2012 press release from the UFC:

UFC Urges Gov. Cuomo & ESDC to Bring the Fastest Growing Sport in the World to New York

In light of press reports that Governor Cuomo is planning to create a new sports division within the Empire State Development Corporation, The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) today urged the Governor and ESDC to fight for making professional mixed martial arts (MMA) legal in New York and bring the fastest growing sport in the world to the Empire State.

“High profile sporting events create tourism, revenue and jobs.  So we applaud Governor Cuomo for seeking to increase professional and amateur sporting events across the state. We urge the Governor and his team to help bring professional MMA to New York.  The time has come for the merger of the UFC’s worldwide brand with the iconic I♥NY brand,” UFC Chairman & CEO Lorenzo Fertitta said. 

“New York is one of only two states that does not allow professional MMA events.  Yet, millions of New Yorkers watch the UFC on Fox and other networks, buy our pay-per-view events, travel out of state to see our events, attend and follow the growing number of amateur MMA events in New York, play our video games, and read about UFC and our fighters in their local newspapers,” Fertitta said.  “There are hundreds of MMA schools and training facilities across the state.  New Yorkers are helping to make MMA the fastest growing sport in history – both in fans and in participants. 

“It’s time to let New York MMA fans attend UFC events in New York City, on Long Island, in the Hudson Valley, in the Capital Region, in the North Country, in the Mohawk Valley, in Central New York, in the Southern Tier, in the Finger Lakes Region, and in Western New York,” Fertitta said.  “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  The UFC has contributed to economic development and job creation in communities across the country and around the world and we are eager to bring that kind of economic development and sports excitement to communities across New York.”

The New York State Senate has passed a bill to legalize professional MMA in New York for the last three years.  The bill has not been voted upon by the Assembly.  

“New York is home to two major league and nearly a dozen minor league baseball teams, three NFL teams, two NBA teams, three, NHL teams and scores of other professional sports franchises.  New York is home to some of the best arenas and stadiums in the nation, including the world’s most famous stadium, the nation’s most famous arena, and the newest premiere arena venue in America,” Fertitta said.  “New York should also be home to regularly scheduled UFC and other MMA events so it can create new jobs, bring in new revenue, and reclaim its title of being the sports capital of the world.”

Friday, October 5, 2012

It may not be MMA, but Madison Square Garden is bringing us Muay Thai and Wrestling!

Hey folks, we still may not have regulated professional MMA in New York, but Madison Square Garden is still doing it's best to satisfy our need for combat sports!



TaKe On Productions, New York’s premiere Muay Thai promotion, and MSG Sports announced the highly anticipated return of full contact Muay Thai Kickboxing to The Theater at Madison Square Garden in “Muay Thai at the Mecca 2” on Saturday, November 10, 2012.

Tickets start at $35.00 and go on sale Tuesday, October 2, at The Garden box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Muay Thai and MMA gyms throughout NY, NJ, CT and PA and at TaKe On VIP ticket packages will also be available via, along with the full fight card, fighter information, and other exciting content.

The historic “Muay Thai at the Mecca” proved to be the biggest sanctioned Muay Thai event ever in United States history and already “Muay Thai at the Mecca 2” is building up to surpass the celebrated event. “Muay Thai at the Mecca 2” will feature UFC veteran Ryan “The Lion” Madigan alongside undefeated Take On heavyweight slugger, Brian Collette who will collide with WBC Champ Steven Banks and undefeated Take On middleweight champion, Nick Vaughan will face Phil LeGrand, who may be his toughest opponent yet.

“The debut of Muay Thai kickboxing at Madison Square Garden earlier this year was nothing short of fantastic,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, MSG Sports. “The Garden is excited to continue our partnership with TaKe-On Productions and bring the thrilling sport back to its many fans with “Muay Thai at the Mecca 2” on November 10.”

“Following our overwhelmingly successful partnerships with MSG Sports on both ‘Muay Thai at the Mecca’ in March, and ‘Battle at Bally’s II’ in August, TaKe On Productions is thrilled to return to Madison Square Garden. TaKe On continues to deliver to our fans record-breaking events featuring today’s top fighters, non-stop action, and highlight reel knockouts,” stated TaKe On CEO Mike Gasparski.

“After the tremendous success of our first MSG show, it’s only natural that TaKe On returns to the Mecca for another historic event. ‘Muay Thai at the Mecca 2’ on November 10th will set the new standard in our sport as the biggest Muay Thai event the US has ever seen,” added TaKe On President Eddie Cuello.

Four title fights will highlight this explosive fight card including the hard hitting undefeated TaKe On cruiserweight Champion, Ariel Abreu (6-0; Camp Undefeated/NY) as he puts his belt on the line. Additionally, WKA women’s 105 lb. champ Jess Ng (7-1 Sitan/NY), 125 lb. champ Prairie Ruglio (Girl Fight MMA/NJ), and men’s Pro WKA Champ Justin Greskiewicz (18-9-3 Cool Hearts/PA) will all look to defend their crowns.

Cyrus “Black Dynamite” Washington (50 wins, 48 KO’s), arguably the most exciting North American Muay Thai fighter to enter the ring, will headline the 22 bout card. Washington, now fighting out of Long Island’s Militia MMA, spent years as a pro fighter living and training in Thailand. He has fought and defeated international superstars and is looking to build his fame on his native land.

Other marquee names featured on the “Muay Thai at the Mecca 2,” which will include representatives from a total of 26 premiere Muay Thai kickboxing gyms, are:

Jay Matias (16-6, Sitan Gym/NY) trains under World Champion Muay Thai coach Aziz Nabih. He is the WKA North American Lightweight Champion, and was recently named 2012’s top Muay Thai Prospect by “Muay Thai Is Life” &“”

Tarek Rached (26-3, AFC Kickboxing/NY) with over 100 amateur fights, this Ronkonkoma, NY native has won World Championships in WAKO, WKA, and WPKA.

Eddie Maritnez (20-8) has recently won a world title at the Arab Boxing World Championship in Dubai with a seventh-round knockout of Russia’s Illman Arskahanov.. He holds the TaKe On record for most Knockouts via headkick!

Many others top fighters will appear including: Elijah Clarke (Renzo Gracie/NY),Pawel Zawatowski (New York Jiu Jitsu), Kate Allen (Cool Hearts/PA), and Sean George (CeeThree Athletics/CT).

Check out this HL from Muay Thai at the Mecca I


Collegiate wrestling will invade Madison Square Garden for the first time in its illustrious 133 year history for the inaugural “Grapple at the Garden,” presented by on Sunday, December 16. A robust field of fourteen top notch wrestling teams including Bloomsburg, Bucknell, Chattanooga, Cornell, Drexel, Hofstra, George Mason, Iowa, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, and Rutgers will participate. This event will consist of dual meets at 10:30am and 12:30pm.

Mat 1 – PSAL Holiday Tournament (High School)
Mat 2 – Drexel vs. George Mason
Mat 3 - Rutgers vs. Nebraska
Mat 4 - Iowa vs. Hofstra
Mat 5 - Ohio State vs. Maryland
Mat 6 – Cornell vs. Missouri
Mat 7 – Oklahoma State vs. Chattanooga
Mat 8 – PSAL Holiday Tournament (High School)

Mat 1 – PSAL Holiday Tournament (High School)
Mat 2 -  Iowa vs. Bucknell
Mat 3 – Rutgers vs. Chattanooga
Mat 4 – Ohio State vs. Hofstra
Mat 5 – Nebraska vs. Maryland
Mat 6 – Cornell vs. Oklahoma State
Mat 7 – Missouri vs. Bloomsburg
Mat 8 – PSAL Holiday Tournament (High School)

To view mat locations, Click Here.
To view seat locations by team, Click Here.
To view seat location by price, Click Here.
To view the official press release, Click Here.
For the official Grapple at the Garden travel packages, Click Here.
For great wrestling products visit,

For discounted group rates, call MSG Group Sales at (212) 465-6080

Madison Square Garden has made arrangements with its Signature Airline partner, Delta Airlines, to offer Grapple at the Garden attendees additional discounts from all DL routes to New York.

Reservations and ticketing are available via When booking online, select “Meeting Event Code”, and enter meeting code NMEW8 in the box provided on the Search Flight page. Reservations may also be made by calling our Delta Meeting reservations at 800-328-1111 Mon-Fri 7am-7pm CDT.
*Please note that there is a direct ticketing fee for booking through the reservation number above.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Latest News: Zuffa, et al. vs New York State

If you have been following this blog you are aware that the ban on live professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in New York State (NYS) is the target of a federal lawsuit spearheaded by Zuffa, LLC (parent company of the UFC) and many other plaintiffs including Jon Jones, Frankie Edgar, Gina Carano, Joe Lozito, Don Lilly, Beth & Donna Hurrle, and several other professional & amateur fighters, promoters, coaches, and fans.
This week Zuffa, et al. filed their amended complaint after Judge Wood ruled in favor of NYS's motion to dismiss counts 4 & 5 of the Zuffa et al. complaint. This week saw a revised and updated complaint, which has many subtle and not so subtle revisions including a much greater focus on current amateur MMA in NY, the State's history of flip flopping on the amateur MMA issue, additional plaintiffs, and more current facts in the case. 
To get up to date on the case as it has progressed since last November, check our summary here. 
Check out Jim Genia's assessment of the latest version of the complaint in his story for Cage Potato.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

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

By Jim Genia
Cage Potato
September 20, 2012

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?


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Harlem’s Lyman Good Headlines Bellator's Welterweight Tournament and Talks NY MMA

SB Nation NY
By Jon Lane
September 18, 2012

From the article Bellator 74: Harlem's Lyman Good Headlines Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinals:
Next to the fire that burns inside him to avenge his loss to Askren and become a two-time champion, Good is passionate about keeping the propaganda machine going in an effort to finally get MMA sanctioned in New York State.

When not competing, Good is a Sensei for Tiger Schulmann in Manhattan. A growing coalition of New York metro area MMA fighters including Chris Weidman, Frankie Edgar and Endicott, N.Y., native Jon Jones have worked tirelessly to get it through the politicians' heads in Albany the true value of booking shows in the Big Apple. The dream of competing at iconic venues Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden makes too much sense. The determination of Good and the coalition is resolute.
"It's cool in the sense that it's not sanctioned yet and we have all these fighters trying to rally," Good said. "It's kind of like a movement, almost, but it's kind of cool in a way. It just has to happen already. Plain and simple."

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter @JonLaneNYC

Kingston's Tom Finch Hopes MMA Gym Will Help Midtown Youths

The Daily Freeman
KINGSTON, N.Y. — Kingston’s Tom Finch has a dream and that dream includes giving back to a community that cared for him.

Specifically, Finch wants to help out Midtown youth by offering them a safe place to learn one of the fastest growing sports today, mixed martial arts.

If the dream comes to fruition, Finch plans to relocate his TNT MMA gym from its 793 Broadway location to an abandoned building on the corner of Franklin and Furnace streets.

“This is the chance for me to do something for kids who maybe don’t have it good,” Finch said. “My motto has always been if you want to help the streets, you gotta be in the streets. MMA is a sport that anyone can learn and my vision is for this to be a lot more than just a gym.”


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Small Victory for NYS in the Battle for Regulated MMA

If you have been following this blog you are aware that the ban on live professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in New York State (NYS) is the target of a federal lawsuit spearheaded by Zuffa, LLC (parent company of the UFC) and many other plaintiffs including Jon Jones, Frankie Edgar, Gina Carano, Joe Lozito, and several other professional & amateur fighters, coaches, and fans.
Since Zuffa et al.’s legal team filed the initial complaint last November, there has been a volley of motions and counter arguments all for the eyes of Judge Kimba Wood of the United States District Court (NYS Southern District) who will determine the future of the case. The majority of which have revolved around NYS’s motion to dismiss counts 4 & 5 of the complaint and maintain the ban on live professional MMA in NY.
While most of the media has targeted Zuffa et al.’s assertion that the ban on live professional MMA violates freedom of expression guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, there are several more critical assertions made in the complaint. The complaint asserts that NYS’s ban violates the U.S. Constitution on 7 counts:
Count 1 – The ban is unconstitutional as applied to plaintiffs (1st Amendment)
Meaning: The ban violated guaranteed freedom of expression.

Count 2 – The ban is unconstitutionally overbroad and facially invalid (1st Amendment)
Meaning: The ban is so broadly written that it violates several constitutionally protected rights in addition to freedom of expression.

Count 3 – The ban is unconstitutionally vague (Due Process)
Meaning: The law is so unclearly written that a person of ordinary intelligence cannot know what is prohibited after reading it.

Count 4 – The ban violates plaintiffs’ rights to equal protections of the law (14th Amendment)
Meaning: The law arbitrarily singles out and prohibits MMA while NYS allows equally or more dangerous sports to be legally practiced.

Count 5 – The ban is unconstitutionally irrational (Due Process)
Meaning: The government is intruding on liberty without rational reason.

Count 6 – The ban unconstitutionally restricts interstate commerce (Commerce Clause)

Count 7 – The 2001 liquor law is unconstitutional as applied to the plaintiffs (1st Amendment)
Meaning: In 2001 the NY Alcoholic Beverage Control Law was amended to ban alcohol-serving venues from hosting MMA (both professional and amateur), but not other combative sports such as boxing. This is how the state was able to shut down many amateur MMA shows.

On August 17th, The Fight Lawyer reported that Judge Wood ruled in favor of NYS's motion and ordered a dismissal of counts 4 & 5 of the Zuffa et al. complaint.  While this is a small victory for NYS, the process is far from over. The remaining (some argue more legitimate) counts have yet to be addressed.
To get a more detailed understanding of what all this means, I encourage everyone to read the actual court documents listed here:

Here is a timeline of this blog’s coverage of the suit:
11/17/11 - UFC Spearheaded Lawsuit: Can Zuffa Change its Spots for the Benefit NY MMA?
12/19/11 - New York has Yet to Respond to Zuffa MMA Lawsuit
1/27/12 -   NYS Responds to Zuffa Lawsuit
1/30/12 -   NYS Admits Amateur MMA is not Banned in NY
2/1/12 -     NYS Moves to Uphold Ban on Live Professional MMA 
2/18/12 -   Zuffa et al. Responds to NYS Motion to Dismiss MMA Ban Suit
3/2/12 -     The Continuing Saga: New York's Latest Response to Zuffa et al.'s Federal Suit

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NY Newsday: Mixed martial arts gains following on Long Island

The combat sport of choke holds, jabs and uppercuts, armbars and double-leg takedowns is captivating a new audience, feeding Long Island's growing business of mixed martial arts training.

Reality TV shows such as FX's "The Ultimate Fighter" and MTV's "Caged," along with the success of the Island's homegrown fighters, have fueled growth of the area's MMA schools, owners said. Participation among the core audience of 18- to 34-year-old men has increased, and expanded to include women as well as men in their 40s and 50s -- doctors, lawyers and housewives, among others. All are looking for a more challenging workout and empowerment from a sport that incorporates boxing, kickboxing, and wrestling techniques drawn from different martial arts....


Amateur MMA: When will we come out from the dark ages?

Last June I commented on the tragic death of South Dakota amateur MMA fighter Dustin Jenson.  In that commentary I ask if we, the MMA community will learn from this tragedy. If we, as a community will look at amateur MMA with a critical eye for the safety of our young athletes. If we will acknowledge our need for regulation, education and oversight.

Sadly, less than three months since Jenson's premature death, another tragedy has struck. This time in South Carolina; the second such death in South Carolina since MMA was legalized. Thirty year old father of five Tyrone Mims died of apparent heart failure subsequent to his MMA debut. At this time the cause of death has not been established by the coroner. Exam results are still many weeks away.

Unlike South Dakota where MMA is not regulated by an athletic commission, South Carolina does have a state commission that regulates the amateur version of our sport. And, unlike South Dakota, the South Carolina commission lived up to the standards set by state law; that Mims obtain an annual physical and eye exam as well as HIV, Hepatitis B & C blood tests. Mims was also examined pre and post fight by the ringside physician.

As in all contact sports, there is always going to be risk. Death is actually very rare in MMA. Mims is the fourth known domestic MMA related death since 1993. While we do not yet know the cause of Mims' heart failure (which no amount of pre-fight exam may have prevented), the question still needs to be asked: Are we doing enough for our amateurs? Professional regulation has been standardized, overseen, examined, and continually tightened in the twenty years since MMA was born. Amateurs? We are still in the dark ages; with some athletic commissions barely even acknowledging that it exists.

Here is what Dana White had to say about amateur MMA in a 2009 interview:

But, when it comes to amateur MMA, there are other concerns. Take for example this April 20th commission sanctioned amateur bout in Massachusets:

Originally reported by Steven Marrocco of MMA Junkie, the bout shows a clear mis-judgement on the part of all parties involved. Most concerning are the ringside doctor and referee who allowed the bout to continue; the people upon whom we coaches and fighters depend upon to monitor our safety if we can't do it ourselves. There is a subsequent investigation pending with regard to this bout; justifiably so. However, we must again ask ourselves: Are we doing enough to protect our amateurs?

The problems with amateur MMA constitute a laundry list of concerns*. This editorial only scratches the surface. I am publicly asking the Association of Boxing Commissions to take a long hard look at amateur MMA. We need a national standard that looks after our young athletes.

Stephen Koepfer
Coalition to Legalize MMA in NY

*To learn more about this topic, please check Episode 12 of the HIYAA Martial Arts Podcast where I sit in and discuss the current state of MMA

Monday, July 16, 2012

ATTN: Candidates in the 2012 NYS Elections!

Dear Legislators,

Do you support lifting the ban on Professional Mixed Martial Arts in New York? We want our followers to know about you as we approach the 2012 elections.

Do you have a public statement to make on the topic of Mixed Martial Arts in New York?

Will you go on the record with your support for the lifting of the ban on Mixed Martial Arts in NY?

Provide us with a brief statement and we will share it with our readers, along with your campaign website, on our new 2012 Election page 

As a non-partisan group, the Coalition to Legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York does not endorse any specific candidate or political party.

However, as our members and followers walk into their voting booths this fall, we want them to know what candidates support lifting the ban on professional Mixed Martial Arts in New York.

Will your name be on their minds? E-mail us at

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Veterans and active duty military: Help us support regulated Mixed Martial Arts in New York


If you support the lifting of the ban on Mixed Martial Arts in New York State and are/were a member of the United States Military, please take a moment to review and sign our petition.  We are trying to collect 5000 (or more) signatures, and we could really use your help.

To read more about what we trying to do and to sign our petition, click here

It'll just take a minute!

Once you're done, please ask your friends to sign the petition as well (if they are active duty or veterans of the US Military) or spread the word if they are not! Grassroots movements like the Coalition to Legalize MMA in NY succeed because people like you are willing to spread the word!

Thanks for all your support!

Here is the vid from our last rally where USMC Master Seargent took the mic!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Full Report: The Battle for New York on MMA Uncensored Live

Here is Luke Thomas' full report on the NY MMA situation from Episode 115 of Spike TV's MMA Uncensored Live.
The Fight For New York
Spike Full EpisodesSpike Video ClipsSpike on Facebook
Watch the Full episode here:

Friday, June 8, 2012

Battleground New York: MMA Uncensored Live

Spike TV's "MMA Uncensored Live" covered the New York MMA issue on last night's episode (June 7, 2012). For those who did not catch it, you check out the full episode here:


Here is the preview of the piece:

Preview: Battleground - New York
Get More: Preview: Battleground - New York

Here is Matt Serra's extended interview regarding NY MMA
Exclusive: Matt Serra Extended Interview
Spike Full EpisodesSpike Video ClipsSpike on Facebook

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Will the Dustin Jenson Tragedy Teach Us Something? UPDATED 7/14/2012

For those who are not aware, a young man named Dustin Jenson died this week subsequent to a 5/18 unregulated amateur MMA bout in South Dakota in which he tapped to a triangle choke. Shortly after, he had a seizure, was hospitalized, had surgery to address cerebral edema, and sadly died 12 days later. This is such a sad story on many levels. My thoughts and prayers go out to Dustin's family, friends and training partners. Also to the coaches and promoter. Nobody wishes this to happen on their watch.

I do want to share some thoughts as I believe this sad event highlights our sport's dark shadow...the amateur ranks. I had a few conversations with Steven Marrocco and Nick Lembo of the New Jersey Athletic Control Board about this tragedy. Here is a compilation of thoughts I shared with them. I am sharing with you because I feel this is a discussion that needs to be taking place within our sport.

Dustin Jenson fought in Ring Wars four times since January 27; that's 4 fights in less than 4 months.

As per Ring Wars' Facebook (they don't even have a website that I can find) Jenson fought on:

Ring Wars 74 on May 18, 2012 (the one after which he died)

Ring Wars 73 on April 21, 2012 (he won via tap, can't find a video)

Ring Wars 71 on Feb 24, 2012 (he got badly KO'd) Less than 3 months prior to the bout after which he died. In a state with regulation of amateurs, he would have most likely been suspended for 90 was a real bad KO. Not being permitted to fight again until Dr.'s OK to assess the state of the post KO concussion. Meaning, he would never have been able to fight on April 21 or May 18.

Ring Wars 70 on Jan 27, 2012 (he wins via tko)
Tracking records and prior injuries of fighters in these unsanctioned/unregulated amateur events is very difficult. I face this all the time when trying to assess the background of my own fighters' opponents. I can't locate Jenson's supposed 5th fight. But, I have to say that this is such a sad story on several levels. Especially when one considers that were the bouts regulated (which they may not have been as amateur bouts are often not regulated by state athletic commissions or any kind of national sanctioning body), Jenson may not have been allowed to fight on the show that killed him.

It shows questionable judgement on the part of Jenson's coach (who as it turns out is also the promoter of Ring Wars). This kid should not have been fighting...regardless of regulation. Yet, can we blame coaches and promoters who don't know any better? No we can't. This unfortunate tragedy highlights problems, not only with unregulated fights (pro and amateur), but also untrained coaches and promoters who may have had the best of intentions.

When the fighter's coach is also the event promoter, that is an added problem. As an aside, I used to promote events and as a rule never put my own guys on the fight cards. The only thing worse than actual bias from a promoter is the appearance of bias from a promoter.

Standards for pro regulation are not ubiquitous among state and tribal commissions, but amateurs are much worse...or none in many cases. This sad story is an example of why unified regulation standards - of pro and amateur MMA - is so important. It shows why coaching education is critical as well. Many coaches in these small local shows have no idea what they are doing, how to assess for medical concerns, how to prepare fighters for a bout, etc.

In fact, to get a pro second's license for MMA it is essentially a matter of paying a fee and filling out some papers. This is an area of serious need for improvement in our sport. There is no baseline education required.

Unlike amateur boxing, in which there is a national standard that includes coaching education long before coaches take fighters into the pro ranks, MMA has nothing. The fact that MMA started as a pro sport and is trying to re-engineer the amateur sport after the fact is a serious problem.

When you take the foundation USA Boxing Level 1 Coach Training (required for any coach that has a fighter in any USA Boxing event - there are 4 levels of training in total), you learn that after a head blow stoppage USA Boxing standards are: 30 day immediate suspension, 90 days if fighter is unresponsive for under 2 min, 180 days if fighter is unresponsive for over 2 minutes. Dr. clearance to fight again.

In the KO Jenson suffered on February 24 he was out for the last 1:10 of the video...who knows how long after. I am only pointing this out in within the context of amateur boxing where there is a standard to go by. There are no national amateur MMA standards to compare to. While MMA pros can generally expect an immediate 60 day suspension after a KO (or longer), what is standard in pro MMA does not apply as this was not a pro fight, nor was it regulated.

Having said all this, regulation, pre-fight medicals, etc, may have not saved Jenson (let's not forget that the two other US MMA deaths were on regulated shows). But, I think we all would have preferred the requirement and opportunity. And, I feel in my gutt that if this kid had been suspended after the KO on Feb 24, he would be alive today.

Our sport needs to learn from this horrible event. Let's take care of our amateurs.

Stephen Koepfer
Founder, Coalition to Legalize MMA in NY

Luke Thomas's story from MMA Fighting:
May 30, 2012 - Dustin Jenson, Amateur MMA Fighter, Dies After Unregulated South Dakota Event 

Read Steven Marrocco's coverage on the Dustin Jenson tragedy here at MMA Junkie:
May 31, 2012 - Lots of unanswered questions in the death of South Dakota MMA fighter Dustin Jenson

STORY UPDATE:  Fight likely cause of death, but eveidence not conclusive according coronor.

The coroner's autopsy report was released on July 12, 2012.  According to the Rapid City Journal
"the cause of death was a subdural hemorrhage resulting from blunt force trauma to the head. A subdural hemorrhage is a collection of blood on the surface of the brain and often causes brain injury and death. The cause was related to an injury about a week earlier [before hiss death, not the fight], according to the autopsy. The Sheriff's Office said there is no conclusive evidence the injury was sustained in the fight."
From Fox News/Black Hills
"The autopsy indicates Jenson's cause of death was a subdural hemorrhage due to blunt force trauma to the head that was related to an injury approximately a week prior [to his death, not the fight]. The Coroner's Office went onto say the injury is consistent with the Ringwars event, but there is no conclusive evidence that the injury was sustained in the fight."
"According to a news release, the autopsy indicated the cause of death was a subdural hemorrhage, due to blunt force trauma to the head, that was related to an injury approximately a week prior. Although the timeline for the injury is consistent with the event on May 18, 2012, there is no conclusive evidence that the injury was sustained in the fight."

Friday, June 1, 2012

Featured NY MMA Fighter sits in on Richard French Live

Professional Mixed Martial Artist Bradley "Featherstone" Desir, featured in the acclaimed documentary New York Mixed Martial Arts, sits in on Richard French Live to talk about MMA in NY and his tours of duty in Iraq. These segments aired on April 19, 2012.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New York MMA: Think Locally, Not Globally

Hi folks, please take a moment to read my guest editorial over at Bloody Elbow. Thanks to BE for the opportunity!

On June 28, 2002 Lou Neglia promoted Vengeance at the Vanderbilt 14 in Plainview, New York. That show featured the likes of future UFC veteran Pete "Drago" Sell and other fighters who later moved on to fight in the IFC, AFC, MFC, Bodog Fights, and M-1 Global. Neglia's show had the dubious distinction of having been the last sanctioned amateur MMA event held in the state of New York. Since that time New York native Neglia has moved his operation to Atlantic City, New Jersey where he promotes one of the top regional professional MMA shows, Ring of Combat.

In response to an escalating national movement against MMA, New York became the first state to ban professional MMA on January 28, 1997, only months after legalizing it on October 10, 1996. The legislation that banned the sport was sloppily rushed together, and to date is the only time the New York legislature has used an emergency provision to overturn a prior law in less than the required 30 day waiting period. As we all know, state after state followed New York's lead and banned the sport. Since that time in tandem with the sport's maturation, a virtual rewind has occurred as state after state has unbanned and regulated the sport. New York and Connecticut remain the last hold outs among states that have athletic commissions.

If MMA was banned in New York in 1997, how was Neglia able to host Vengeance at the Vanderbilt 14 in 2002? He was able to do it because the hastily crafted law banned professional MMA (and Muay Thai for that matter) but, if overseen by a sanctioning body, allowed for amateur martial arts competition under which amateur MMA falls. However, in 2002 the New York legislature realized its miscalculation; allowing for less regulated amateur MMA to take place while banning the more regulated professional version of the sport. How could they stamp out this horrid atrocity now?! The old dogs in Albany did it by using any means possible to shut down the amateur shows; usually using liquor laws, occupancy laws, or any other means they could muster. Guess what? They succeeded; and in the process set the stage for the meteoric rise of underground & unsanctioned MMA*. There has not been a sanctioned MMA event in New York since Neglia's 2002 show - until May 19, 2012 that is.


Friday, May 4, 2012

UPDATE: Vermont Legalizes MMA, Connecticut Not Far Behind

Vermont becomes 46th state to legalize MMA. Connecticut is not far behind and may become #47.

This would leave New York as the only state with an athletic commission that does not regulate MMA. Our new state slogan may become "MMA: First to ban it, last to regulate it"

Come on Albany, let's get it together!

5/7/2012 UPDATE:
According to MMA Junkie, Connecticut failed to pass their MMA legislation.

NY won't get it 2012 either:

Capital Confidential - MMA Bill won't advance in Assembly

The Fight Nerd - New York State Majority Leader Ronald Canestrari still hates MMA despite knowing little about it.

Wall Street Journal - Mixed Martial Arts Bill Won't Get NY Assembly Vote

MMA Junkie - Report: MMA legislation dead again in NY Assembly

MMA Journalist - NY Says No Sanctioned MMA in 2012 - So What!

MMA Fighting - MMA in New York Will Have To Wait Again, as 2012 Bill Stalls Out

NY Daily News - Silvber KOs Legal Ultimate Fighting This Round

MMA Mania - New York MMA Ban Remains, Lawmakers Make 'un-American' Decision in Closed Door Meeting

Fight Opinion - The Cold Hard Truth About Passing NY MMA Legislation

UPDATE: NY MMA = Collateral Damage in UFC/Union War

In a recent editorial by Kid Nate of Bloody Elbow entitled "Culinary Union Attacks On UFC Causing Promotion Real Headaches," it is rightly pointed out that much of the negative press surrounding the UFC as of late has been spearheaded by the Culinary Workers Union Local 226. For those not in the know, the union has been engaged in a long term war with UFC majority owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, owners of the Las Vagas based non-union Station Casio chain.

New York, being one of the few states that has yet to regulate Mixed Martial Arts, has become a convenient battleground for the Culinary Union and the Fertittas to engage in a proxy war which is leaving the majority of the NY MMA community crushed in its wake. Make no mistake, this is a two way street. It takes two to fight a public battle like this. And unlike the sport we would like to see regulated here in NY, the Fertitta/Union battle has no referee to make sure parties fight fairly.

The UFC, with it's large pulpit and pocketbook, uses NY MMA as a platform to launch attacks at the Union on behalf of the Fertittas every chance they get. Likewise the Union and their supporters see preventing MMA regulation in NY as a means to stick it to the Fertittas, via the UFC, who run the largest non-union casinos in Vegas. These attacks have come in the form of disingenuous opposition from the National Center for Domestic and Sexual Violence, opposition of MMA regulation by union friendly legislators in Albany, FTC investigations of the UFC, and most recently UFC Sponsor Anheuser-Busch's warning to the UFC to curb the behavior of their athletes.

On top of this, a lot of people are making a lot of money because MMA is unregulated in NY. The unions and the UFC have presumably been contributing to the campaigns of their supporters for years. Both side are employing lobbyists, PR firms, etc...all to address the problem of NY MMA regulation. Yet here we sit with no professional MMA in NY.

As with most wars, massive armies will trample through villages and towns laying waste to the residents who live there. This war is no different. As Peter Lampasona of notes in his commentary on Auheuser-Busch's warning to the UFC, "the disproportionate amount of blow-back to the entire sport for negative publicity from individuals passed insane about a mile back."

Ask any non-fan, casual fan, or new fan on the streets of NY what MMA is and they invariably think the UFC is MMA. I doubt the average response would be much different from an Albany legislator. This is by design and the UFC has brilliantly marketed themselves into this position of being ubiquitously equated with the sport of MMA. This is where the problem lies and why the Fertitta/Union war has truly hurt NY MMA.

In reality, contrary to what the average voter or legislator thinks, as large and as powerful as the UFC is, it is still only a small fraction of the MMA community in NY or what the community would evolve into were the state to regulate the sport. Let's look at the example of our closest neighbor, New Jersey. The NJ Athletic Control Board sanctioned 39 MMA shows in 2010 and 34 in 2011. That's a grand total of 73 shows, of which only 2 were a UFC (Strikeforce was not yet purchased by Zuffa when they held their 2011 grand prix event in NJ).

Yes, only 2 out of 73 shows were a UFC. Do you think NY would be any different? Yet, the average legislator and voter in NY would most likely believe something quite the opposite. Most discussion regarding MMA regulation in NY centers around bringing the UFC to NY or keeping the UFC out of NY. Not bringing Strikeforce to NY, or M1-Global, or Bellator, or the CFFC, or Ring of Combat, or Reality Fighting, or Evolution, or New Breed Fighters, or...well, you get the idea.

Assuming that the UFC is MMA is an inaccurate line of thinking in the least and a harmful one at worst. Particularly when we consider the negative press the Fertitta/Union war brings to NY MMA. To only consider the UFC when one considers the problem of MMA regulation in NY is to throw the baby out with the bath water; quite a big baby in fact.

When one considers the financial gains and employment opportunities NY could gather from regulation of MMA, discussion generally centers around what 1 or 2 UFC events a year could contribute to our state. However, it is my opinion that no study has seriously looked at the potential impact of the other 71 MMA events that could take place in NY; in struggling small towns and cities where the UFC would never consider setting up shop. Small towns like Tonowanda, NY where the first sanctioned amateur NY MMA show in 10 years will take place this month.

The bottom line is this: NY MMA is much larger than the UFC and it is our responsibility as coaches, gym owners, business owners, fighters, sanctioning bodies, journalists, and fans to keep educating our legislators. We must impress upon our legislators that we would love to have a UFC at Madison Square Garden. But, we would also like a Ring of Combat in Islip, or other smaller shows in Ithica, Syracuse, Rochester, Plattsburgh, Utica, or any number of smaller venues that could support local events.

When considering the issue of NY MMA, think locally. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. MMA is bigger than the UFC.

Stephen Koepfer
Founder, Coalition to Legalize MMA in NY

UPDATE 5/7/12: The Assembly threw the baby out with the bath water for 2012
Capital Confidential - MMA Bill won't advance in Assembly

The Fight Nerd - New York State Majority Leader Ronald Canestrari still hates MMA despite knowing little about it.

Wall Street Journal - Mixed Martial Arts Bill Won't Get NY Assembly Vote

MMA Junkie - Report: MMA legislation dead again in NY Assembly

MMA Journalist - NY Says No Sanctioned MMA in 2012 - So What!

MMA Fighting - MMA in New York Will Have To Wait Again, as 2012 Bill Stalls Out

NY Daily News - Silvber KOs Legal Ultimate Fighting This Round

MMA Mania - New York MMA Ban Remains, Lawmakers Make 'un-American' Decision in Closed Door Meeting

Fight Opinion - The Cold Hard Truth About Passing NY MMA Legislation