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.”