Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Feb 22, 2014 - ABC Approved MMA Judge Course - NYC!

ABC Approved Mixed Martial Arts Judge Training
Supported by: Coalition to Legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York
Venue: NY Combat Sambo
Presented by: Rob Hinds - Combat Consulting LLC

If you are a current official, coach, journalist, aspiring official, promoter who wants to bring their event to a higher standard, or an MMA fighter, this course is for you! Get up-to-date judging criteria. Write about and discuss decisions from a place of knowledge. Game plan your fights with more understanding of the unified rules and what judges are looking for. Most importantly, help build the NY MMA community! ABC approved courses like this one are THE ONLY nationally recognized training for MMA officials. This is the gold standard. We hope to see you there!


Registration Information:
$250 fee to pre-register before February 1st
$275 from February 2nd to February 21st
$300 at the door registration

Register via paypal by sending your fee to

You may also register in person at NY Combat Sambo, or by calling 718-728-8054 to register via credit card, or by mailing a check or money order made out to "American Sambo, LLC" to:
American Sambo Association
Attn: ABC Training
PO Box 5773
Long Island City, NY 11105


The class will be capped at 25 people. Places in this class will be reserved on a first come first serve basis UPON RECEIPT OF PAYMENT. Do not delay! Last year's class sold out well in advance of course date.

The training fee includes an 8 hour ABC MMA Judge Training on Saturday, February 22nd from 8am-4pm. Check in will be from 7am-7:45am. Class will start promptly at 8am.

All technical and written exams will be executed by Robert Hinds and the Combat Consulting, LLC staff. Both technical and written exams must achieve a minimum correct score of 80% to pass the course. All passing attendees’ names will be posted on within three weeks of the program date.

Certificates of Completion will be provided for all paid attendees. This certificate does not indicate a passing or failing grade on the exams. It is solely a token of their attendance.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Call Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Tell Him You Want NY MMA!

Check out this video interview with Zuffa, LLC Lobbyist David Weinraub at the UFC World Tour NYC to find out how

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Assembly Minority Leader Kolb Calls For Special Session To Vote on NY MMA

‘We Left Albany With Far Too Much Unfinished Business.’

“Recent calls for the Assembly to return to Albany to pass women’s equality legislation are entirely justified.  The Assembly Majority’s decision not to introduce separate bills on the women’s agenda ended any chance of meaningful legislation being passed in the 2013 legislative session.  But we have a chance to correct that mistake.  We should return to Albany and pass bills that address issues that include workplace harassment, human trafficking, protections for victims of domestic violence, and pay equity. 

The flawed and ineffective process used by the Majority on the women’s equality bill is the most glaring example of the missed opportunities that came out of the 2013 session.  If we do return, it is imperative that we also consider a host of bills that have already passed the Senate but still await action in the Assembly.  In addition to voting on measures that advance a women’s agenda, the Assembly should:

  • Pass legislation that would establish term limits on legislative leaders and committee chairs, infusing new perspectives and opinions while restricting the accumulation of power in the Legislature.

  • Pass Brittany’s Law, to create a registry of violent offenders and provide critical information designed to protect the safety of children and families in communities across New York State.

  • Repeal the costly and unnecessary Wage Theft Prevention Act annual notice requirement – an onerous unfunded mandate on businesses that cuts into their bottom lines and stifles job-creation and business growth.

  • Bring a vote on Mixed Martial Arts legislation to the floor, a job-creating measure with more than 60 bill sponsors and bipartisan support in the Assembly.

We left Albany with far too much unfinished business.  The Assembly should return and act on the women’s agenda, and on anti-corruption, job-creating, and public-safety measures to improve the quality of life for New Yorkers.” 

Contact Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb
District Office: 607 West Washington Street, Suite 2, Geneva, NY 14456

Phone: (315) 781-2030
Albany Office: 933 Legislative Office Building, Albany, NY 12248

Phone: (518) 455-3751 
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

UFC World Tour Hits NYC Wednesday, 7/31 at 1PM!

Watch the UFC World Tour press conference live from New York City, NY at 1PM ET/10AM PT on Wednesday, July 31. Fighters will be on hand to discuss their upcoming Pay-Per-View title fights to close out 2013. Better yet, if you are in NYC, show up for it live at the Beacon Theater! 
Georges St-Pierre, Cain Velasquez, Jon Jones, Junior Dos Santos, Alexander Gustafsson, Johny Hendricks, Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate will be in the house.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Live to Fight: The New York MMA Community Steps Up For People with Life Threatening Illnesses!


Founded in June of 2013, Live to Fight, Inc., fights relentlessly for those in the martial arts and mixed martial arts community who are suffering from life threatening illnesses. Live to Fight Inc. is a not-for-profit organization founded by Kristen Brown, cancer survivor, dedicated martial arts fan, ractitioner and journalist. She is joined by an accomplished board of directors.


Live to Fight Inc. raises money and offers additional support for people in the martial arts and mixed martial arts community suffering from life threatening illnesses. Funds will be raised by offering various events for the general martial arts/MMA community including benefit instructional seminars led by professional fighters and high level martial artists and an annual MMA fashion show.


Make a donation, volunteer, host a seminar, become a Live To Fight sponsor, and join the fight! Do you or someone you know need help?

 Visit the Live to Fight website for more information

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"New York Mixed Martial Arts" is Now on HULU!

After a very long wait with many road bumps, our feature documentary New York Mixed Martial Arts, is now on HULU and HULU Plus (no commercials)!

Big thaks to everyone who helped this project including (I know I will forget people) Producer Stephen Koepfer, Director Kahleem Poole, Executive Producer Rob Terlizzi, Reggie Hinds, Robert Billings, Bradley Desir, Miguel Rivera, Paula Romero, Justin Klein, Jim Genia, Eddie Goldman, Dean Murray, Tyga Maclin, Steve Kardian, Steven Katz, Peter Lampasona, Matthew Kaplowitz, Mike Hauben, New York City Councilman Joel Rivera, Mike Straka and all the fighters that appeared in the film: Josh Barnett, Gesias Calvacante, Fedor Emilianenko,Tara LaRosa, Nestor Marte, Bas Rutten, Oleg Savitsky, and Frank Shamrock!

Spread the word! Educate the people and legislators of New York!

*Please note there is a currently a slight saturation problem in the credits of the streaming version of this film. This probl;em is being corrected presently. The Film's content is fine!Please enjoy and let us know what you think!


Anyone who cares about the future of MMA in New York State needs to watch this eye-opening film to discover who and what is keeping MMA out of Madison Square Garden.
Beyond the politics, however, this is a moving portrait of  athletes in exile - men and women who are forbidden to engage in the sport they love in their own city.

 -Mike Tucker, Director, Fightville & Gunner Palace

New York Mixed Martial Arts shows the audience the fiery yet kind heart of the sport's culture and dares them not to like it.
- Peter Lampasona, US Combat Sports

 This is an important piece of work, and every aspect of it works together to create a coherent piece of engaging story-telling that hooks you into this world and transforms the viewer from an outsider to an insider in the span of an hour.

-The Fight Nerd,

It is a rare glimpse inside MMA, but it is a gem at the same time because it will open your eyes and help you understand that this sport is so much more than punches, kicks, and choke holds.
-Shawn Baran,

 Thumbs up for New York Mixed Martial Arts documentary!
-Jim Genia,

 It's going to be a great ambassador for
the legalization movement...they clearly debunk the no holds barred myth that is associated with the sport  
-Beth Hurrle,

New York Mixed Martial Arts beautifully captures the essence of what it is to be an MMA fighter in New York.
-Anil Melwani,

Learn more about our film at

Visit our Facebook page at

Follow us on Twitter @NYMMAFilm

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Down Again in 2013

Most following this blog are probably well aware by now that Speaker Sheldon Silver once again blocked NY MMA legislation from being voted upon on the Assembly floor. So, New York now has the dubious honor of being the only place in North American where pro MMA is banned. Thanks for nothing Sheldon; your ridiculous partisanship and corruptibility has once again trampled the will of the majority in the Assembly as well as a majority of New York's voters. The democratic process is dead in Silver's Assembly.

Here are several accounts of this year's failure:

June 24, 2013 Despite heavy sponsorship, MMA bill dies in committee - Legislative Gavette

June 18, 2013 New York State Assembly Shoots Down MMA Bill - NY Post

This disingenuous argument is what gave Silver the ammo to hold the bill back from a vote:

June 10, 2013 Assembly Democrats team up to take down mixed martial arts bill - NY Daily News

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Editorial Support for NY MMA (Courtesy of MMA4NY)

Selections from Upstate & Downstate NY Newspaper Editorials

April 29, 2013
Mixed martial arts is legal in 48 of 50 states*. But not in New York. It’s not for lack of support. Far from it: The latest bill to clear the state Senate has 64 Assembly co-sponsors (almost a majority itself), not to mention encouraging words from Gov. Cuomo. But Speaker Silver has never allowed a vote.

As a consequence, millions that might flow into Madison Square Garden or the Barclays Center now go to Newark’s Prudential Center. Shouldn’t New York get a slice of that pie?

That would be especially valuable upstate. Venues from Albany to Syracuse to Rochester all stand to benefit from the audiences, revenues — and jobs — that these events generate. Just think of the Canadians who would flock to Buffalo for a fight featuring fellow Canadian St-Pierre.

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
May 30, 2013

New York’s status as one of only two states yet to sanction professional mixed martial arts events is a dubious one — and it’s costly*. As the end of the 2013 session nears, the Legislature should finally give America’s fastest growing sport a fair hearing.

For the fourth time, the state Senate overwhelmingly voted this year to permit MMA. Outdated arguments against legalizing the sport, which too often boil down to individual fancy, should no longer block the matter from reaching the Assembly floor.

While this page consistently stands against coarse culture and violence, today’s productions by organizations such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Bellator are a far cry from the no-holds-barred brawls of decades past.

New York residents, for their part, have worked around lawmakers. Several of MMA’s most captivating stars, including Rochester native Jon Jones, train and live in this state. Their fans are among the thousands who pour across state lines to see their idols compete in spots like Newark, N.J., and Toronto. Let’s keep their dollars here.

May 30, 2013

Mixed martial arts is an acquired taste. It is a combat sport that includes boxing, judo, wrestling and kickboxing. But honestly, is mixed martial arts really so much more violent than pro football or boxing, which are legal despite leaving scores of former players to cope with head injuries, arthritis and other chronic disabilities?

Critics of violence in contact sports might better argue against youth football than mixed martial arts, if they're really concerned over the consequences to human health.

One of the apparent voices of dissent working behind the scenes in Albany is Culinary Workers Local 226, a 60,000-member union based in Las Vegas.

"The sport is ubiquitous now," said Morelle, who once was a student of karate himself. "The days of cordoning off the state of New York and not exposing the people of the state to it – that question has come and gone. ... It's here to stay."

We agree. Like it or not, New York, this form of entertainment is indeed here to stay. Let's make it legal, and regulated.

April 25, 2013

Millions of Americans know UFC's mixed-martial arts from television and matches in arenas across the 48 states where its fights are legal*. The sport has grown in popularity, especially among young men, and its events bring in hundreds of millions of dollars a year in revenue and other economic activity. But the sport—which is heavily regulated by state athletic commissions—remains illegal in Connecticut and New York. The reason? Union politics in Nevada, of all places.

The bill has passed the state Senate four years in a row only to be bottled up each time by Mr. Silver. Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle is the bill's lead supporter and he has 63 co-sponsors out of 150 members. But even he can't get a vote past Mr. Silver, who won't explain his opposition.

Meanwhile, Mr. Silver's obstinance is costing the New York economy, which could benefit from as many as 50 bouts a year. UFC estimates that only two fights, in Manhattan's Madison Square Garden and Buffalo's HSBC Arena, could generate as much as $16 million in business for the Empire State. The economically bereft upstate could use the jobs in particular.

April 24, 2012

Every year for the last three, the state Senate has passed a bill that would end the ban on mixed martial arts in New York. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has opposed the measure on the grounds that MMA is too violent, and has kept it from coming to a vote in his chamber. It’s time he gave up the fight.

MMA, also known as “ultimate fighting,” is no more violent or dangerous than a handful of other sports that are legal in New York. These include football, hockey and boxing. Yes, there’s a health risk to participants, but no more so than in boxing, where the blows tend to be concentrated on the head. In MMA, they tend to be distributed all about the body. And fighters quickly end up on the ground, grappling like wrestlers. So the risk of head injury from MMA appears to be even less.

MMA is shown regularly on cable TV, so it’s not like banning it from New York’s arenas will keep kids from seeing it. What it will do is deprive businesses and the state of money and workers of jobs.

*Please note that since the writing of this editorial, Connecticut has legalized MMA. NY is now the only state with an athletic commission that bans professional Mixed Martial Arts

Be sure to follow MMA4NY on Twitter @MMA4NY, The Coalition to Legalize MMA in NY @sambosteve, and New York Mixed Martial Arts @NYMMAFilm

Monday, June 3, 2013

UPDATED ACTION ALERT! Assembly Dems Conference MMA Bill Next Week!

Assembly Democrats are conferencing the MMA bill next week (June 11th)! Originally scheduled for June 4th the conference was postponed one week with yet another pessimistic statement by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who has stonewalled the legislation for years in the Assembly:
“I know there are a number of women who support it; there are a number of women who oppose it,” Silver said Monday. “I don’t think the women support it, if you took the majority of women in our conference.”

On the heels of the New York Assembly postponement, the Connecticut legislature moved legalize MMA. Aside from New York, Connecticut was the only state with an athletic commission that banned MMA. New York now stands alone in North America.

Assembly conference postponement and Speaker Silver's negativity aside, things look even more grim for New York as the legislative calendar ends on June 20th. If there is a sliver of chance that we get MMA this year, we MUST call your Assembly Representatives ASAP and tell them we want regulated professional MMA in NY!

Join our coalition and MMA4NY in getting the word out!

Find out who your Assembly Representative is and how to contact them here:
NY State Assembly
Not sure what election district you are? Click here

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Battle for NY MMA Heats Up as Legislative Calendar Nears End

It has been a busy couple of weeks in the world of NY MMA. Both sides have been ramping up their attacks.

The UFC and several members of the local MMA community hit the road this week for press conferences across the state (Syracuse, Buffalo and Rochester). Assembly Democrats (majority) will reportedly discuss the bill to regulate professional MMA during their closed door caucus within the next few weeks.

Here are some comments in favor of NY MMA from Assemblyman Al Stirpe at the OnCenter/War Memorial press conference on Wednesday May 15, 2013:

Read up on the presser tour in these and ABC News reports.

Other recent stories on the NY MMA battle include:
-The Economist:  No Holds, Barred
-Unions, Lies, and MMA in New York by Peter Lampasona of MMA Frenzy
-An open letter from Zuffa/MMA4NY requesting a place at the table at Governor Cuomo's Tourism Summit
-Dana White: I'm Not Doing Anything in NY Until They Do The Right Thing by Mike Stets of Bleacher Report

The opposition has been far from silent despite majority support for professional MMA regulation from legislators in Albany and New Yorkers across the state. According to Siena's latest poll a majority of New Yorker's favor lifting the ban on professional MMA.

Senator Brad Hoylman continued his push to set up a fighter's health fund in NY with this Daily News editorial. Check out my previous comments regarding his proposed legislation. Similarly, Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee and Senetor Liz Krueger have proposed legislation calling for a two year moratorium on NY MMA until health risks can be further assessed.

Comments by Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development (the first hurdle in the committee process for the Assembly MMA legislation) are not promising as she appears not ready to approve the legislation.

As in years past, the NY Catholic Conference threw their oppositional hat into the ring this month.

With the legislative calendar ending in June, we still have a long way to go.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Inside MMA Covers Battles for NY MMA

Here is an interesting interview with former NY Athletic Commissioner Randy Gordon and Assemblyman Francisco Moya (D). Mr. Gordon was one of the ones behind the 1997 ban. This interview about the current state of the battle for regulated professional MMA was not aired:

To check out the piece that aired on Inside MMA, visit this link

Friday, May 3, 2013

Uptown Radio Covers the NY MMA Story

Today's episode of Uptown Radio covers the New York MMA story. Reported by Anthony Maglio. Interviews with Stephen Koepfer, NY based fighter Anthony Pipola, and Senator Brad Hoylman. The NY MMA story begins at 22:20 of the broadcast.

Monday, April 29, 2013

MMA Opponent Hoylman Suggests the Creation of a Fighter's Health Care Fund

In a bizarre twist to the battle for regulated professional Mixed Martial Arts in New York, Senator Brad Hoylman (D, District 27, Manhattan) states that he will be introducing a bill that (were it to become law) would establish a mandatory fighter's health care fund in New York. The Senator, who has historically opposed regulation of professional MMA, intends to look after the long term health care needs of fighters in our state; even though they can't yet fight here. While the legislation is not yet available to review, Hoylman claims the fund would be modeled off similar funds established for horse-racing jockeys and taxi drivers.

Read more about Hoylman's plan in this story by Alan Neuhauser:
Mixed Martial Arts Foe Launches Bill to Create Fighters' Health Care Fund

Generally speaking, I think New York has a rare opportunity to be a progressive force in the sport regarding regulation, health and safety of our fighters. We are is a position to raise the bar and set a national example. However, rather than create new legislation when we don't even have legal professional MMA in New York, why not support the original bill that allows for professional MMA, and push for inclusion of regulations that address improved health and safety measures? I can't see anyone being against looking at ways to protect our fighters in the long term. Nevertheless, it seems to me that this legislation is putting the cart before the horse.

Better yet, Senator Hoylman could draft legislation addressing the regulation of amateur MMA, which is already legal, unregulated by the NY Athletic Commission, and being practiced all over New York as we speak. Amateur MMA clearly affects more New Yorkers' than its professional sibling, while posing many more health and safety risks.

Read these past comments on the state of amateur MMA:
March 30, 2013: UPDATED: Concerns Over Amateur MMA Regulation Going National
January 25, 2013: Association of Boxing Commissions Slams NY on MMA Laws 
August 22, 2012:  Amateur MMA: When will we come out from the dark ages?
June 2, 2012:  Will the Dustin Jenson Tragedy Teach Us Something?

Why would Senator Hoylman be introducing legislation that addresses a scenario still illegal in New York? Maybe he simply sees the writing on the wall; that professional MMA will eventually come to our state. He may have the sense that the Assembly will follow the Senate's lead this year and pass the MMA legislation currently on the table (though most insiders are pessimistic about the Assembly bill's passage this year). Could Hoylman being staging this simply as a measure to "remind" people keep the ban in place? Whatever the reasons, he certainly has added another odd twist to the already bizarre world of New York MMA.

Stephen Koepfer
Coalition to Legalize MMA in NY

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Is the UFC Hurting Our Chances at Lifting the Ban?

From my Bloody Elbow editorial last year:
Furthermore, a lot of people are making a lot of money because professional MMA is banned. The unions and the UFC have presumably been contributing to the campaigns of their supporters for years. Both sides are employing lobbyists, PR firms, etc; all to address the "problem" of New York MMA regulation. Yet the "problem" is never solved.
Finally someone else is looking at this as a possible contributing factor as to why the ban on professional MMA has not been lifted in New York. From this week's Crain's New York: UFC's deep pockets may feed ban, By Aaron Elstein:
"Everyone knows these guys have a lot of money," the insider said, referring to the Fertitta brothers, who bought UFC in 2001 for $2 million and built the company into one reportedly worth $2 billion. "The ban has nothing to do with people being concerned about the morality of the sport or injuries to the athletes. This is about getting more money from UFC before the law is overturned."
 Read Mr. Elstein's entire commentary HERE

Friday, April 12, 2013

Jim Genia Interview with Stephen Koepfer for

Here is an interview I did with Jim Genia for his weekly update on NY MMA for

Nick Lembo on Michigan Radio Discussing Amateur MMA Regulation

Stateside with Cynthia Canty
April 11th Episode

As the national debate over gun control continues, we take a look at just how pervasive gun violence is here in Michigan.

We also look at efforts to regulate Mixed Martial Arts fighting in Michigan [with guest Nick Lembo of the NJ Athletic Control Board].

And zombies are taking over MSU. Students are fighting back... with nerf guns (they work on zombies).

Later in the show, we meet a writer and fisherman who finds his inspiration in the Detroit River.

But first, we check-in with Daniel Howes, columnist at the Detroit News, about Gov. Rick Snyder's relationship with those in his party.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

UPDATED: Concerns Over Amateur MMA Regulation Going National


Note before reading: For the purposes of this editorial "regulation" shall mean supervision by a state athletic commission. "Sanctioned" shall mean supervision by a third party martial arts organization.

January 2012 saw the publication of this piece on in the about the battle for amateur MMA regulation in Washington. Then, last June I wrote an editorial regarding the tragic death of amateur fighter Dustin Jenson in relation to the dire need we have in the United States for uniform amateur MMA regulation. Jenson died subsequent to an unregulated bout in South Dakota, which had no state athletic commission at the time. Sadly, just months later, the issue of amateur MMA regulation reared its head again after the death of South Carlolina fighter Tyrone Mims. Again, I asked here on this blog "When will amateur MMA come out of the dark ages?"

Just weeks after originally posting this editorial, the sad new has broken that a debut MMA fighter, Felix Elochukwu Nchikwo, has died subsequent to competing in an unregulated amateur MMA bout in Michigan. This marks the third death in amateur MMA in less than a year. According to news reports Nchikwo was not required to undergo pre-fight medical tests before entering the contest, nor was there a cageside doctor or ambulance present. Cause of death is not yet known. Michigan legislators have been in a heated battle regarding the need for regulation of amateur MMA in their state.

In 2013 the issue of amateur MMA regulation has slowly begun to take a national spotlight:
- Last month South Dakota passed legislation that provides for regulation of MMA via the creation of a new state athletic commission (despite spirited debate from the opposition). 
- Maryland's legislature also began hearing testimony regarding amateur MMA regulation, video of which is available here
- This ABC news story highlights the debate going on in Michigan's legislature regarding the need for amateur MMA regulation (this article was published prior to the April 5th death of Pablo Elochukwu).
- Just this week, Pennsylvania's Athletic Commissioner Greg Sirb commented on the national "Mess" that is amateur MMA.
- Even New York Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle has mentioned the need for future legislation pertaining to amateur MMA.
In New York where amateur MMA is legal and unregulated, we are well aware of the dangers posed to fighters who decide to compete under questionable conditions. Here, amateur MMA can range from underground "no holds barred" events to fairly well organized events under any number of third party sanctioning bodies...and everything in between.

In New York, while legal according to state law, amateur MMA events have had a long history of being unlawfully shut down as part of the state crackdown on professional MMA. The effect of this crackdown (which began in the early 2000's) led to the belief that live amateur MMA, like its professional counterpart (banned in 1997), was also banned. Rapid growth of underground fighting events all over the state was the result. 

In January of 2012 this all changed when Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman conceded in court documents that amateur MMA was in fact legal in New York, but unregulated. Any amateur MMA event wanting to operate in New York simply needed to be sanctioned by one of the third party martial arts organizations identified in the state combat sports law (though some organizations such at the USMTA and FILA are not listed and do operate in New York with NYSAC cooperation or consent). 

To get a more detailed history of New York's crackdown on amateur MMA, check out my editorial on Bloody Elbow.

While Schneiderman's admission did give the New York community some of the local live MMA it was yearning for, there are still significant problems with the scenario. The Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC) recently pointed out some of these concerns in a strongly worded letter to several members of the New York legislature as well as Governor Cuomo. 

There is no consensus among the third party sanctioning bodies operating in New York regarding amateur rules, mandatory equipment, inspection procedures, medical requirements/oversight, required training of officials, matchmaking protocol, reporting of results, event security or pretty much anything else. Most of these sanctioning bodies do not report their results to the ABC fighter database (though some of the promoters do), which is the go to national resource for promoters, coaches and fighters when researching their opponent's record and suspensions. 

Nevertheless, by March of 2012 sanctioned amateur MMA in New York was back on the map. The first sanctioned event in over a decade was TNT Fights in Tonawanda (then sanctioned by the USMTA). Shortly after events began to crop up in Ithica, Rochester, Westchester and most recently New York City. The first sanctioned amateur MMA event in NYC was Aggressive Combat Championships which came to the Bronx last January. The World MMA Expo held a small amateur MMA event last February at the Jacob Javits Center, sanctioned by FILA. Most recently, a new Florida based promotion, Fighter's Source, threw its hat in the ring and held the first full scale sanctioned amateur MMA event in Manhattan since the crackdown began a over a decade ago. Fighter's Source held the Kings of New York event at the Hammerstein Ballroom on March 23rd. The Kings of New York event certainly has potential to grow into a great show. But, there were some regulatory concerns.  

Check out Mark La Monica's take on the event in his story for Newsday

Fighter's Source, which is sanctioned by the USA MMA Ki Federation (an affiliate of the IMMAF and odd evolutionary wing of KICK international, which is listed in the state combat sports law as a third party sanctioning body), did their best to oversee an event that was hastily announced and organized. Despite a very poor turn out at the formal try outs for the event just 3 weeks prior, Fighter's Source managed to put together a card of 10 bouts; some of which were pretty exciting. 

All fighters reportedly had physicals and blood work prior to fighting in the show. There was an ambulance, EMT crew and ringside physician present at the event. Also present were US MMA KI Federation officials including Director of International Development Anthony Medina (and CEO of Fighter's Source), Treasury Director Ted Welch and Executive Director Frank Babcock. All fighters did receive pre & post fight medical screenings with the doctor. For the most part, the two referees were very much on point and at least two of the five judges were ABC certified officials (local judges who trained at our recent ABC Officials' course). The show ran smoothly. To my knowledge no fighter sustained significant injury and the fans (approximately 1,500 in attendance) had an entertaining night of fights.

Check out my interview with Fighter's Source CEO Anthony Medina (Bronx native) who discusses the history and formation of Fighter's Source.

Ronmy Davila (reported 1-1) working an ankle lock on Fabian Llerena (reported 1-1) at the Kings of New York
Abner Hernandez (reported 0-1) soundly defeats Vermon Lodman (reported 2-1) in round 1, only to verbally submit due to exhaustion in round 2 giving Lodman the victory.

Carlos Hernandez (reported 2-0) on his way to a 3rd round rear naked choke victory
over Jefferey Balladares (reported 2-1) at the Kings of New York.

Kimson It (reported 0-0) saved by the bell from Felix Peres' (reported 2-1) triangle choke at the end of round 1.
Perez went on to win via 2nd round TKO.
Simmon Sara (reported 4-0) defeats Matthew Perez (reported 5-4) via 1st round armbar at Kings of New York
Despite an entertaining night of fights and excitement over an MMA event in the heart of Manhattan (myself included), there were still concerns with some regulatory aspects of the event. 

The majority of fighter records identified on the bout list did not correspond to the ABC national database. As of the writing of this post, this Kings of New York event still is not reflected on the database. Some of the records noted by Fighter's Source on the bout list were in excess of the official ABC database and others reported less. On the positive side, none of the fighters on the Kings of New York card were under suspension as listed by the ABC. Though, at least two fighters on the under-card had reportedly fought in another unregulated New York show just a week prior. Angelo Rivera (reported 5-1), who defeated Chris Miller (reported 5-1) via 2nd round TKO in the co-main event, noted in his post fight interview that he had fought on three cards that month alone.

Taking the unverifiable records into account, it is hard to determine what matches would or would not have been approved by the NY State Athletic Commission (or any commission) had one been involved. But, one bout clearly would not  have been permitted; and should not have been allowed by the Fighter's Source matchmaker & US MMA Ki Federation. That bout was Jose Mariscal (8-1) vs Ethan Gomez (0-0). Those of us sitting cage side for the event were already concerned when we saw a nine fight veteran facing a debut fighter. And, as expected, Mariscal defeated Gomez via 1st round referee stoppage after a brutal one sided beating.

Jose Mariscal on route to a 1st round victory over Ethan Gomez
Some of the smaller problems that surfaced during the Kings of New York event were not unfamiliar to any new event. The first two bouts were slightly delayed in that fighters were showing up cage side with gloves that had not been inspected properly in the fighter prep area. That hiccup was clearly fixed by bout three.

Another area of concern was lack of security at cage side. There was very little oversight regarding who was permitted in the cage after a bout's conclusion or during a doctor intervention (of which there was one). At some points it was like Times Square in there, with no event staff in the cage outside of the referee. The cage floor was visibly covered with dirt in several spots. The Hammerstein did have event security, but they were not involved cage side.

From a fan's perspective I would also like to have seen more local gyms represented. This may be a result of the event's short notice or lack of outreach to local coaches by Fighter's Source matchmakers. But, I am sure the place would have sold out had the card been full of locals.

Overall, I think the Kings of New York event has a solid future and I hope to see them back soon with some improvement. By the "wild west" standards of New York amateur MMA, these guys did a fantastic job. Many of my concerns are not unique to Fighter's Source, but ubiquitous in the unregulated world of amateur MMA in general; as seen in the news items listed above. As long as there is no universal standard or oversight of amateur MMA by the ABC, state and tribal commissions, we will continue to have the problem of independent organizations acting without any kind of checks and balances. It is time for the amateurs to be unified and regulated, just as the pros are.

Stephen Koepfer
Coalition to Legalize MMA in NY

Monday, March 18, 2013

World Series of Fighting Steps Up For NY MMA!

Ray Sefo, veteran fighter & President of the World Series of Fighting is up in Albany today lending his support to the battle for regulated professional MMA in NY! the World Series of Fighting is a newly founded professional promotion that has already hosted events in neighboring New Jersey; and recently signed a deal to be aired on NBC Sports Network.

Regarding the lobby effort in Albany, Sefo's presence at the capital is critical as it adds a fresh new voice to a dialogue historically monopolized by Zuffa, LLC (parent company of the UFC).

Read more about Sefo's visit to Albanmy in Ken Lovett's piece for the NY Daily News:
World Series of Fighting Enters Ring to Push for Mixed Martial Arts Legalization in NY

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Interview: Fighter's Source CEO Anthony Medina

On March 23rd a new amateur MMA promoter debuts in New York with the first amateur MMA tournament to be held here. Fighter's Source will hold their debut event at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.  This event crept up on us New Yorkers without much warning, so NYMMANOW Blog reached out was able to score this interview with Fighter's Source CEO, Anthony Medina.

NYMMANOW: First off, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions for NYMMANOW. To start, as Fighter’s Source is a new entity to most, please give us a brief rundown of the organization’s history and aspirations.

Medina: Fighters Source, LLC is a Florida based company that was started March 2012. There are four owners in our company: Anthony Medina, CEO; Adam Meyers, CFO; Kevin Medina, CDO; and Brandon Medina, COO. We originally started our company to put together a USA amateur team to fight a Swedish team in Boras, Sweden. When the announcement was made in Sweden we were immediately contacted by a promoter from England and Denmark to join the competition. When we invited them to compete, at that point we decided to call the event "Fighters Source World Championships" the first international amateur MMA team event representing four nations.

Fighters Source is dedicated to helping amateur MMA fighters accomplish their dreams of athletic achievement. It promotes amateur MMA as a sport requiring high-level performance in a range of martial arts from striking to kicking to grappling and judo. Fighters Source’s founders know the obstacles young men and women face in trying to establish themselves as fighters. We have created an organization that provides young fighters with the experience, resources, discipline and opportunity to successfully compete against other top international amateur teams.

NYMMANOW: I had an opportunity to train with one of your fighters a few weeks ago that resides in Florida (Yvon Aqenor who has gone on to turn pro). He had nothing but great things to say about being part of Team USA and fighting overseas with you guys. Can you tell us a bit about what Fighter’s Source is trying to build internationally and what organizations you may be working with abroad?

Medina: Fighters Source aspires to be the “Golden Gloves” of MMA. We are able to do this by partnering with the USA MMA KI Federation for our domestic events. And because the USA MMA KI Federation is a member of the International MMA Federation (IMMAF), this will allow us to promote international events.

NYMMANOW: Fighter’s Source uses USA MMA KI Federation as its sanctioning body, which I believe is part of Kick International. Can you explain why you chose to work with Kick as opposed to the myriad of sanctioning bodies out there?

Medina: The USA MMA KI Federation is a part of KICK International We choose them because of the credibility and history of the origination being a 501 (c3) non-for-profit in good standing. The leadership president Frank Babcock and the 42 representatives of states and regions embody the "Who’s Who’s" of MMA industry.

NYMMANOW: Kick International does have a history of sanctioning some events in New York (Lou Neglia’s events) prior to the crackdown on amateur MMA in New York. Since last year’s statement by the Attorney General that amateur MMA in NY is in fact legal and unregulated by the state athletic commission, events have popped up all over the state overseen by various third party sanctioning bodies. Do you foresee any problems or concerns by throwing your hat into the mix here where amateur MMA is currently unregulated by the state?

Medina: As stated in your question Fighters Source events in NY will be regulated by the USA MMA KI Federation, which is also a sanctioning body for more than 25 states including the state of Nevada. We are confident in our relationship with our sanctioning body, USA MMA KI Federation.

NYMMANOW: A big area of concern in NY regarding amateur MMA is the issue of medical oversight (or lack of it) by the various sanctioning bodies & promoters operating here. Can you explain what medical requirements will be imposed on fighters in your organization (blood tests, physicals, eye exams, for example) and what safeguards will be taken at the event to monitor for fighter safety (ringside Doctor, paramedic, available ambulance, etc)?

Medina: Fighters Source will follow all rules and guidelines set forth by the USA MMA KI Federation. Fighters Source events will always have a fight doctor and EMS at the event. Fighters Source will always have proper event and bout insurance coverage for all of our events. Fighters will need to get blood work done and have a quick physical examination from our fight doctor before they enter the cage.

NYMMANOW: Similarly, because the state athletic commission currently has no regulatory role here, some believe NY has the potential to become a repository for fighters who can’t fight elsewhere due to medical or other suspensions. Will you clear all your fighters with the Association of Boxing Commissions national database to rule out the possibility of fighters suspended by other state and tribal commissions fighting in NY?

Medina: Fighters source, as a member of USA MMA KI Federation will ensure that medical suspensions are recorded and enforced by the federation. USAMMAF has an internal database just for amateur MMA fighter stats and reports, similar to the one operated by Association of Boxing Commission.

NYMMANOW: Amateur fighters in NY have a very difficult time researching opponents, as many promoters do not report event results to the proper databases. Does Fighter’s Source report the results of their events to the Association of Boxing Commissions database?

Medina: USAMMAF keeps a database with a current record and stats similar to the way Association of Boxing Commission keeps theirs. As members we have access to this database, we report the results into this database and will provide the information to promoters and fighters accordingly.

We will report all outcomes of each bout to the USA MMA KI Federation. The USA MMA KI Federation maintains its own database of members athletes, which is available for review by the athletes, promoters and sanctioning committees, so they can view all the fighters stats, results and suspensions. Fighters Source, through the USA MMA KI Federation, will have open discussions with ABC regarding these issues and ways to better our communications between committees. Fighters Source will always use all information provided to us by all commissions to match fighters accordingly.

NYMMANOW: Moving back to the March 23rd Kings of New York tournament format. Fighters in your events must first apply during an open try-out. Can you explain why you have used this model as opposed to more tradition match making?

Medina: Fighters Source uses tryouts to gather information about the amateur fighters and to also explain the rules and guidelines of our tournament. Since many of these fighters have no prior records and therefore this could be their first fight, we have a cardio and skills assessment at the tryout to better match them.

NYMMANOW: I notice in your amateur MMA rules that you utilize a knockdown rule. To many, this is contrary to the flavor of MMA and interrupts the flow of a bout. In fact, knockdown rules were once part of the ABC approved amateur MMA rules (first launched in NJ in 2006), but have since been removed. Can you explain why you still enforce this rule?

Medina: Fighters Source has used the knockdown rule in the past Florida events. At the NY event we will adhere to our sanctioning body USAMMAF rules and NOT use the knockdown rule.

NYMMANOW: Your Kings of New York tournament on March 23rd seemed to come out of nowhere. How long have you been working on this event and what are your future plans in New York? What comes next for the fighters who win this event?

Medina: On our December 13, 2012 show at Opium Seminal Hard Rock Casino & Hotel a press conference was held for the USA MMA KI Federation announcing national tournament starting with the Fighters Source Florida second season Prelims. At this press conference, which was chaired by Frank Babcok, Renzo Gracie, Beto Nunes and myself, we decided to commence the tournaments in New York and New Jersey area.

Fighters Source plans to have 4 to 5 shows in the New York area until we have champions in all weight class for men and women. Winners from NY-NJ events will represent the North East Region of United States and then move on through the regional events and then subsequently compete on national event. The amount of events will be determined based on how many fighters are entering the USA MMA KI Federation national tournament.

Once a national team of champions is selected, this team will represent the United States in an international competition at the Fighters Source Korea Open and fighters Source UK open.

NYMMANOW: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions! Is there anything else you would like to share with the NYMMANOW readers?

Medina: I would like to invite all readers to come and enjoy this professionally produced event, showcasing the best amateur MMA fighters from NY and NJ area. Come see who could be the world amateur champion and the next UFC star. Tickets available at Ticketmaster 

Friday, March 8, 2013

NYS Backtracks on Ban Language: Back to Court (Updated 4/22/13)

As I reported to you yesterday, today was deadline for the settlement process mandated by Judge Kimba Wood during the Zuffa, et. al vs NYS trial on February 13th. To get you up to speed, representatives for the NY Attorney General had stated in court that were a professional MMA promoter to seek sanctioning from one of the approved 3rd party martial art sanctioning bodies listed in the NY law, it would be legal (as it is with amateur MMA). Lawyers representing Zuffa, et. al. then quickly asked for confirmation and assurance that promotion of a live professional event would not lead to prosecution; noting that if the state would confirm this, there would be no reason to continue the trial. Given the state's history with flip-flopping on the law's interpretation, an assurance of their current stance before a judge would be critical. With NYS's lawyer unable to give said confirmation, Judge Wood ordered an attempt at settlement with a March 8th deadline.

In my February 14th report on the trial I opined:
"The critical question is whether or not the state will stand behind this interpretation of the law and not prosecute a promoter who hosts an event. This will be the meat of the settlement talks. My guess is that Attorney General Schneiderman will make no guarantees regarding future prosecution and toss the ball back to the plaintiffs as if to say "Host an event and find out."
It seems that my assessment was on target. Today the UFC released the following official statement:
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is greatly disappointed that the settlement conference scheduled today before the Federal Court has been cancelled because the New York Attorney General is no longer willing to discuss a settlement consistent with the position his Office has repeatedly taken in Court.
The Attorney General has once again changed his position on the meaning of the MMA ban in New York and we will vigorously urge the Federal Court to decide that the ban is unconstitutional.
So, as I predicted, it is back to court for Zuffa, et. al vs. NYS. Where does this leave us? Pretty much the same place we have been for years: The Senate approving legislation that would regulate professional MMA in NY, an unpredictable Assembly, and a court case proceeding in the background.

A few new things are at play however: Regardless of whether Zuffa, et. al. is victorious at the conclusion of the court case or if the ban remains in place, the trial has made it clear that under the current law a promoter willing to take a risk can hold a professional MMA event here under a third party sanctioning organization (just as the WKA has done with professional Muay Thai). If Zuffa, et. al. is victorious and the law is stricken down as unconstitutional, NYS will fall into "unregulated" territory and pro shows will be legal. Governor Cuomo has also moved away from his prior "lack of a position" and is now publicly considering the issue. So, if NYS wants to ensure proper regulation of the sport, let's hope Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will act justly this year and allow the legislation to the floor for a vote.

4/22/13 UPDATE: No real new news, just NYS flip flopping again in its interpretation of the ban language and moving to dismiss. Here is MMA Payout's Coverage

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Silver Still Vague Despite Senate Passage of MMA Legislation for 4th Year in a Row

On Wednesday, March 6th the NYS Senate passed legislation that would legalize and regulate professional MMA. If this is all too familiar, it should be. This is the 4th year in a row the Senate has passed such legislation only to see the companion bill stall in the Assembly at the hands of Speaker Sheldon Silver. 

On the heels of the Senate's passage of the bill, Silver made another one of his vague statements noting that he expects NY to have MMA one day. So, the jury is still out on this year with regard to the Assembly. Nevertheless with Majority Leader Morelle sponsoring the Assembly's companion legislation, Silver may feel more inclined to allow a vote this year.

In the shadow of this legislative pontification is tomorrow's deadline for the settlement process mandated by Judge Kimba Wood during the Zuffa, et. al vs NYS trial on February 13th. In short, representatives for the NY Attorney General stated in court that were a professional MMA promoter to seek sanctioning from one of the approved 3rd party sanctioning bodies in NY, it would be legal. Lawyers representing Zuffa, et. al. then quickly asked for confirmation and assurance that promotion of a live professional event would not lead to prosecution; noting that if the state would confirm this, there would be no reason to continue the trial. With NYS's lawyer unable to give said confirmation, Judge Wood ordered an attempt at settlement with a March 8th deadline.

Now we sit waiting to see what the Assembly will do with regard to its MMA legislation and what will become of the settlement proceedings.  Though no legislators have commented publicly on the trial to my knowledge, I suspect the settlement results will have a significant impact on the how Silver will stand with regard to this legislation (if it has not already influenced him). If the trial is dropped and a legal pathway for profesional MMA is established, outside the regulation of NYS Athletic Commission, I suspect we will see the Assembly pass the legislation this year. After all, what state will pass up on those tax dollars?

Friday, March 1, 2013

South Dakota Athletic Commission Bill Passes, MMA Ban Defeated

On Tuesday I told you about the debate in the South Dakota House about the formation of a state athletic commission and the banning on MMA. Similar to our situation in New York, the South Dakota Senate had previously approved the companion legislation and everything was riding on House passage of the bill.

South Dakota WAS one of only three states that had no athletic commission to regulate combat sports. However, despite best attempts by ignorant legislators like Representative Steve Hickey, the House bill passed yesterday by a margin of 50-20.

All that remains is the Governor's Signature to seal the deal. Governor Dennis Daugaard is historically not in favor of bringing MMA into South Dakota; even though it already exists there in a dangerous unregulated fashion.

Last year South Dakota's lack of MMA regulation made the headlines after the tragic death of Dustin Jensen. In my editorial regarding Jensen's death I had asked if the MMA community would learn something from the tragedy. Apparently, thankfully, the South Dakota legislature has. While the anti-MMA Governor could veto the bill, it is not expected as there is enough support in the House and the Senate to override it should he try.

To read a more detailed accounting of yesterday's events, check this story by David Montgomery of

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The MMA In New York 2013 Scorecard

Confused by the long and winding road of the NY MMA ban? Check out Jim Genia's rundown and get yourself up to speed:

By Jim Genia | February 27, 2013

A law enacted in 1997 banning professional mixed martial arts. Failed lobbying efforts to repeal the law. A lawsuit filed by Zuffa against the state for not lifting the ban. A multitude of hungry fans, homegrown fighters, and promoters chomping at the bit. A Cormac McCarthy-esque nightmare landscape where to see a UFC event in person, residents have to take a PATH train across the Hudson River. If you find the whole mess that is the ongoing struggle to get MMA sanctioned and regulated in New York confusing, you're not alone. It's confusing to everyone. Here, then, is a scorecard featuring all the relevant parties and where they stand in 2013. There are a lot of moving parts to keep track of – from the UFC to the Culinary Union to the athletic commission to the regional promoters. This should help bring you up to speed...

Dejavu All Over Again - MMA Bill Passes First Hurdle in the Senate

Today, the New York State Senate Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation for overwhelmingly (11 to 3) approved bill S.2755, which would authorize the New York State Athletic Commission to add Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) to the list of contact sports that may hold matches and exhibitions in New York.

As in years past, this is just the first of many steps the bill will need to pass through. While passage in the Senate is expected, the Coalitionto Legalize MMA in NY applauds the the legislation's approval by today's Senate Committee. Next stop for this bill will be the Senate Finance Committee.


MMA World Expo 2013- the experience

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

MMA Judging and Referee Seminars Illustrate Lack of New York MMA Infrastructure

The Fight Nerd
By Peter Lampasona
February 26, 2013

When it comes to MMA, Rob Hinds knows his stuff. In fact, in a room filled with long-time adherents to the sport, including staple UFC official “Big” Dan Miragliotta, there was no doubt that Hinds was the one doing the teaching. With an engaging energy and a succinct answer to every question, Hinds commanded the attention of the gym that was hosting the ABC approved MMA officiating seminars that he was leading.

I had both trained with and conducted interviews with fighters at Tiger Martial in Levittown, New York before I came to the start of the seminars the morning of March 16. I even counted some of the staff as friends, even though as a sports writer I’m not necessarily supposed to. But, in a familiar building to discuss a sport I believed myself to be an expert, I had plenty of new experiences. There were reporters, veteran coaches and fighters such as local fighting pride and UFC lightweight Al Iaquinta. And all of them learned at least some nuance of judging or officiating that they had never seen before that day.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Testimony In the Maryland Assembly Regarding State Regulation of Amateur MMA and Kickboxing

The following video highlights testimony before the Economic Matters Committee of the Maryland Legislature. The hearing regards Bill HB0351 which proposes that the State Athletic Commission regulate amateur mixed martial arts and kick boxing.

The bill (if passed into law) would authorize the State Athletic Commission to license and regulate amateur mixed martial arts and amateur kick boxing; expand the scope of drug testing for specified contestants; repeal specified mandatory sanctions for specified contestants who refuse to submit to specified tests or test positive for the presence of specified drugs; require specified contestants to submit to a specified blood test under specified circumstances; define terms; make technical changes; etc.

Starting at 1:24 of this video, you can observe expert testimony on the matter:
Offering testimony at this hearing are Maryland State Athletic Commissioner Patrick Pannella; Dr. Sherry Wulkun, Rinside Physician; Nick Lembo, New Jersey Athletic Control Board; and David Braslow MMA Official.


South Dakota Debates MMA Regulation

South Dakota is on of only three states that has no Athletic Commission to oversee combat sports, leaving MMA in a state of unregulation. During a recent discussion on the topic Representative Steve Hickey, who is opposed to allowing MMA into South Dakota and wishes to ban it, showed his complete ignorance calling MMA the "child porn of sports." Check the video here:

Well, Representative Hickey may not want MMA in South Dakota, but the reality is that it is already there in an unregulated (read unsafe) fashion. Maybe is Hickey and Governor Dennis Daugaard, who is also opposed to MMA regulation in South Dakota, would eductae themselves and allow for regulation, they may prevent another tragedy like last year's death of Dustin Jensen in their own state.

Conversely, Senator Mark Johnston is leading a charge to create an athletic commission with the responsibility of regulating mixed martial arts. Needless to say we support Senator Johnston!

Prohibition = Reckless disregard of safety
Regulation = Safety

If any of our readers are South Dakota voters, contact your legislator and voice your support for safe regulated MMA!

Check out Bloody Elbow's report

Mixed martial arts battle starts up again in NY

Debate in Senate begins anew on whether to make sport legal in New York
Tuesday, February 26, 2013

ALBANY — Advocates of mixed martial arts say this is their year.
What has become a perennial debate at the Capitol will kick off this week when a state Senate committee takes up a bill that would legalize the spectator combat sport popularized by the Ultimate Fighting Championship league. New York and Connecticut are the only states that ban professional bouts, though amateur fights have taken place in various parts of the Empire State.

A corps of senior legislators, mostly Democrats in the conference that dominates the Assembly, has blocked professional MMA fights because of moral objections and, according to the sport's backers, as a result of a dispute between the UFC's owners and a Las Vegas labor union. But as the UFC celebrates its 20th anniversary later this year, its fans and backers emphasize that MMA bouts are now well-regulated and an increasingly mainstream attraction, having crept from pay-per-view to broadcast networks.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Fighters Source Comes to NYC for Amateur MMA Event on March 23rd

Fighters Source
FS PRESS RELEASE: February 21st., 2013



The “Kings of New York” competition will feature the top Amateur MMA Fighters from the New York and New Jersey area. Fighters Source™ will select these athletes with the coordination of USA MMA KI Federation.

“This is an exciting time for Fighters Source™ and Amateur MMA. Fighters Source is looking forward to showcasing the best of Amateur MMA athletes in the New York and New Jersey area for the first time ever in a sanctioned forum,” said Anthony Medina, CEO of Fighters Source™.

The winner in each weight division will qualify to join Fighters Source™ Amateur MMA Team USA and will be provided with an all expense paid trip to compete in the Fighters Source™ Korea Open in the Summer of 2013. This tournament will be known as the “Super Bowl” of Amateur MMA. USA MMA KI Federation & Fighters Source™ will take this highly skilled team of Amateur MMA athletes to the international stage to compete at the prestigious Yong-In University in Seoul Korea.

Tryouts for “Kings of New York” will be conducted throughout the New York and New Jersey area during February and March. All athletes will be required to demonstrate the following skills: conditioning, striking, takedowns and grappling. Their skills will be tested and graded by USA MMA KI Federation and Fighters Source™ senior instructors.

“The USA MMA KI Federation sanctions competitive events for Mixed Martial Arts with dedicated supervision focused on the safety of the athletes. Each fighter is watched closely by certified referees and medical physicians to insure minimal risk to these aspiring athletes who have trained hard and dedicated themselves to excel in our sport,” said Frank Babcock, President of USA MMA KI Federation.

“We are working toward bringing this sport to an Olympic level”, added Renzo Gracie, North Eastern Regional Director of USA MMA KI Federation.

This tournament will be commentated by former UFC fighter Seth “Silver Back” Petruzelli, and guest commentator former television sportscaster Sal Marchiano.

"The increasing worldwide appeal and popularity of this form of sports entertainment cannot be denied. Fighters Source will be the source for athletic and combative talent for years to come, as the Golden Gloves competitions are to boxing,” said Sal Marchiano, MMA commentator & former sports television commentator.

Sponsors of the event include D.A.R.E, Adidas, Elite Arsenal, Medcam, Kulture, Powerful Yogurt, Aqua Hydrate, Club 39, Moving Box Studios and MBP.


Fighters Source™ is an international amateur MMA league dedicated to helping amateur mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes accomplish their dreams of athletic achievement. The organization promotes amateur MMA as a sport requiring high-level performance in a wide range of martial arts from striking to kicking to grappling, Jiu Jitsu and Judo.

Fighters Source’s founders, Anthony Medina, Kevin Medina, Brandon Medina, and Adam Meyers are life time Mixed Martial Arts practitioners themselves and know the obstacles young men and women face in establishing themselves as professional fighters in this sport. They have created an organization that provides young athletes with the experience, resources, discipline and opportunity to successfully compete against other top international amateur teams at the highest level. The organization’s encourages fans to “Find the Fighter in You™.”

To learn more about Fighters Source please visit, and

USA MMA KI Federation (USAMMAKIF), is recognized by the United States Internal Revenue Service as a not-for-profit 501(c)3 Missouri Corporation dedicated to the advancement of safety in the sport of amateur competitive combative competition. Their participating athletes strive for recognition in highly disciplined sports that requires practice and dedication to excel in mind, body and spirit. USA MMA KI Federation serves as a developing organization in the USA creating a platform for national and world-class international competition leading to future Olympic recognition. To learn more about the organization visit

**Athletes & Cage Girls, register at:

Media Contact for Fighters Source™:
Ollie Gejevski - Marketing Director

PR Contact for Fighters Source™:
Hillary Herskowitz

Purchase your tickets HERE:

Social Media:
Facebook: Fighters Source
Twitter: @fighterssource


Alejandro Prieto
Marketing/Events Coordinator
Fighters Source