Thursday, March 24, 2016

Mission Accomplished!

I have not written anything on this blog since the beginning of the 2016 legislative calendar, so it is fantastic to have my first post this year be the last post! On March 22nd, 2016, the Assembly voted 113-25 to pass the MMA bill! Now with the Senate and Assembly having both passed the legislation, we await the Governor's signature and we are golden. It has been a long battle, but FINALLY New York has regulated amateur MMA and legal & regulated professional MMA. Check out the long process that brought us here in Jim Genia's comprehensive story for MMA Junkie

When I threw my hat into the fight for regulated #NYMMA in 2010, I had no idea how many great people I would get to meet and work with as we tried to build a unified grassroots front in the battle to legislate the amateur and professional versions of the sport we love. In no particular order, here are people who in ways great and small were the boots on the ground here and fought the good fight; or fought along side us.

Many people will take credit for today's accomplishment, but let's not forget this was a massive team effort. These people deserve your thanks and recognition (I know I will forget people!! I am sorry if I forgot you!)

Jim Genia, Eddie Goldman, Paula Romero, Justin Klein, Steven Katz, Steve Kardian, Assemblyman Dean Murray, Assemblywoman Joyner, Kahleem Poole, Bruce Kivo, Matthew Kaplowitz, Dave MacLean, Rob Hinds, Chris Herzog, Peter Storm, Michael Benjamin, Steve Greenberg, David Weinraub, Frank Shamrock, Tara LaRosa, Alistair Overeem, Councilman Joel Rivera, Mike Hauben, Michael Stets Steczkowski, Julian Earle, Ronald McEvilly, Don Lilly, Matthew Hu, Barry Friedman and his incredible team, Danielle Hobeika, Chris Reitz, Jorge Rivera, Peter Lampasona, Corey Sands, Bradley Desir, Rick Wenner, Anil Melwani, Curt Boshnack, Josh Pawlyk, Fletcher Neal, Phoenix Carnevale, Forrest Hobbick, Kevin MacDonald, Robert Billings, Reggie Hinds, Lyman Good, Mike Rivers, Mike Straka, Josh Barnett, Nestor Marte, Bas Rutten, Rob Terlizzi, Brian McLaughlin, Primo Bellarosa, Stephen Kunen, Paul Paone, everyone who endorsed NYMMANOW, the Bronx Week Film Festival, Columbia University Sports Mamagement Program, Dylan Wanagiel at MSG, NYS Boxing Commissioner John Signorile, Mohegan Commisioner Michael Mazzuli, Nick Lembo of the NJSACB, Anastasios Mylonas, all the folks at MMA4NY, all the promoters across NYS who never gave up, all the legislators who supported us over the years in the Assembly and Senate, anyone who came to our rallies, watched our documentary, read, shared or contributed to my NYMMANOW blog, attended our events and were willing to give us locals a voice and allowed us to speak truth to power. It has been incredible to watch a true grassroots community develop over the past 6 years. So awesome. Let's go celebrate!!

Stephen Koepfer
Founder, Coalition to Legalize MMA in New York