Since it’s that time of the year when the struggle to get the sport sanctioned in New York becomes a recurring news item, it makes sense to have a weekly update post. So here it is! This week, a former Rockland County District Attorney wrote an op-ed piece against the sanctioning of MMA, while the success of a big amateur show in Midtown Manhattan has opened the door for others to swoop in and do their thing.
• “Too Brutal for New York” says Michael E. Bongiorno in the New York Post. “MMA is a brutal and barbaric pseudo-sport, the modern equivalent of Roman gladiatorial combat, with an audience screaming and howling at every blow and drop of blood.” Bongiorno, you see, has been to hell and back as a Rockland County prosecutor, and he believes the violence sanctioned MMA would wreak upon this beloved state would be too much. Or something like that. “Although I’m no longer a prosecutor, I still see the faces of victims who were killed or seriously injured by senseless violence. So please forgive me if I’m not entertained by the sight of two human beings battering each other into unconsciousness – all to support a business whose revenues are close to half a billion dollars.” He still sees the faces? It sounds like Bongiorno needs a good therapist more than he needs to worry about mixed martial arts.
• Why hasn’t the ban been lifted yet? According to AJ Delgado of Mediaite.com, it’s all about the unions.
• While a good portion of the MMA world was watching the second installment of the World Series of Fighting on the NBC Sports channel last Saturday night, an amateur MMA show called “Kings of New York” was going down in the Hammerstein Ballroom. There were ten bouts in a sold-out venue (putting attendance at around 1,500), and given that this was the first large-scale MMA event in Manhattan since… well, ever, it’s safe to say that the door is now open for more of these kinds of shows to go on. Here’s an article I wrote on why Kings of New York was so important.
Here’s Newsday’s top-notch coverage of the event.
Here’s Fightland’s take.
Here’s what New York Natives had to say.
As you can see, for an amateur MMA show, Kings of New York sure generated a lot of press.
• Oh, did I mention how the doors are now open for other amateur promotions to come in and do their thing? On May 17, there will be an event at Terminal 5 in Manhattan dubbed “Victory One”. Terminal 5 can fit an audience of 3,000, and given that one of the men behind the event is Justin Blair – who’s been doing kickboxing shows in the city for nearly 20 years and has extensive ties to local gyms – it’s safe to assume the Victory One will be huge.
• In case you missed it (and I know you did because I didn’t see you there), here are some fights from Kings of New York. Enjoy.