The Fight Nerd The containment unit of combat sports

February 19, 2013

“Road to Glory USA” brings welterweight tournament to NYC in March

Glory Sports International (GSI), the parent company of the world’s new premiere kickboxing league, announced today that it will bring it’s ROAD TO GLORY USA development fight series designed to identify America’s next great kickboxing superstars, to Capitale in New York, N.Y., on Friday, March 22.

The winner of the eight-man, single-elimination welterweight (170 pounds/77 kilograms) tournament featuring a host of prolific, up-and-coming competitors, will be awarded a $20,000 grand prize and a multi-year contract with GLORY, home of the world’s elite kickboxing champions and superstars.

Tickets for the event are priced from $40 and can be purchased by phone at 516-458-4989. The tournament is being held as part of a kickboxing fight card being promoted by former world champion Louis Neglia.

“We are thrilled to bring our all-new ROAD TO GLORY development tournament series to fight fans in New York City, one of the world’s greatest sports and entertainment epicenters,” said GLORY CEO Andrew Whitaker.

“With the two ROAD TO GLORY tournaments we’ve held in the U.S. thus far,” continued Whitaker, “we’ve been able to discover tremendously bright and promising young kickboxers who could be developed to one day compete on GLORY’s championship stage, which is exactly what ROAD TO GLORY was created for. We are confident that we will continue to unearth all kinds of new talent across the country, beginning with the upcoming event in New York.”

Undefeated rising stars Ryan Parker (14-0, 3 KOs) of Rochester, N.Y. and Brett Hlavacek (6-0, 2 KOs) of New York will be joined in the tournament draw by KO artists Anthony Nieves (10-4, 8 KOs) of Atlanta, Ga. and Jeremy Carper (5-1, 5 KOs) of Martinsburg, W. Va., battle-tested star Tarek Rached (24-3, 11 KOs) of New York, road warrior Marcus Fisher (16-9, 3 KOs) of Pittsburg, Pa. and promising upstarts Eric Utsch (5-1, 1 KO) of Breinigsville, Pa. and Francois Ambang (6-2, 2 KOs) of Mechanicsville, Va.

Tae Kwon Do black belt and Muay Thai champion! Cyrus Washington (52-21-1, 48 KOs) of Macallen, Texas will square off with Chris Clodfelter (7-3-1, 3 KOs) of King, N.C. in a tournament “reserve” bout on the card. Should any of the tournament’s quarterfinal round fight winners be unable to return to the ring for semifinal round action due to injury sustained en route to victory, the winner of the matchup between Washington and Clodfelter will take the injured fighter’s place in the tournament.

A draw to determine the ROAD TO GLORY USA welterweight tournament’s quarterfinal round matchups will take place on a date and at a location to be announced soon.

January 10, 2012

Update on Zuffa’s lawsuit against New York

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 10:30 AM

Justin Klein on The Fight Lawyer has an update on the case of Zuffa VS The State of New York. Just to loosely summarize, Zuffa is suing NY on the grounds that they are going against their constitutional rights. On January 5, 2012, there was a status conference before Judge Kimba Wood in Zuffa et al.’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law banning mixed martial arts in New York.

The minute entry from that proceeding is below:

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Kimba M. Wood: Status Conference held on 1/5/2012. Defendants will submit a limited motion to dismiss addressing only the issue of whether due process and equal protection analysis requires the Court to determine whether there was a rational basis for the law at issue only at the time it was passed, or whether the Court must determine whether there is a rational basis for the law at present (in other words, whether the Court should take into account a change in factual circumstances that makes the law no longer rational, even if it had a rational basis at the time of passage). Defendants’ motion is due 1/27/12. Plaintiffs’ reply is due 2/17/12.Defendants’ response is due 3/2/12. (js) Modified on 1/9/2012 (tro). (Entered: 01/06/2012)

As Klein summarized, the New York Attorney General and New York County District Attorney offices will be submitting a motion to dismiss. However, The Fight Lawyer noted that the motion was peculiar to him. “The narrow issue the parties will brief involves whether the Court should determine whether the law is rational now,” Klein wrote on his site, “Given the current state of the sport or if the court should focus on whether the law was rational as of 1997 when the ban was implemented.” In other words, there will be some semantics at play, as well as some educating on the modern rules of the sport, before we see how this moves ahead.

July 11, 2011

“New York MMA” makes its theatrical debut this month

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — The Fight Nerd @ 7:30 AM

Kahleem Poole-Tejada’s documentary, “New York MMA” is making its debut in a proper theatre, and you can come and support the film!

At the end of this month in Lyons, NY, fans of the sport and good movies are encouraged to come to this showing and see a fine film that showcases the struggle of legalizing MMA in “The Big Apple”, both on a nationwide scale and locally through the eyes of an up and coming fighter in the city. The event will be held at:

Ohmann Theater, William Street
Lyons, NY 14489
Saturday, July 30th at 2 PM

Tickets will be $10, and donations will be accepted as well (and encouraged). For more details, follow the NY MMA Now blog.

April 14, 2011

One Man in the Way of MMA in New York

Filed under: Features — Tags: , , — The Fight Nerd @ 12:30 PM


It’s April in New York. Beaches are opening on Long Island. Fair-weather joggers are more easily coaxed into Central Park. And Albany is square in the middle of the political horse trading that is the legislative session. Among the issues being debated on the capital is a perennial battle for the sanctioning of mixed martial arts competition in the Empire State.

Debate about the value, both economic and ethical, of the young and often misunderstood sport can be put aside this year, as it has in years past. For the third time in a row, the bill to sanction MMA is nearly set to appear on the State Senate floor, where it will likely pass without issue. Yet, the sister bill in the State Assembly hovers in limbo where it may, also for the third year in a row, time out in committee before it ever sees an honest democratic vote.

A representative from the office of Assembly MMA bill sponsor Steve Englebright said that the legislation was ready to be put on the first of several committee schedules, and has been ready for over a month, yet could not speculate as to the reasons for the hold up.

No speculation is necessary. Everyone familiar with Albany knows that the third annual subversion of the lawmaking process is caused by one man whose name never even enters the lexicon of the debate on MMA in New York. That man is Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

February 8, 2011

Frank Shamrock pushing for MMA in New York at the State Assembly

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — The Fight Nerd @ 10:30 AM

Looks like New York has a new spokesperson to help push MMA in New York, and it’s Frank Shamrock!

Shamrock, who is in the process of moving to New York and filming a reality series called “Ungloved” all about the journey, has stepped up to the plate to help educate the masses and politicians about MMA. This comes as great news after Governor Cuomo conveniently forgot that Zuffa was lobbying him to help MMA and just plum forgot to put it in his budget plan for 2011, despite the sport being proven to generate $23 million in revenue. One would assume income would be welcome in the state with deep financial debt, but I suppose not.

Frank was in Albany yesterday on the floor of the New York State Senate, talking with politicians such as Senator Joseph Griffo, Assemblyman Frank Lopez and Representative Bing, and helping them hear our pleas. Frank tweeted about the process through the day, and had one interesting quote, which was, “meeting of the minds with Rep Bob Reilly denied by his office. WTF?! But everyone is otherwise feeling MMA in NY.” So there ya’ go, MMA world. Some guys just enjoy playing the part of the villain, and New Yorkers who support MMA have known who that man is for some time. Meanwhile, as of the time of this post, the rally for MMA in NY in front of City Hall is going down and if you are in the area, you should drop by and show your support!

You can follow Frank’s new twitter at this address, which will have updates about his reality show and his push to help MMA in New York!

February 7, 2011

Reminder! Tomorrow is the rally for MMA in NY and you better be there!

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 2:30 PM

It’s time to be heard, East Coast MMA fans! Tomorrow, February 8, starting at 12 noon, a rally will be held for the support of legalized and regulated mixed martial arts in New York State. The gathering will be at 250 Broadway, Manhattan, New York, 10007, which is conveniently across the street from City Hall, which houses the district office of Sheldon Silver, the Speaker of the New York State Assembly.

This rally is being organized by the “Coalition to Legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York”, a non-partisan volunteer group of organizations, gyms, business owners, and individuals who support the legalization and regulation of mixed martial arts in the state of New York which is headed by “Sambo Steve”, Stephen Koepfer. The Garv will be MC’ing the event, and top-ranked female fighter Tara Larosa and Former Assemblyman Michael Benjamin will be speaking at the event, as well as “a few surprises” according to Sambo Steve. Who these surprises are could be anyone, but with Strikeforce in town (and with their event just two hours after the rally) it makes you wonder…

If you plan on attending, you can bring your own picket signs (just please keep your comments and images respectful and they can not be attached to wood, metal or plastic) and Stephen has requested a pair of focus mitts if possible. However, do NOT bring any audio projection equipment. Head to the coalition’s website for more info and up to date news on MMA in NY. See you there!

December 1, 2010

New York State Assembly Majority leader Ronald Canestrari still hates MMA despite knowing little about it

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — The Fight Nerd @ 7:30 AM

We have all heard from NY assemblyman Bob Reilly, MMA’s most vocal opponent in New York, but the man with more say is actually Ronald Canestrari. Representing District 106 in the State Assembly of the state of New York, Canestrari has announced his position on MMA at last to Peter Lampasona of and made it clear that his issue is not with any particulars of the bill to sanction MMA, but with the sport itself.

The sport appears to me to be too barbaric,” Canestrari told the MMA reporter. “I think if boxing came up today, we’d vote against that, too. But that’s already here and part of the culture.” Adding to that confusing statement is the fact that the Majority Leader alleges that he has heard from no businesses that could profit off MMA being legal in New York. “I don’t know of those businesses,” Canestrari said. “I just not have been contacted by any of them.”

I find this to be one of the more surprising things, since I was present at the 2008 hearing on the matter of legalizing MMA in NY, and Zuffa actually sent in a public relations representative to present statistics and an analysis of how NY could make money as a whole with MMA being legal. There is no way that businesses stand to do anything but earn, as they will surely not lose business with more events being held in the state.

Last year, the bill to sanction MMA in NY was voted down by the majority caucus in the State Assembly, despite being supported by the State Senate and former Governor, David Paterson. Zuffa has been lobbying for the bill to be pushed back into action sooner, donating campaign funds to Andrew Cuomo earlier this year. In that same article, Paterson even said that events would produce $2 million in revenue to NY, but pundits argue that the money would go right back to the UFC (not realizing that there are other companies out there). NY needs to take a look at New Jersey to see how to implement MMA into their state and that with all the smaller shows, there is plenty of room for profit for not just NY state but small & large businesses as well.

Can anyone think of any legit reasons not to legalize MMA in New York? Speak now or forever hold your peace!

October 28, 2010

The Garden’s return to glory starts with MMA

Filed under: Features — Tags: , , , — The Fight Nerd @ 11:30 AM


Madison Square Garden hosted its first heavyweight title fight in 1882 when John L. Sullivan defended his title against Joe Collins. Since that time, the little building at 4 Penn Plaza and its three predecessors have become known as the Mecca of boxing, with Manhattan being the ultimate fight town. Yet, the newest generation of fight fans probably can’t remember the last time a ring was even erected in the spot that once hosted the likes of Sugar Ray Robinson and Rocky Marciano.

The last fight advertised on the MSG website is for the November 2008 clash between Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones Junior: a bout that they still have listed tickets available for sale. And before Jones versus Calzaghe it’s been even longer since a real superfight has played out in the Garden. While Mecca hardly stands desolate, being the third busiest sports arena in the world, since the 90’s there have been fewer faithful making their pilgrimage.

The stagnation of Manhattan as a venue for big fights has been blamed on many sources. Many of the legislative efforts of former New York mayor Rudolf Giulliani to curtail organized crime in New York are also blamed for making the area less profitable for boxing promoters. Various casinos’ ability to offer gifts and incentives to promoters and athletes are also credited for steamrolling conventional stadiums. Still more say that New York simply does not contain as voracious a fan base for fights as it used to, though Miguel Cotto’s well-attended victory over Yuri Foreman at Yankee stadium earlier this year could easily defeat that line of speculation. Whatever has caused the decline, there are three letters looming over the horizon that can revive mid-town as the place for the big fights – MMA.

April 16, 2010

Shine Fight: Ricardo Mayorga VS Din Thomas NY Press Conference


On April 15, 2010 at Victor’s Cafe in NYC, Shine Fight Promotions held a press conference to promote their May 15 pay-per-view event, Shine Fight: World’s Collide, with the main event being boxing champion Ricardo Mayorga making his 4 0z. gloved debut against MMA and UFC veteran Din Thomas. Back in December, Din spoke with us and already had his sights set on then new-signee Mayorga.

Also present were Melvina Lathan, Michael Marley, Dorian and Devin Price, and Ron Foster. Featured on the card as well is Nick “The Goat” Thompson, Murilo “Ninja” Rua, Braulio Estima, and Rick Hawn.

By the way, I have over 10 minutes of Ricardo and Din trash-talking and shoving each other, watch out for that later this week, along with interviews with each fighter! Check out more about Shine at

April 6, 2010

Moosin NY Press Conference – 4/6/2010


April 6, 2010 – Moosin: Gods of Martial Arts came to Legends Restaurant in NYC to hype their May 21 card in Worcester, MA, featuring Tim Sylvia, Travis Lutter, Yves Edwards, Travis Wiuff and more. Speakers included Butterbean, Tim Sylvia and Mariusz Pudzianowski.

In yesterday’s press conference in Massachusetts, Pudzianowski had some derogatory words for “The Maine-iac” and Tim is definitely more than pissed and is looking to put a big hurting on Mariusz. Also of note, this is the first event that Butterbean is co-promoting with Moosin, so he is getting his feet wet in the business end as well as fights. More interviews to come as this week progresses from the participants in this presser!

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