MMA Article in Huffington Post



Today, Huffington Post has published an article I wrote regarding the current state of MMA in New York, as well as the history of MMA events in the state, dating back to 1995. The article is titled Mixed Martial Arts in New York: Still Fighting for the Right, check it out.

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Big MMA Vote Today

The New York State Senate is set to vote on Bill S1707A today, which is the bill to authorize MMA events in New York. Although the MMA bill has been approved by the New York Senate in previous legislative sessions, the Assembly has historically been a more difficult sell for MMA. However, the senate vote today is a crucial step in the process for MMA in New York.

Check out The Coalition to Legalize MMA in NY article for more info.


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New York MMA – A Film

A film by Kahleem Poole and Steve Koepfer, recently selected for the 2011 Bronx Week Film Festival. Kahleem’s work is top quality, this will be a must see. Check out the Coalition to Legalize MMA in NY post here, and the film teaser below.

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While I was Away…

New York Native Jon Jones was crowned UFC’s youngest champion of all time. The fight was held in Newark, NJ. It is estimated that of the 12,500+ fans in attendance, 60% were New Yorkers. The same day he won his title, he subdued a robbery suspect, and sent this article to a Rochester, NY newspaper in support of New York MMA. Is this kid superman?



Men’s Health Magazine editor David Zinczenco, a long time opponent of MMA, finally accepts MMA as a legitimate professional sport in his NYTimes article. Georges St. Pierre is featured on the cover of Men’s Health this month, the first MMA fighter to ever do so.




LCD Soundsystem front man James Murphy poses a question to New Yorkers in the middle of a three hour set at Madison Square Garden last Saturday… “Hey New York, why don’t you allow mixed martial arts?!”






Frank Shamrock and Khaleem Poole released this video commemorating the Joe Lozito “Subway Hero” story:

Yet, despite all the positive news and upside for New York State, Governor Cuomo’s budget was realeased, which did not include MMA. As a result, 2011 is not looking good for New York MMA, and the battle rages on.

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Coalition on NBC New York

Steve Koepfer and Eddie Goldman appeared on NBC New York’s “All Night with Joey Reynolds” to discuss legalization of MMA in New York. Steve brought a couple of his MMA fighters along (wearing shirts) to do an on-air exhibition. Many thanks to the Coalition to Legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York, those guys are doing great work. Check out the episode here.


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New York’s Bob Reilly Exposed

New York Assemblyman Bob Reilly, who at this point (unfortunately) needs no introduction, has been the most visible nay-sayer of MMA in New York. Although Reilly has exposed his lack of knowledge on the sport through various interviews and commentary, he remains at the forefront of opposition. His poorly appointed rationale has led many in the MMA community to question his political motives.

In a recent interview on Pro MMA Radio, host Larry Pepe did a tremendous job of systematically defeating Reilly’s limp-wristed arguments. Then, to top things off, Pepe unveiled Reilly’s relationship with one of his major campaign contributors, a hotel workers’ union called Unite Here. Logically, MMA events would bolster local hotel occupancy and revenue, which translates into jobs for hotel workers. Therefore, it would be in the union’s best interest to support MMA. However, Unite Here happens to be the only entity lobbying against MMA in New York.

Needless to say, there is more to the story. Why has Unite Here gone out of its way, and against the best interests of its members, to lobby against MMA? As it turns out, Unite Here has a history of conflict with Station Casinos, a Las Vegas casino chain owned by the Fertitta brothers. The Fertittas also own the UFC…

It is now clear that Unite Here has waged war against MMA in order to retaliate against the Fertitta brothers for a conflict completely unrelated to MMA and New York. In doing so, Unite Here has funded Bob Reilly’s campaigns to promote their anti-MMA agenda in hopes of pressuring the Fertittas to unionize Station Casino workers.

Reilly has stated that he will likely not change his stance on MMA, regardless of the wishes of his constituents and fellow assemblymen. Now we know why. His pockets are lined to guarantee his loyalty to the business interests of Unite Here, not the interests of the New Yorkers he claims to represent.


Check out the MMA Mania post here.

Listen to the Pro MMA Radio audio interview here, its the episode from 02/07/11.

Hat tip to The Coalition to Legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York.

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MMA Stops Alleged NYC Murderer

Mr. Joe Lozito credits mixed martial arts for his heroic actions on a New York City subway car over the weekend, where he subdued knife-weilding alleged murderer Maksim Gelman until police arrived to make the arrest. Lozito’s actions halted Gelman’s alleged 4 victim killing spree. “I knew I had to do something or he was going to kill me.” Lozito told Fox News Insider anchor and ex-UFC broadcaster Brian Kilmeade. When confronted by Gelman, Lozito, a long time MMA fan, reacted with a takedown he has seen countless times on the UFC. Lozito has never trained mixed martial arts, but says that “If you watch fighting or you watch football, you know the easiest way to try to get somebody down… you go for the waist or go for the legs to take them down.”

This is another incredible testament to the countless benefits of the sport of MMA. Shout out to Joe Lozito, the subway hero.

See UFC President Dana White’s surprise visit to Lozito here, where White apparently hooked the subway hero up with free UFC gear and cageside tickets to UFC 128.

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NYC Rally Follow Up

“On February 8th, 2011, the Coalition to Legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York held its first public rally in lower Manhattan across the street from New York City’s city hall. As the rally gathered in front of Sheldon Silver’s district office at 250 Broadway it became clear that the day would be a successful one. The MMA media was there in full force as well as some mainstream media outlets and several film makers. An event designed to begin addressing mainstream media’s negative propaganda and ignorance about our sport, the rally hoped to begin correcting the record in the eyes of the public and for the eyes of our state legislators.”

Frank Shamrock Speaks:

Alistair Overeem Speaks:

Read the full article here, and see the rally video here.


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NYC Rally a Success

“The rally, held on the steps of assembly speaker Sheldon Silver’s office in Lower Manhattan, drew veteran fighters Frank Shamrock and Tara LaRosa, as well as Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem. “It was an awesome turnout for our first rally, and also for a cold day,” Coalition founder Stephen Koepfer today told (

“The goal was to begin to correct the record in the eyes of the public, in terms of the negative propaganda that’s been put out there about mixed martial arts,” Keopfer said.

In that, Keopfer said the rally was a success. But the Coalition’s efforts to educate still have a long way to go.

“There were people passing on the street that didn’t even know MMA was illegal,” Keopfer said.”

Read the full article here.

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Rosario Dawson on MMA

Rosario knows whats up! Listen to her drop all kinds of knowledge on the societal, physical, and mental benefits of MMA. She has a very real and well-informed appreciation for the sport.


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