Let's just say that humbled is not strong enough of a word for how I felt when I read the letter advising me that I am going to be inducted into the NJ Martial Arts Hall of Fame. I was floored, to say the least, and this honor is way too big for me. Not that I will turn it down, mind you. I am just in shock that the NJ MA HOF has chosen me to be one of its first inductees.
The NJ MMA Hall of Fame has just come into being, and its having its first annual year end awards dinner on December 7. On that date, the awards for the various contributions to NJ MMA and Muay Thai will be presented, and the winners get inducted into the Hall of Fame. The list of winners has been determined, and I have it for you here. As NJ's Ring Announcer of the year, I just want to thank the committee and the people who made this all possible. I can't wait to give my speech!
Here is the official press release announcing the winners:
The New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame is extremely proud to announce the inaugural class of inductees to the New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame.
This class will be honored at the Induction dinner gala to be held at the beautiful Crowne Plaza Meadowlands on December 7, 2012.
Tickets to the awards dinner can be purchased by calling 201-538-4843 or online at www. njmmaawards.com.
Discount hotel room rates at the Crowne Plaza can be also obtained by calling 877-227-6963 and mentioning the Hall of Fame dinner.
New Jersey has always been on the forefront of combat sports, and some of the biggest bouts in MMA, kickboxing and muay Thai history have taken place at various venues around the state.
We are very proud to announce the formation of the New Jersey State Martial Arts Hall of Fame. New Jersey has had a boxing hall of fame since the 1960's and, in a similar sense, we hope to recognize and honor those involved in combat martial arts such as MMA and Muay Thai. New Jersey is building a rich tradition in non-boxing martial arts and our goal is to recognize these individuals and entities.
Our goal is to honor those involved with New Jersey martial arts and to celebrate with them, at an evening with family and friends. Our focus is on those directly involved in New Jersey martial arts.
This truly is a historical moment in our State's combat sports history as our intent is to have the New Jersey State Martial Arts Hall of Fame continue for many years and serve as a record for those outstanding individuals involved in martial arts in our State.
We hope you will join us on December 7, 2012. Mark your calendars now and purchase your tickets early so you can be sure to be a part of New Jersey martial arts history. Call 201-538-4843 or visit www.njmmaawards.com and get your ticket and join us in a historic night for New Jersey and for martial arts.
It is certain to be a terrific night with friends, fun, and music.
2012 Inaugural Class Inductee Awards
Legend Award- Renzo Gracie
Lifetime Achievement Award- Louis Neglia
MMA Fighter of the Year- Frankie Edgar
MMA Female Fighter of the Year- Munah Holland
Muay Thai Fighter of the Year- Ognjen Topic
Muay Thai female fighter of the Year- Prairie Rugilo
MMA Trainer of the Year-Mike Constantino
Muay Thai Trainer of the Year- Ray Cruz
MMA Promoter of the Year- Rob Haydak
MMA Matchmaker of the Year-Sam Caplan
Muay Thai Matchmaker of the Year- Chris Tran
Muay Thai Referee of the Year- Coban
MMA Referee of the Year- Dan Miragliotta
MMA Judge of the Year- Ricardo Almeida
Muay Thai Judge of the Year- Vladimir Borodine
Ringside Physician of the Year- Dr. Sherry Wulkan
Announcer of the Year- Kevin Garvey
Media Personality of the Year-Jim Genia
Pioneer MMA Fighter Award- Dave Tirelli
Outstanding Achievement in MMA- Kurt Pellegrino