New York fans have been the victim of idiot politicians keeping the sport illegal in the state.  Professional MMA is still not allowed, but sanctioned amatuer events can take place.  On October 4, at the Amazura Concert Hall in Jamaica, Queens, the New York Fight Exchange will be hosting its first show.  The card is stacked with the best talent in the area, and it's important that NY fight fans support this show.

I am honored to be hosting the event and really looking forward to seeing live MMA in NY.  For full details and to get tickets, check out the NY Fight Exchange website.  NYFEMMA.com. The Amuzura Concert Hall is just steps from the LIRR Jamaica train station, so travel to the event is very easy.  If you're driving, there is plenty of parking available.  Let's all support MMA in NY!

The show takes place this Friday, October 4, so get your tickets right now.  See you at the Amazura Concert Hall!


Al Iaquinta, the pride of Wantagh, Long Island, will be fighting on the undercard of UFC 164 tomorrow night.  Al takes on Ryan Couture, son of legendary fighter Randy Couture, in a bout that is sure to be explosive. The fight will be broadcast Facebook and YouTube, and is the second fight of the evening.

I've been following Iaquinta's career since the beginning, and I've always said that he is truly a fighter to watch.  He has excellent wrestling and great hands and he is dangerous at all ranges.  I predict he will look sensational tomorrow and that this fight is the start of something big for the 26 year old mixed martial artist.

Check him out tomorrow night free on Facebook. And check out his Twitter account for the latest news on his career.


New York MMA, a film by legendary MMA cinematographer Kahleem Poole, aka KahL-One, is now available free on Hula.  This film documents the efforts to get MMA legalized in the state of NY, and features many of the top stars in the sport.  It's a great film, and an important one.  Check it out here:  New York MMA.

About the film:

New York Mixed Martial Arts is an enthralling documentary that provides a back seat view of the grass roots struggle to legalize and regulate the professional sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) in New York State. New York is one of a handful of states in which MMA is still outlawed; sacrificing athlete safety, jobs and millions of dollars in revenue to neighboring states and countries since 1997. In his first feature length film, martial artist and filmmaker Kahleem Poole – Tejada presents an intimate account of the struggle to legalize MMA through the lens of one amateur fighter’s (Bradley Desir) quest to turn professional under the guidance of his coach (Stephen Koepfer). Viewers are offered a rare glimpse behind the curtain of the political, sometimes frightening, and always exciting world of mixed martial arts.

Rob Terlizzi

Stephen Koepfer

Kahleem Poole-Tejada

Levan Reginald Hines

Robert Billings

Bradley Desir
Stephen Koepfer
Tyga Maclin
Eddie Goldman
Paula Romero
Justin Klein

Josh Barnett
Gesias Calvacante
Fedor Emilianenko
Steve Kardian Steven Katz
Tara LaRosa
New York Assemblyman Dean Murray Nestor Marte New York City Councilman Joel Rivera Bas Rutten Oleg Savitsky Frank Shamrock Mike Straka Dana White


The New Jersey State Martial Arts Hall of Fame will be holding its 2nd annual Hall of Fame dinner/induction ceremony on December 6, 2013.  The first event was a smashing success, and the venue was filled with a who's who of combat sports.

I understand that the committee is working on this year's list of inductees, and I should have that in the near future.  The venue is once again the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Secaucus, New Jersey, which is minutes away from New York City.  It was a great event last year, and should be even bigger and better this year.  Tickets will sell out fast, so jump on yours right away.  You can find ticket info on the NJ Martial Arts Awards website or call the number on the poster above.

It is a personal honor to have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, and I will definitely be attending this year's event.  Stay tuned for this year's list of inductees!



New York is one of the few states in which the sport of MMA is illegal.  In this day and age, it sounds silly to even say that, but there is no shortage of silly when it comes to NY politicians.  Despite all the political rhetoric about how MMA is akin to human cockfighting, the real reason MMA is outlawed in NY is because the powerful union lobbies don't want it in NY.  The Culinary Union has a beef (pardon the pun) with the UFC, because they want UFC owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta to unionize their casinos, something that is not going to happen.  As punishment, the union has been pushing NY pols hard to keep MMA out of the state.  And by pushing, I mean more than likely lining the greedy pockets of politicians who sell political favors to the highest bidders.

Anyway, don't fret the MMA situation in New York too much, because for the past 10 years, thanks to Peter Storm and his Underground Combat League, MMA has been alive and well in the Big Apple.

Storm's latest show was held in the Bronx on April 28, 2013.  This was the venue where Frankie Edgar began his MMA career before becoming UFC champion.  And there no doubt be more famous fighters coming out of the UCL, because Peter Storm looks for the best talent and does a great job at matchmaking fights.

I had the pleasure of ring announcing the show, and was very impressed with the fights.  Despite Storm's very low key approach to putting on MMA shows in NY (no posters, no advertising, just word of mouth advertising), the events always draw a nice crowd.  Indeed at the show was famed food writer Anthony Bourdain, who has a brand new show on CNN called Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.  Bourdain is a big fan of MMA, and attended the UFC on the 27th, then the UCL on the 28th.   He told MMA Frenzy that the UCL was a better show:  "I’m a fan of MMA, and I have to say – reluctantly – as much as I enjoyed myself last night at the UFC, tonight happened to be a little more exciting."

Bourdain is not alone in that assessment.  There is a feeling at the UCL that you are part of a secret society and are witnessing something very special.  The UCL certainly lives up to its "underground" moniker, and the action is as raw as MMA combat gets.  Indeed, author Jim Genia even wrote a book about the UCL called Raw Combat, and it is a great read.  The UFC has gone mainstream, but the UCL is as real as it gets.

After the show, I took a few minutes to interview Peter Storm as he unwound from the event with a plate of chicken wings.  In this video, after the jump, Storm talks about what makes the UCL so different, and so enduringly popular.

Congrats to Team Renegade for their outstanding performances at the NOLA Invitational Sambo tournament, which was held in New Orleans last March.  Team Renegade fighters Ben Syers and Jeremy Piaser both took first place in the lightweight and middleweight divisions respectively, and Team Renegade founder Anthony Sansonetti was a heavyweight match finalist.

Sambo is a great base of mixed martial arts, as the great Fedor Emelianenko showed time and again in his matches.  Check out the Team Renegade website for details on how you can add Sambo to your MMA arsenal.


This Saturday, May 4, 2013, at Tiger Martial Arts in Levittown, Long Island, New York, you can learn leg locks from one of the best, Reilly Bodycomb.  Bodycomb is a well known world class grappler who uses leg locks extensively in competition.  He is also a great instructor, and his seminar on Saturday will be fantastic way to add leg locks to your grappling arsenal.  To register, go to www.renegademma.tv.  You can save 15 dollars off the door price.  Either way, it's worth every penny.  Don't miss this seminar!

Mark "Stan" Staniszewski is a 4th degree Judo black belt, a BJJ black belt under Joe Moreira and is Long Island's first dual black belt in the two disciplines. He was the first American to win the Pan Ams in Judo and BJJ and was inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2010. Stan's one year old son, Jake, was recently diagnosed with a rare pediatric cancer. A benefit Judo seminar will be held at Stan's academy Combat Judo and BJJ in Massapequa with all proceeds going to the Staniszewski family. The Saturday April 6th event is open to both children and adults. US top ranked Judo players Hannah Martin, Nick Kossor, Brad Bolen, and Tony Sangimino will be instructing and all skill levels are encouraged to come down and participate.

To make a donation to Jake Staniszewski please go to:


Please show your support and help like Jake win this battle.

Renowned MMA videographer Kahl-One outdid himself with this video about the NY MMA Expo, which was held in Manhattan on February 16 and 17.  Lots of familiar faces are in the video, and this video is perhaps a glimpse into the future, and MMA in NY seems to be becoming a reality.  Check out Kahl-Ones website and YouTube channel for more great videos about MMA, Combat Sports and many other topics.



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