A funny thing about the MMA ban in New York – it specifically doesn’t cover amateur events. That didn’t stop the city from cracking down on any venue holding events, threatening to revoke liquor licenses and all that jazz. It’s been a decade since anyone has even bothered to try and run a proper sanctioned amateur event, but now TNT Fight Series are giving it a go. How’s that turning out?
The TNT Fight Series, is set to take place this May in Tonawanda, New York, just north of Buffalo and will be sanctioned under the USMTA. The USMTA is one of the organizations that New York State allows to regulate “martial arts” competitions, which amateur MMA falls under according to the legal definition of the term. Many sanctioning bodies have known that they can regulate amateur MMA shows but have been intimidated by possible conflicts with state and local authorities. Yet, according to Herbert, convincing the USMTA to sanction his event was no great effort.
When Herbert was forced to approach the state athletic commission, where the everyone thought the real conflict would lay, there appeared to be no big fuss. While Herbert felt that “easy” was the wrong word to describe the process, he did say that “they’ve been cooperative.”
“They’ve given us the green light for everything, provided we abide by the rules of the sanctioning body,” Herbert said of the State Athletic Commission. “They told us they would have to let officials in our town know what we were doing. So, they sent a letter to our local government warning them that there was a risk of rioting and all kinds of things that were not going to happen.”
Hey, sometimes these things happen in MMA.