UFC Returning To New Jersey, Now Wake Up New York!

President Dana White speaks during a press conference promoting UFC 145: Jones v Evans at Philips Arena on February 16, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

New York is the largest city in the United States, home to more than 8,000,000 people and a hub for some of the brightest emerging talent in the sport. Alas, within the government building resting in the capital city of Albany sits a bunch of ignorant boneheads who refuse to legalize the sport within state borders out of fear that MMA’s “violence” and “human cock fighting” will corrupt the youth of America.

I am pleased to present my debut post for SB Nation New York. In this space I will document the latest happenings as it pertains to Mixed Martial Artists and its athletes representing the New York City metropolitan area.

New York is the largest city in the United States, home to more than eight million people and a hub for some of the brightest emerging talent in the sport. Alas, within the government building resting in the capital city of Albany sits a bunch of ignorant boneheads who refuse to legalize the sport within state borders out of fear that MMA’s "violence" and "human cock fighting" will corrupt the youth of America. Never mind that the UFC has through the years implemented significant rule changes that have grown the sport since the anything-goes days of the company’s infancy in 1993.

Trying to convince uptight lawmakers that it’s within their power to allow the UFC to sell out Madison Square Garden and breathe life into the economy is akin to talking to a collection of Madusa’s victims. There’s an old saying: If it’s too logical it will never get done. Year after year MMA sends its finest spokespeople in and out of the cage to explain how the sport has enriched their lives and why it will give New York State a needed boost. Then the chronic complainers led by the head clown, State Assemblyman Bob Reilly, stand on their moral soapbox and justify why MMA, legal in 45 of the 50 states that comprise America, is an evil seed.

There’s another saying: Fight or flight. The good fight will continue. This space will help spread the message. For example, a current UFC middleweight holds collegiate wrestling victories over Ryan Bader and Phil Davis. He’s not a barbarian. His name is Chris Weidman, and the last time he competed a national television audience watched him defeat Demian Maia after having to cut 32 pounds in 10 days as an injury replacement.

Luckily, New Jersey is part of the tri-state area and East Rutherford – about 10 miles from Times Square – will be hosting FOX’s third UFC telecast on Saturday May 5 from the IZOD Center. The main event is a five-round tilt between Whippany’s Jim Miller and the surging Nate Diaz, a match that will have title implications in the nefariously stacked lightweight division.

"For our third card on FOX, we have four great fights!" UFC President Dana White said in a statement. "Nate Diaz versus Jim Miller is the five-round main event and the winner will put himself in a position to fight for the title. Both of these guys fight at an incredible pace and are coming off great wins."

Other local fighters competing are Dennis Bermudez (Lindenhurst), Louis Gaudinot (Yonkers) and Mike Massenzio (Teaneck); the former two were contestants on Season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter with Bermudez advancing to the finals. The last time the UFC was in the Garden State, the Prudential Center drew 12,619 to watch the dawning of the Jon Jones Era when Bones smashed Mauricio "Shogun" Rua to become the UFC light-heavyweight champion.

A press conference to promote UFC on Fox 3 is planned for Tuesday, March 6 at 11 a.m. from Radio City Music. The event is free to the public, and will host UFC president Dana White and the main card fighters. The complete lineup is below.

MAIN CARD (to air on FOX)
Nate Diaz vs. Jim Miller
Pat Barry vs. Lavar Johnson
Johny Hendricks vs. Josh Koscheck
Alan Belcher vs. Rousimar Palhares

PRELIMINARY CARD (to air on FUEL TV)
Hathaway vs. Pascal Krauss
John Dodson vs. Darren Uyenoyama
Johnny Bedford vs. Nick Denis
Danny Castillo vs. John Cholish
Dennis Bermudez vs. Pablo Garza
Mike Massenzio vs. Karlos Vemola
Louis Gaudinot vs. John Lineker

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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