Amateur Fighters Head to the Mat for a Shot at MMA Event in New York City

Mixed martial arts fighters battled it out Saturday for a spot in the upcoming Kings of New York amateur tournament. Professional Ultimate Fighting Championship bouts are banned in New York, the state has sanctioned the upcoming bouts that will take place at the Hammerstein Ballroom on March 23.

The first rule of Fight Club is: Try out. Prospective mixed martial artists gathered at the Times Square Hotel Saturday afternoon to try out for next month’s “Kings of New York” amateur tournament.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about this event,” said Isaiah Simmons, 19, of Fort Greene Brooklyn. The self-trained senior said he’s been practicing MMA for 10 years, and he’s excited to have a chance to show what he can do in front of a hometown crowd at the Hammerstein Ballroom on March 23.

The prospective pugilists showed off their grappling, jiu jitsu and kickboxing skills on mats set up in the hotel conference room.
“Our goal is to be the Golden Gloves of the MMA world,” said Anthony Medina, the CEO of one of the tournament’s organizers, Fighters Source. “This is a national movement, working toward Olympic recognition.”

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