Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Court Dismisses All But One Of Zuffa et al.'s Claims Challenging the Ban on Mixed Martial Arts in New York

On September 30, 2013, Judge Kimba Wood of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the bulk (but not all) of Zuffa et al.'s claims challenging the constitutionality of the ban on mixed martial arts in New York.  Click here for earlier coverage of the lawsuit.

More specifically, the Court dismissed Zuffa's claim that the ban: (1) violates Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights of expression; (2) is overbroad on its face, in violation of the First Amendment; (3) violates the Equal Protection Clause; (4) lacks a rational basis, in violation of the Due Process Clause; and (5) violates the Commerce Clause.  The Court also rejected plaintiffs' claim that a separate 2001 liquor law violates their First Amendment rights of expression.

As set forth above, the Court rejected plaintiffs' primary argument that live MMA matches and exhibitions are expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment holding that "[a]lthough the Court recognizes that Plaintiffs have alleged that they intend to communicate a particularized message, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs have not demonstrated a 'great likelihood' that viewers will understand that message."  The Court also found that Plaintiffs’ facial vagueness challenge to the ban should be dismissed.

Significantly, however, with respect to plaintiffs' claim that the MMA ban is unconstitutionally vague in violation of the Due Process Clause (as-applied), the Court held that "Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged an as-applied vagueness challenge to the law" and so left part of Plaintiffs complaint alive. 

Specifically, the Court held that Plaintiffs adequately alleged that the statute (as-applied) is unconstitutionally vague with respect to: (1) professional MMA sanctioned by exempt organizations; (2) the Ban’s failure to define “professional” or “amateur,” and the SAC’s alleged inconsistent interpretation of these words; and (3) professional MMA events on Indian reservations in New York.

Before turning to the merits of Plaintiffs’ as-applied arguments, the Court rejected the State's position that the alleged erratic history of enforcement of the Ban is irrelevant to Plaintiffs’ vagueness claim.

And if you read the decision, you will see that the State's flip-flopping on enforcement of the ban over the years, including interpretations of the ban offered by the State in the litigation before Judge Wood, influenced the analysis.

Here is the decision

I will have more analysis later after I have more fully digested the decision.  But for now, this is a good result for Zuffa et al.

Fight Lawyer

Friday, January 25, 2013

Court Denies Alvarez's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction

Here is a copy of the decision.  No April UFC for Eddie Alvarez.

Association of Boxing Commissions Letter to Governor Cuomo et al.

Here is a letter we wrote on behalf of the ABC to Governor Cuomo and other government officials concerning the statute purportedly banning mixed martial arts in New York. 

Jim Genia has, as always, done a nice job summarizing here

Fight Lawyer

Friday, November 9, 2012

Muay Thai Returns to The Theater at Madison Square Garden Tomorrow Night -- Weigh-In Tonight

Looking forward to another great night of Muay Thai at The Theater at MSG tomorrow night.  Official Weigh-in is tonight at the Theater Lobby at MSG.

The first event at MSG, promoted by TaKe On Productions, was awesome and filled up the Theater.  Look forward to seeing you there.  Tickets are still available and start at $35 and can be purchased at www.THEATERATMSG.com, all Ticketmaster locations, the Garden box office, and at Muay Thai and MMA gyms throughout NY, NJ, and PA. TaKe On VIP ticket packages will also be available via www.TakeOnProductions.com, along with the full fight card, fighter information, and other exciting content.

 Here is the press release with the full fight card:

TODAY – November 9 at 7:00 P.M. ET
The Theater Lobby at Madison Square Garden

All fighters participating in “Muay Thai at the Mecca 2” will step on the scale for their Official Weigh-In Tomorrow – November 9 in the Theater Lobby at Madison Square Garden. TaKe On Productions in association with MSG Sports present “Muay Thai at the Mecca 2”, a professional and amateur Muay Thai kickboxing event set for Saturday, November 10 from The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Tickets start at just $35 and can be purchased at www.THEATERATMSG.com , all Ticketmaster locations, the Garden box office, and at Muay Thai and MMA gyms throughout NY, NJ, and PA. TaKe On VIP ticket packages will also be available via www.TakeOnProductions.com, along with the full fight card, fighter information, and other exciting content.

“Muay Thai at the Mecca 2”, will feature an explosive thirteen bout card including a main event featuring #1 ranked U.S. fighter and WBC Champion Chike Lindsay (15-4 [Bangkok Boxing, GA]) will face Cyrus “Black Dynamite” Washington (50 wins, 48 KO’s), arguably North America’s most exciting Muay Thai fighter. Washington, now fighting out of Long Island’s Militia Fight Academy, spent years as a professional fighter living and training in Thailand. He has defeated many international superstars, and is looking to build his fame on his native land. Lindsay looks to stay on the winning path after an impressive win over Thailand's Malaipet Sasiprapa, which elevated his ranking from #3 to #1.

In the Co-Main Event of the evening, Knockout Artist/Arab Boxing World Champion Eddie Martinez (27-4-1 [Sitan Gym CT]) will face internationally ranked Italian fighter Angelo Campoli (22-7 [Milan Italy]). Martinez recently won a world title at the Arab Boxing World Championship in Dubai with a seventh-round knockout of Russia's Illman Arskahanov, and he also holds the TaKe-On record for most Knockouts via head-kick. Campoli recently fought on the Yokkao Extreme event in Milan, Italy against Thai sensation Imwiset Pornnarai where he took a narrow decision loss.

The first-ever “K-1 Rules” fight in TaKe-On history will be a highly anticipated rematch between UFC Veteran Ryan "The Lion' Madigan (27-6-1 [Evolve MMA Ohio]) and Tarek "The Tiger" Rached (26-3{AFC Kickboxing]). Tarek scored a close victory the first time the two met, and Ryan is coming off an impressive TKO victory over Rigel Balsamico in the Main Event of the inaugural "Muay Thai at the Mecca".





(Enter through Theater doors at 7th Avenue and 32nd Street)

Take-On Productions, in association with MSG Sports, presents

“Muay Thai at the Mecca 2”

The Theater at Madison Square Garden

Saturday, November 10, 2012 - 7:30PM

Blue Corner WT Weigh In Red Corner WT

1 P 5X3 Cyrus Washington [50-20 48KO] 155 vs. Chike Lindsay [15-4] 155
(Militia Fight Academy, Long Island) (Bangkok Boxing, Atlanta GA) #1 in US

2 P 3X3 Ryan Madigan [27-6-1] 175 vs. Tarek Rached [26-3] 175
(Evolve MMA, Ohio) (AFC Kickboxing, Long Island)

3 P 3X3 Nick Vaughan [14-1] 155 vs. Phillip LeGrand [11-1] 155
(The Wat, NYC) (Fit For Life-Brooklyn, NYC)

4 P 5X3 Jay Matias [16-6 11KO] 132 vs. Cody Moberly [ - ] 132
(Sitan Gym NY) (Janjira Muay Thai, Kansas)

5 P 5X3 Eddie Martinez [20-8] 147 vs. Angelo Campoli [21-7] 147
(Sitan Gym CT) (Milan, Italy)

6 A 3X2 Chantal Perry [2-2] 140 Vs. Irina Khouade [2-0] 140
(Renzo Gracie NYC) (5 Points Academy)

7 A 3X2 Elijah Clarke [12-4] 155 Vs. Angel Flores [6-3] 155
(Renzo Gracie NYC) (Team Kamikaze, NYC)

8 A 3X2 Henry Lee [1-0] 147 Vs. Sokun Kit [3-1] 147
(Class One MMA-BK) (Militia Fight Academy LI)

9 A 3X2 Jess NG [7-1] 105 Vs. Melanie Odria [4-2] 105
(Sitan Gym NYC) 3rd – 105 (Seapanong Muay Thai, VA)

10 A 5X2 Joey Hernandez [6-3] 145 Vs. Sean Fagan [10-3] 145
(Mushin MMA NYC) (Westchester Fight Academy)

11 A 3x2 Ariel Abreu [6-0] 185 Vs. Steve Hernandez [5-1] 185
(Camp Undefeated NYC) (PinPoint Muay Thai, LI)

12 A 3X2 Jeff Hobbs [3-0] 147 Vs Manny Casais [4-1] 147
(Militia Fight Academy, LI) (Coban NYC)

13 A 3X2 Pawel Zawistowski [6-0 6KO] 160 Vs Jovan Davis [6-3]) 160
(New York Jiu Jitsu NYC) (Seapanong Muay Thai, VA)

Fight Lawyer 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Muay Thai at the Mecca 2

Looking forward to the return of full contact Muay Thai Kickboxing to The Theater at Madison
Square Garden in "Muay Thai at the Mecca 2” on Saturday, November 10, 2012.  The first event at MSG was awesome and a great night of fights and this should be too with a solid fight card.  Here is a link to the press release. Fight Lawyer