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Gladius Fights: Promoting MMA in New York

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Even with the ban on Professional Mixed Martial Arts in New York it has not discouraged the MMA community here. While there has been some negative press about amateur shows and sanctioning so on, there are shows that have gone above and beyond to make sure fighters safety is insured and the integrity of the sport is protected. Recently at the MMA World Expo in NYC the legalization of professional MMA was a topic of discussion as well as how to continue an promote the sport on an amateur level. The ban on Professional MMA has been a burden on not only fans but mostly the trainers and athletes themselves. Attempting to train and built a career is difficult when you are not getting paid as an amateur but have to travel out-of-state to get to the professional level.

Recently Scifighting had the pleasure of attending the Youth Liberty Games MMA Competition (sponsored by the UFC) in Albany New York. Safety was priority here and it was an inspiring site to see the youth compete in the sport. The officials for this tournament were on point with safety and regulations. While youth MMA is a more controlled subject then an amateur promotion that doesn’t stop the amateur scene from producing some entertaining sports with some of the best amateur athletes around.

In this article we are going to discuss one such promotion and the measures they take to make sure they put on a professional level show for the growth of the sport, growth of athletes and entertainment of spectators and fans. We talked with Ryan Ciotoli Gladius Fights Promoter. One of the most well-rounded individuals in the sport here in New York he discusses his background and why he created the promotion. He stated “ I am one of the few people who is literally done it all in this business. I fought, I trained fighters, I created a successful team, I managed fighters, I opened up MMA gyms, I match made and have done operations for promotions, I have run grappling tournaments, so I guess running a MMA promotion was next on my MMA bucket list”. Running a promotion here in New York isn’t a small feat, but Ciotoli has proven time and time again he can put on shows that not only attract fans but promote athletes. For example, Gladius Fight team recently participated in the Fighter Source International Amateur Fight League. The league gave fighters the opportunity to compete against other high level amature athletes all over the country and now internationally in London.

Promoting the sport is something that Ciotoli continues to attempt to find ways to do. For this next Gladius event he is having cage wrestling during the day preflight. When asked to describe the cage wrestling he stated “ We have about 20 matches with kids starting at the age of seven all the way up to high school age kids. It gives them the opportunity to compete inside the cage for the first time and also walk out to a professional ring announcer and music. A lot of these wrestlers watch MMA and enjoy the sport, so since they are not 18 this is the closest they are going to get. I came up with the rules and will be refereeing the event, so who knows maybe we will come up with a new sport”.

After the Cage wrestling Matches he will host Gladius Fights 12 at an outdoor venue in Liverpool New York. When asked what precautions he takes for the athletes of the sport he reported “ We take every precaution that most states would if there was a commission for the safety of the fighters. We require a negative HIV, Hep B and C tests and physicals for the fighters. We make sure we have the proper insurance to cover fighters in case there was an injury. We have a Doctor and EMT present during the fights and an ambulance at the venue for quick transportation. We also track the fighters and make sure they are qualified to fight and that they haven’t had any TKOs and KOs within 60 days of our event.”

In true New York Fashion we come out on top. Even with the Professional sport being illegal New York has still managed to produce some of the best athletes in the UFC, Bellator, and WSOF. The reason for this is the ability to adapt and adjust as Gladius has to help the evolution and growth of the sport.

Below is some information on Gladius Fights being held this weekend August 2nd in Livepool New York.

Gladius Fights 12 Wrestling
Cost for Family, Friends, an Fans: $10.00
Event Location: Sharkey’s Bar & Grill 7240 Oswego Rd Liverpool, NY 13090
Saturday, August 2 2014 – Match Day
1PM Matches begin

Gladius Fights 12
Event Location: Sharkey’s Bar & Grill 7240 Oswego Rd Liverpool, NY 13090
Fights Begin at 7PM
Fight Card
Jason Lance vs. Billy Windrum
Brad Vargason vs. Ahmad Burks
Amanda Trevail vs. Jackie Micale
Mike Grillo vs. Shaun Dutcher
Aaron Southerton vs. Quentin Keene
Chris Caughey vs. Corey Kenerson
Sam Micale vs. Jon Conklin
Taxon Strouse vs. Steve Elsenbeck
Kyle Blancke vs. Josh Lushima
Kuajo Lumba-Kasamgo vs. Ryan Balintfly
Dustin Bertch vs. Luis Chalas –Title Fight
Mac Brown vs. Randy Lamb –Title Fight
Bryce Tallini vs. Magdiel Matias –Title Fight
Alex Henry vs. Evander Russ –Title Fight

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Autumn Ziemba
Autumn’s interest in Martial Arts began in her early teens through her father and brother. They trained together for several years. During those years she was also active in Sports. Autumn took a break from Martial Arts and athletics to pursue her education. She completed her Undergraduate Degree at Oneonta State College in Sociology with a concentration in Pre-professional Human Services. She then studied Social Sciences at Binghamton University receiving her Masters in Social Science in 2009. Her passion lies in Gender equality for sports and facets of Mixed Martial Arts. She currently works as a Criminal Justice Professional. Writing is a passion of hers and she enjoys engaging with people of various backgrounds to gain an understanding of different perspectives in the world of MMA.