Stitch Duran Interview: MMA Approved in New York is a Great Thing!
By Robert Brizel, Real Combat Media MMA Correspondent
In a new Real Combat Media International Exclusive interview, famed Las Vegas professional boxing and Mixed Martial Arts cut man Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran sounded off with enthusiasm on the sudden approval of Mixed Martial Arts in New York State, and of the excitement bringing MMA shows and sponsors to Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center will bring. Carlos Silva, World Series of Fighting CEO, are chimed with excitement on the new development. MMA shows in New York will now happen soon.
Can boxing and MMA fans believe it? It finally happened! By a vote of 113-25, the Democratic controlled New York Assembly approved professional Mixed Martial Arts on March 22, 2016, after three hours of debate. The Republican led Senate already passed the MMA bill. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has indicated he will sign the bill shortly.
Separately, DraftKings and FanDuel, the daily fantasy sports giants, have agreed to honor Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Cease and Desist order, and have stopped taking bets from New York customers-in the hope the New York State Legislature, in light of the MMA approval, will now decide to legalize paid fantasy contests by June 30, 2016. Tax revenue money is ultimately at stake. If not, the companies will still refrain from taking bets in New York States until their appeals of the injunctions against them are decided in court, as well as the lawsuits in both directions (DraftKings and FanDuel versus New York State, and New York State versus DraftKings and FanDuel).
Stitch Duran: “I think MMA approved in New York is a great thing! New York, being what it is in magnitude, it shows you where the shows will be going. I’ve been at Madison Square Garden for Boxing, and I look forward to working MMA corners there.”
Robert Brizel: “What does MMA approval in New York mean to MMA fighters?”
Stitch Duran: “It puts them in a different platform. To be at Madison Square Garden, and to perform at Madison Square Garden in New York City is very fulfilling (for professional athletes). The MMA people are all cheering and clapping, and that says a lot for people in Mixed Martial Arts.”
Robert Brizel: Will the major television networks combined boxing and MMA in New York now? It has been done in other states.”
Stitch Duran: “I think Madison Square Garden never came to fruition, and now MMA in there. It’s just another great place to have great fights! Promoters are elated to have another major venue (New York and New York City) available. All of the MMA fighters are elated, cheering and exciting about the possibility of being having their talents showcased at The Garden.”
Robert Brizel: “Are MMA fans excited about this new development?”
Stitch Duran: “I think it is great whenever you open up a new chapter and storyline, with Madison Square Garden being the next piece of the puzzle. People worldwide are just as elated as New Yorkers.”
Robert Brizel: “How fast will MMA reach Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center?”
Stitch Duran: “Within the next six months, you will have Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center (hosting MMA professional events), they will be ringing and buzzing very soon, they are verbally working on it (MMA shows) already.”
Robert Brizel: “Do you think MMA in New York State will improve the cause of cut men and corner men getting a share of the MMA endorsement money?”
Stitch Duran: “If you look at the World Series of Fighting and Bellator MMA pro circuits, their fighters have sponsors. They are more open. Carlos Silva of the WSOF and Scott Coker of Bellator are wonderful. They are 100% sponsor friendly. The cut men on Bellator have their sponsors on their jacket like they used to have in the UFC.”
Robert Brizel: “Will New York State bring more sponsors into the MMA fold?”
Stitch Duran: “I think the big (sponsorship) organizations will be more willing to get on board. The UFC and Bellator already have a lot of major sponsors.”
WSOF CEO Carlos Silva: “We’re ready to go at the World Series of Fighting, and do MMA shows in New York right now! I feel Mixed Martial Arts is one of the top sports, one of the top five sports in the world. It is more than overdue in the greatest sports capital of the World, New York City!”