MMA Finally Arrives in New York, Aggressive Combat Sports Makes History with Epic Fights
After years of inactivity, New York City finally played host to a fully sanctioned amateur mixed martial arts event as Aggressive Combat Sports brought Aggressive Combat Championships to the fans. This epic night of amateur fights was headlined by a war between Leo “Mexicutioner” Muniz and Noel Aviles. This headlining lightweight title fight was a rematch from last year where Muniz won the first bout with an armbar submission at 1:33 in the second round. Last night Muniz would once again win, this time would a head-kick knockout in the third round.
“Everybody said it was gonna be a war so I took it seriously, and there you go,” Muniz said after the fight.
In round one of this USCS Fight of the Night, Muniz came out landing viscous head strikes pushing Aviles back up against the cage. Aviles kept trying to push back forward but Muniz kept finding his range.
In round two the two lightweights chopped at each other’s trunks with determined leg kicks, but it was in the very next round that Muniz went high with a kick dropping Aviles to the canvas. Muniz dropped one more punch and as Aviles tried to stand up, veteran referee Jerry Mendez interfered and stopped the fight much to the frustration of Aviles who wished to continue.
Very fitting for this this historic night of fights, Mendez also goes down in the books as the city’s first sanctioned officiating referee. Mendez, was also a first in the Garden State of New Jersey when the sport was officially sanctioned there more than a decade ago.
Another first in mixed martial arts, this Aggressive Combat Sports fight card was also the first live event to ever serve.....canollies. Yes, the Sicilian pastry dessert was provided by Arthur Avenue Market Pasticceria.
The legal ban put in place in 1997 that prohibited professional MMA in New York technically took with it all combat sports apart from boxing, however, select bodies, such as the United States Muay Thai Association (USMTA) and the World Kickboxing Association, are allowed to sanction “martial arts” competitions within the state. To the letter of the law, by the admission of the New York State Attorney General’s office, amateur MMA falls under the category of “martial arts.”
Most fight promoters will not attempt to challenge the law therefore a partnership with the USMTA is necessary to hold the event. Other organizations have paired with the USMTA and successfully held sanctioned MMA events in the Empire State, but never in New York City, until now.
From head to toe this line up of fights was extremely exciting, one of the best, if not the best amateur card ever assembled. From the opening to closing bells there was not a dull moment of fights.
The two fighters that will forever be remembered as the first men to exchange punches inside the cage are Russian fighter, Arthur Khumukov and Jamie Rodriguez. The Russian would have his way with his punches all day in round one.
The crowd could not hold back their appreciation for this classic battle between two warriors as they let them know with loud cheers. The cheers must have kept Rodriguez in the fight because although his chin was tested, it never faltered. He stayed in the fight and in the beginning of round two when Khumukov fired more heavy strikes Rodriguez stayed standing. Rodriguez landed his first good exchange and dropped Khumukov to the canvas but the fight would not end there.
The war would end up going to a judges’ decision with Khumukov earning a unanimous decision victory.
The second event of the night would be a grappling match between two amateurs who came wanting to compete in MMA, however due to various reasons their two fights were cancelled. When the two fighters were stranded without opponents they agreed to compete in a catchweight grappling competition rather than go home empty-handed.
Grappler’s Quest referee, Professor Mike Wagner officiated this six-minute competition between Greggy Styles and Tobart Pongia. Points were awarded just as they would be in a grappling competition and it was Pongia would be declared the victor as he bounced back from an early aggressive onslaught from Styles, to dominate the closing minutes of the competition with impressive submission attempts.
The USCS Submission of the Night came in the night’s third fight as Oswald Perez submitted Josh Armstrong via armbar at just 57 seconds into the first round.
It was uncertain what led to an early temporary fight stoppage after a cut opened up on the head of Matt Poricell, but after the physician gave the green light to continue it was Poricelli who dominated Erik Makris and submitted him with an armbar at 2:32 in the first round.
The USCS Knockout of the Night came later in the night as Raymond Ceballos delivered a brutal KO to Anthony Knox. Knox, the larger of the two fighters gassed early in the first round and was on the receiving end of some pounding head shots that dropped him to a knee on more than one occasion. After somehow finding a way back to his feet Knox walked into a shot that put him to sleep while standing and the fighter plummeted head first to the canvas. Physicians attended to the fighter for what seemed like a minute before he came to.
After the excitement settled the Aggressive Combat Sports announcer introduced media present, giving U.S. Combat Sports a shout out and welcoming the USCS organization to an epic night of history in the Big Apple.
Full Fight Card Results:
Lightweight Championship Bout:
Leo Muniz def. Noel Aviles – 3rd Round KO (time not recorded)
Weight Categories not announced
Aaraon Galan def. Florentino Laureano – Unanimous Decision
Vic Landetta def. B.J. Curcio via Guillotine Choke Submission – 0:23 Round 2
Raymond Ceballos def. Anthony Knox via Knockout – 2:11 Round 1
Mike Devola def. Patrick Kelly – Unanimous Decision
Matt Poricelli def. Erik Makris – Armbar Submission – 2:32 Round 1
Oswald Perez def. Josh Armstrong – Armbar Submission – 0:57 Round 1
Tobart Pongia def. Greggy Styles – Points – Six-Minute Grappling Competition
Arthur Khumukov def. Jamie Rodriguez – Unanimous Decision
Photos by Eric Kowal