Mixed Martial Arts Hits NYC: MMA World Expo Recap
Although the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito fight was on the minds of many general combat sports fans, there is still some room for Mixed Martial Arts.
Along with UFC 122 airing on Spike TV, if you were in the New York City area, the Jacob Javits Center played host to the second annual MMA World Expo.
The highlights of this year's event were a Friday night Muay Thai tournament which was sponsored by Kru Phil Nurse and his NYC-based gym, The Wat; and a No-Gi grappling tournament sponsored by the legendary Renzo Gracie.
Bleacher Report Featured Columnist and NYC native Will Anderson managed stop by the event and presents a recap in pictures.
Friday Night Fights: Muay Thai Tournament
The event was held in association with legendary Muay Thai fighter and instructor Kru Phil Nurse and The WAT, with the grand prize consisting of a trip to Thailand.
The competition was invitation-only, and athletes fought at the 165-pound weight class.
Autograph Signings: Fabricio Werdum
Legend Killer - Strikeforce Heavyweight - Fabricio Werdum
Wondering who this guy is? Well he's the only man to actually defeat the once thought unbeatable Fedor Emelianenko. Here's a little background:
Autograph Signings: Shane Del Rosario
Up and coming Strikeforce Heavyweight - Shane del Rosario
You guys better look out for this guy. The currently undefeated Strikeforce heavyweight is quickly climbing up the ranks.
Honoring The Troops
Wounded Warrior Project Manager - Tony Ntellas
The Wounded Warrior Project is a Non Profit organization that focuses on providing unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.
This is a great program that has the support of many in the MMA community.
To learn more, please go to http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/
Autograph Signings: Dan Miller
Dan is one half of the 21st Century version of the "Bash Brothers."
He and his brother Jim (pictured on the next slide) are both rising stars in the UFC.
Autograph Signings: Jim Miller
UFC Lightweight Jim Miller taking a break from training for his upcoming match up against rising MMA star Charles Oliveira at UFC 124 next month.
Renzo Gracie Grappling Tournament
The legendary Renzo Gracie sponsored No-Gi Open tournament on Saturday, which featured over 60 divisions and had an estimated 1,000 competitors vying for the gold.
This was the first-ever "Open" tournament offered by the Renzo Gracie Academy, which is usually only for Gracie Schools and their affiliates.
Autograph Signings: Jon Jones
The future of the Light Heavyweight Division, Jon Jones.
At only 23, a height of 6'4", and a pretty sizable frame, it is conceivable to say that Jones could eventually move up to the Heavyweight division once he hits his 30s.
Autograph Signings: Kru Phil Nurse
Phil Nurse is the man behind the scenes; serving as striking coach for elite level fighters like Georges St. Pierre, Jon Jones, and Rashad Evans.
This man's humility and intelligence have made him one of the most sought after coaches in MMA.
Autograph Signings: Carlos Condit
This Greg Jackson product is coming off a stunning knockout victory over Dan Hardy at UFC 120.
Next up, a UFC 127 match up against Chris Lytle.
Gear, Clothing, and Much More
Red Arme CEO, Darryl Heslop among the numerous vendors at the expo
As always, an MMA expo would not be complete without the ability to purchase the latest equipment and clothing in the industry.
From leading industry magazine MMA Business - http://mmabusinessmag.com/ - to recent top 15 MMA Clothing Company Red Arme - http://bleacherreport.com/articles/509798-mma-stylethe-top-15-mma-clothing-brands , MMA fans were treated to a wide assortment of companies.
Renzo Gracie not only hosted the massively successful No-Gi tournament on Saturday, but he also took time to hold a No-Gi seminar as well.
Along with learning invaluable information on how to improve your game from Gracie, the expo also featured seminars from the following notable martial arts talents:
Phil Nurse (Muay Thai)
Marcelo Garcia (BJJ - No Gi)
Vitor Shaolin Ribeiro (BJJ with Gi)
Rolles Gracie (BJJ - No Gi)
Jimmy Pedro (Judo)
Ricardo Liborio (BJJ with Gi)
Busy Days For A Busy Man
Event Director Paul Paone could be seen all over the expo floor this weekend tending to the various activities and ensuring that the celebrity signings went as smoothly as possible.
Paul and his staff did a great job managing the highly animated crowds that surrounded the tournaments, and their hard work is a testament to the spirit of MMA.
To learn more about how you can be part of next year's Expo, go to http://www.mmaworldexpo.com