When the bill to lift the ban on mixed martial arts was passed through the New York Assembly this week, one of those who rejoiced was a transplant Englishman who fosters a dream of fighting in the Empire State, too.
That was Liam McGeary, the current lightweight champion in Bellator, who has for the past four years has called New York home, and who trains with Renzo Gracie just a few blocks from Madison Square Garden.
“I was keeping a close eye on it, through the people at Spike and on the internet,” the 33-year old McGeary told MMA Fighting. “As soon as it came through my phone blew up with messages and a big smile came over my face, because now we can finally put the show up to the East Coast fans. There’s a lot of people, there’s a lot of fight fans in New York and surrounding places as well, lots of towns. It’s easy to get to. They the fights as much as the West Coast. So, yeah, it’s all happy days.”
McGeary (11-0) last fought against Tito Ortiz at Bellator: Dynamite in San Jose, California in September. Before then the closest he could come to fighting in New York was at Uncasville, at the Mohegan Sun, where he defeated Emmanuel Newtown a year ago to win the title, or in Atlantic City.
With the UFC having led the campaign to get MMA sanctioned in New York, it benefits the sport as a whole. Bellator could end up being the first major promotion to have a show in the state, and there’s already talk about an event happening at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
McGeary said it doesn’t matter to him which arena it’s in, or which promotion is throwing an event. The idea ….View full article
Source:: mma fighting