Tonawanda News

Sports

June 19, 2013

Herbert improves to 5-2 in cage

(Continued)

Tonawanda News —

"I just made sure in the second and third round to stay heavy and not give him much space to move. I worked on the ground and pound and just hitting him, instead of setting him up for submissions."

The victory Saturday night helps Herbert and Victory MMA promoter Don Lilly deal with the realities of being or managing a pro fighter in New York State, but it doesn't make either one ready to accept the sport's current plight at the pro level.

Lilly said that the the bill to legalize pro MMA in New York State (bill A 6505) must be brought to the floor of the Assembly by Wednesday or lose another year without pro MMA in New York State — the same thing that's happened the past four years. He said the current rules are costing fighters like Herbert their dreams to fight someday in their hometown.

"Honestly I can't even put it into words how disappointing it is," Herbert said. "It's the only state in America that's not letting MMA happen on a professional level. It's absolutely nuts for it not to be allowed.

"New York State is not letting us compete or make money as athletes, and I get fired up just talking about it. It'd be like every other state and country allowing football and New York just saying, 'since you're from New York you can't play football.' It's just so frustrating."

Herbert is also the head trainer and co-founder of Victory MMA in North Tonawanda. He has a passion and a vested interest for all areas of the sport and its ability to succeed at every level.

As someone who manages fighters and trains amateurs, Herbert said that the inconsistencies of New York State don't help to quell the anger of the pro MMA community.

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