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Syracuse to get first taste of MMA tomorrow

Central New Yorkers will get the chance to witness a show they’re not used to seeing at the Oncenter's Crouse Hinds Theater as the stage will hold a huge Mixed Martial Arts event Saturday night.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – Central New Yorkers will get the chance to witness a show they’re not used to seeing at the Oncenter's Crouse Hinds Theater as the stage will hold a huge Mixed Martial Arts event Saturday night.

New York is still the only state to have a ban on professional MMA, so Gladius Promotion is holding an Amateur event.

MMA is the fastest growing professional sport in the world and generates millions of dollars.

The only difference between the professional and amateur events is that the pros fight two minutes longer per round, can throw elbows and get paid.

Gladius has held professional fights in other states, but the Ithaca based company can't do it in New York.

Still the company says they're excited about Saturday's show in Syracuse, which they believe will draw the best fighters from around the state.

"It’s going to open people's eyes that it's a sport. It’s not a blood bath. It’s not gladiators fighting to kill. It’s an actual sport where some really good athletes train really hard and compete and pour their hearts into,” said Tim Boda with Gladius Fight Promotions.

Boda says the Syracuse area will bring in about $150,000 for the amateur card, between hotel stays and restaurant visits, but could cash in even more with a professional MMA event.

"You're going to be treated to what a UFC event would look like on a bigger stage, right here in Syracuse," Boda said.

Boday believes New York won't be able to ban MMA professionally forever and feels this event is a warm up for what's to come.

The gates will open at 6 p.m. and the fights will begin at 7 p.m.

The State Senate has voted to lift the ban on MMA, but the measure has not been allowed to come up for a vote in the Assembly.

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