to do so. (FAC ¶¶ 336, 341). Beth and Donna Hurrle are the founders and editors of
Gals Guideto MMA
, “an MMA website by, and for, women.” (FAC ¶ 306).Plaintiffs also include a number of amateur MMA trainers and promoters. Steve Kardianis an MMA instructor and co-founder of Thornwood MMA and Fitness School in Westchester, New York. (FAC ¶ 316). Erik Owings is an MMA trainer and owner of Mushin Mixed MartialArts academy in New York City. (FAC ¶¶ 331, 335). Don Lilly is an MMA promoter, amanager of professional and amateur MMA fighters, and an owner of an MMA gym in NewYork. (FAC ¶ 281). On May 19, 2012, Lilly organized an amateur MMA event in NorthTonawanda, New York, which was attended by over 1,000 people. (FAC ¶¶ 283, 285). ShannonMiller is a former professional boxer and boxing promoter. (FAC ¶ 289). He currently producesamateur MMA events in New York through 5Guys Fighting. (Id.). In 2009, Miller had planned to hold an amateur Muay Thai and kickboxing event at the State University of Albany; a UFCfighter was scheduled to appear at the event, although not to compete. (FAC ¶ 292). The NewYork State Athletic Commission (the “SAC”), however, citing the “professional” appearance of the posters used to promote the event, shut down the event. (Id.).
The Origins of MMA
MMA traces its historical origins to 648 B.C. and the ancient Olympic sport of “pankration,” which combined “boxing, wrestling, and fighting with the feet.” (FAC ¶ 22).Modern MMA, in turn, dates back roughly 80 years to the Brazilian martial art of “vale tudo,”that artists such as Rorion Gracie and the Gracie family developed into Brazilian jiu-jitsu, “aground-based system of fighting that utilizes submission and grappling techniques.” (FAC ¶ 26).In 1993, competitors from a variety of martial arts disciplines, including kickboxing, karate,sumo, boxing, and jiu-jitsu, participated in a tournament in Denver, Colorado. (FAC ¶ 27).
Case 1:11-cv-08215-KMW Document 49 Filed 09/30/13 Page 3 of 44