Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara presented a proclamation to Cage Wars in recognition of its 50th event on Friday, Jan. 21st, at Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady. Cage Wars is a local amateur MMA organization that supports local athletes – expanding opportunities here in New York following the legalization of MMA in 2016.
“Cage Wars has proven time and again to be an invaluable asset to the Capital Region,” Santabarbara said. “Since the legalization of MMA in NYS, Cage Wars has partnered with Rivers Casino, expanding operations, of giving MMA fans an exciting experience and providing fighters with a safe platform to compete. It’s also helped fuel our local economy, helping bring new customers to nearby small businesses, hotels and restaurants at a time when they need it most. They come for MMA, they stay for all Schenectady has to offer. At our 50th event celebration, we celebrate a milestone, and support for local organizations that revitalize and strengthen our community.”
The organization initially began in 2007 as a small gym for fighters to train before traveling to competitions. Eventually, Five Guys Fighting Inc. emerged, leading to the first-ever Cage Wars event. The organization truly hit the ground running in 2016 when New York State legalized MMA fighting, a bill that Santabarbara long supported and championed in the Assembly (Ch. 32 of 2016). Since then, with its multi-year partnership with Rivers Casino and Resort, Cage Wars continues to improve its production value, add new local talent and ensure fighters and fans alike have a positive experience.