There's Ryan LaFlare, the middleweight fighter in the UFC. And there's Ryan LaFlare, co-owner of Long Island MMA in Farmingdale and cornerman for several of the mixed martial artists from his gym.
Whether the Copiague resident is stepping into the octagon or standing outside the cage, one thing remains the same: That structure can't legally hold two MMA fighters for a professional bout in New York State.
"I just think it's ridiculous," LaFlare said Sunday. "I'm almost appalled that it's not here in New York."
LaFlare was part of a group of UFC fighters and state Assemblymen at a press event at Staten Island's Borough Hall to raise awareness for the bill to legalize MMA in New York. Connecticut is the only other state that bans MMA; legislation is pending there as well.