Scenes from an Underground Fight Show in New York City

Jim Genia

Earlier today there was an edition of the Underground Combat League (UCL), New York City's long-running, unsanctioned MMA promotion.  Unlike most of the other states in the country, New York has deemed professional MMA to be illegal.  But a loophole in the law has allowed amateur events to flourish — albeit in a quasi-hush-hush world where fighters sometimes use aliases and the locations of shows are kept secret from the athletic commission. 

Please, don't judge them too harshly.  The UCL, for instance, has churned out over forty events since its debut in 2003, and can count among its alumni such fighters as former UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar and International Fight League heavyweight Bryan Vetell (as well as a slew of dudes who went on to fight in Strikeforce, the WEC, Bellator and top regional promotions).  And before you accuse anyone of exploitation, remember this: everyone from promoter Peter Storm to the fighters to the fans wants to see New York State sanction the sport; it's only because New York won't that events like this exist.

You're probably about to ask something along the lines of "Well, don't you think underground shows like this one are setting the sport back and keeping it from being sanctioned?"  That's a clown-question, bro.  The politicians who favor MMA in New York have cited the state's thriving underground fight scene as a reason why the sport must be sanctioned.

Jim Genia always posts live results from these dastardly events here.

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