Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Who Fights at the UCL? That's a Damn Good Question

Accessibility. That's what it's all about when it comes to fighters competing in NYC's Underground Combat League instead of trekking across the Hudson and taking a sanctioned bout in New Jersey (where the MMA scene is huge). So who competes at these shows? Aside from the random street fighter, wrestling champ, or ringer who's racked up dozens of jiu-jitsu privates and practiced them on his roommate, there are a number of schools who've made their presence known. Here are some recent offenders: New Generation Karate- Don't let the name fool you. These "karate" guys have proven to be badass submission grapplers, as evidenced by 172-pounder Josh Camdon and 204-pounder Lance McDwyer totally handling their opponents before tapping them out. Vamos Jiu-Jitsu- 174-pound James Funaro was smooth as hell this past Sunday, which is a good indication that these guys are doing something right at this Long Island school. PIT/Katsugo-Ryu/Musuko- These locals all come to scrap, and are responsible for some real crowd-pleasing battles - especially at the last event, where the 158-pound Angel Flores went to war. Rhino Fight Team- Do I really need to say anything about one of the top MMA teams in the Northeast? Team United/Kaizen Karate-Do- Headed by 185-pounder Mike Mullero, these dudes have stepped up and faced some tough fighters, proving that they're there to scrap no matter what. Of course there are others, like the boys from American Freestyle or the KTFO gym, but you get the point. New Yorkers in the hizzouse!