Thursday, October 22, 2009
Reformed Underground Fighter to Return to the Warm Embrace of Sanctioned MMA
Reformed underground fighter James Funaro, who made a name for himself as a top vale tudo competitor in the New York underground fight scene, will return to the warm embrace of sanctioned MMA this weekend at Asylum Fight League XX in Atlantic City. It's an unprecedented move. Usually, fighters who've crossed over to the dark side of unregulated matches are banned from amateur competition in New Jersey. But "after filing the proper post-UCL paperwork" and getting the necessary medical tests, it looks like the 175-pound Vamos BJJ/BoxFit rep will make the switch. Funaro, of course, is no stranger to bouts with actual rules. Prior to his career as a lawless gladiator fighting to the death, he saw combat at New Breed Fighters, Caged Fury in Ohio, and most recently at Philly Biker Brawl in Philadelphia. "Good for him," said the evil Brian Dennehy, who controls the underground fight circuit in New York. "He deserves to go legit. I wish him luck." Funaro is scheduled to face the experienced Anthony Cruz, and the AFL 20 card will also feature amateur mainstays Thiago Carfi, George Siderias and Cuba Gooding Jr.