Imagine, if you will, an aspiring fighter who for the past year has been climbing into the ring at New York City's Underground Combat League and kicking ass. Like, seriously kicking ass. His jiu-jitsu is damn near flawless, as is his intensity and focus, and thus far he's soundly defeated everyone he's faced, either by submission or clear-cut decision. Well, one such fighter exists, but the nature of the whole "unsanctioned fighting makes it harder to fight in the sanctioned circuit" thing means that, though I will extoll his virtues in the ring, I can't tell you his name. Hereafter, he shall be called "Fighter X". But he's real. Believe me, he's real.
Want proof? A producer from SpikeTV saw him fight at the last UCL and thought he was a stud, and when Fighter X went the distance with a submission-savvy wrestler, a reporter from Gawker.com acknowledged that Fighter X seemed to know what he was doing. And he definitely does. If his school in Midtown Manhattan - where one can learn both jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai - has a star pupil, I'd wager that Fighter X is it.
So why fight in the unregulated wilds of the underground? Why risk so much, including the opportunity to fight in New Jersey's rich and vibrant amateur leagues to build up a record and turn pro? I haven't asked him yet, but the answer probably has something to do with things like "convenience", "less stringent rules" and "valuable experience". There might be more to it. Heck, one of his coaches is an esteemed UCL veteran, so it's likely that has something to do with it, too. (And it should be noted that said coach finished his underground career by transitioning to sanctioned fights, which is a route I envision Fighter X inevitably taking.)
If you're wondering why I'm writing about a fighter who I have to remain cryptic about, the answer is... I cannot say. Not just yet at least. But hey, watch this space.