Eugene Perez of Aggressive Combat Sports called today, a little bit irate over the idea that readers of this blog might somehow see the posts about his Aggressive Combat Championship event and get it confused with the Underground Combat League. I don't see how such confusion could arise, but who knows, it could be possible. So let's clarify the differences between the two organizations, shall we?
-The Aggressive Combat Championships is an amateur fight promotion that's sanctioned by the United States Muay Thai Association, and the cards at their events can consist of anything from boxing to Muay Thai to submission grappling to combat sport jiu-jitsu bouts. The UCL is unsanctioned vale tudo, although a handshake aggreement by the fighters before they step into the ring can mean Unified Rules, amateur rules akin to those used in New Jersey, duels at ten paces with flintlock pistols, or whatever.
-Aggressive Combat Championship events are held at gyms in Fishkill, NY, Danbury, CT and Bohemia, Long Island. The UCL operates in the Five Boroughs, but I'd have to kill you if I gave you exact locations.
-Notable veterans of the UCL include former UFC champ Frankie Edgar, ROC champ Ryan LaFlare, IFL veteran Bryan Vetell, BodogFIGHT veteran Kaream Ellington, Bellator and Strikeforce veteran Anthony Leone, and bunch of other people who used aliases and wouldn't want their identities revealed. Notable veterans of the Aggressive Combat Championship include UCL vet James Funaro, UCL vet Doug Ahammer, and UCL vet "Smash" Evans.
-If you compete in an Aggressive Combat Championship event, you get insurance (in case you're injured), entrance music, a fog machine, colorful lights and enough fanfare to make fighting in front of your family and friends a pleasant experience. If you compete in the UCL, you get Hepatitis and cooties, and if you give out the location of the event to your family and friends you get a shank in the ribs.
-The Aggressive Combat Championship has been around, from what I gather, just a couple years, whereas the UCL has been around since 2003. As such, the UCL has been featured in the New York Times (three times), the New York Daily News, the New York Post, ESPN (twice), the New York Observer, the New York Press (twice), the Wall Street Journal, Full Contact Fighter magazine, Real Fighter magazine, the Metro New York newspaper, Hurriyet (the biggest newspaper in Turkey), Gawker.com, CNNMoney, and countless websites. The Aggressive Combat Championship has been written about on this blog. But hey, give it some time.
-Ultimately, the most glaring difference between the two organizations is how the New York State Athletic Commission views them. The Aggressive Combat Championship operates in the full light of day with the blessing of the athletic commission; conversely, if agents of the commission ever ascertain the whereabouts of UCL promoter Peter Storm, his location will be targeted by cruise missiles launched from a barge in the Hudson River. In other words, Storm is an outlaw, a pariah, a modern-day bandit and a Latino Tyler Durden all rolled into one - which speaks volumes of his UCL promotion. Frankly, I don't see how one could get the two disparate organizations confused...