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Raw Combat: The Underground World of Mixed Martial Arts Paperback – November 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
If you're interested in underground MMA as a grassroots movement, a legislative struggle, or the last stronghold of "real no holds barred", this book will show you the history, the highlights, and the humanity behind the (totally awesome) face punching.
"At a New York City underground show, words like motley crew, varied assortment and wretched hive of scum and villainy barely scratch the surface."
This is how the author describes the kind of people that frequent the "Underground Combat League", or UCL. The UCL has been home to many fighters who made it big, like Frankie Edgar and Bryan Vetell. It is also home to local stars like James Funaro, and more dubious competitors like Lamont Tereyton Williams, who after a nyquil binge took a power saw on a subway and attempted to carve up a poor bystander. This book documents the life and times of the many combatants who have fought in closed-doors gyms and random martial arts schools with the only purse the winner takes home being pride.
Combined with the tales of UCL promoter Peter Storm and his stable of mainstay fighters, Jim also tells us about local fighters from the tri-state area whose efforts mirror the stories from the underground. A tale about twin brothers James and Joe Funaro spins off into a story about Louis Gaudinot from TSMMA fighting in a sanctioned amateur show in New Jersey. To top this off, the history of MMA in the US is also spread purposefully through the book.
The story of the UCL itself is quite impressive.Read more ›
From the unknown, to the present day light weight champion in the UFC, the author gives the reader a story, the true story, of everything you won't find out in the newspaper about the Mixed Martial Arts scene in New York, and New Jersey. Who was and is behind it, and why they did/do it.
I strongly reccomend this book to anyone, it is masterfully written by one of the best reporters involved in MMA today.
This is a fast, cutting, funny, and insightful look into a part of the MMA world very few have had the chance to witness. Run out and buy this. Or better yet click a button. Seriously. If you love MMA, you will love this book.
On an informational level the book is really interesting, especially for someone like me who likes MMA and watches a fair amount of the major events but doesn't have the time / energy / motivation / awareness / mobility / work schedule to look for the smaller shows going on in neighboring states, pay much if any attention to the big MMA forums like sherdog where I'm sure I'd be kept more in the know of what is going on in the less visible areas of the sport or who knows very many other people who are interested (at all) in this unlikely thing that I keep getting more and more fascinated by. Except for some of the big fighters who have come out of the NYC area and that there are some top notch schools in the area, I didn't really know anything about the MMA world of New Jersey, and figured there were probably some fights going on below the radar in New York, but I had no knowledge at all about them.
My problem with the book is that it got confusing at times with the names of people. I had a hard time following who some of the people in the book were, most of the people were only given first names, which I understand because there are some difficulties that can arise for fighters who have taken part in UCL style events in New York (some promoters won't allow fighters who took part in underground fights to fight in their events). I suck at remembering names, so this is mostly my fault, but I would have liked to get little clues to help me recall who people were, especially when they hadn't been mentioned for a few chapters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
funny ass book. The stories of dudes getting their blocks knocked off for little else but guts glory and honor is great.Published 12 months ago by Joolz
I really enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it for anyone interested in the early history of MMA. Read morePublished on December 2, 2013 by Martin R.
You feel like you have been let into a world that most wont or cant go to.I would recommend this book.Published on April 25, 2013 by bernard
Despite Matt Polly's blog, not nearly as good as his books ("American Shaolin" and "Tapped Out."). A lot of it reads like a long-form add for Toger Schulman's schools, so much so... Read morePublished on May 30, 2012 by X
For any fan of MMA this book is a must read. Jim captures the blood, sweat and tears of a burgeoning scene ready to capture the mainstream. Read morePublished on April 19, 2012 by The Gracie Hunter
A really good read for anyone interested in MMA. Especially so if you're an old MMA guy like me.
Well worth the read.
Having fought in the 90's when the sport was in its infancy I was able to come away with more wins than losses with a modicum of training. Read morePublished on November 8, 2011 by Kevin M. Smith