06/12/2013 12:48 pm ET

Inside NYC's Underground Fight Clubs

Jessica Bal

On the rooftop of a seventeen-story building in the middle of a public housing complex in The Bronx, two fighters were battling it out. The roof has no railings, so anyone could easily have fallen off. Wearing only shorts and mixed martial arts gloves, they punched, grappled and kicked each other until one of them was beaten into submission and fell to the floor unconscious.

“That was the first rooftop fight I’ve ever seen,” said William H. Cavalli, an underground fighter, as he recounted the illegal bout that took place on a windy, wet day last February.

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