I have been thinking about a quick visit to New York in September/October, and I have heard about the 'fight clubs' inspired by, or reminiscent of, the 1999 eponymous film starring Brad Pitt.

Allegedly, these are night clubs with an improvised ring where random strangers pair off in a real-world fist fight where the last man (or woman) standing wins some money. Then it starts over again with a different pair of random strangers. I don't know about the legality of these establishments. I would like to be a spectator and can't imagine how that would be illegal (if so provide the statute where attendees can get in trouble). Anyway, laws change: At one point serving alcoholic beverages in NYC was illegal as were lap dance clubs and gay bars.

I saw an article in the Daily Mail (ok, granted it's not the best of British journalism) with some photos (but without specifics) leading me to think they are an authentic happening in NYC, hence this question. Happy with anything up to and including a USD 500 cover charge. I am not looking for a generic, NYC street fight scene, but a proper venue with table service and staff. The farthest out I'd be willing to go would be to Sheepshead Bay/Brighton Beach, or any place on the N Train.

  • 2
    A very good question! Any plans to be inside the ring 😉? Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 19:09
  • 12
    And the first rule of Fight Club is....? Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 19:21
  • 7
    @DJClayworth ... talk about it on TSE.
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 20:34
  • None of the fights depicted here took place in "a proper venue with table service and staff". Rather they seem to be random empty spaces that were temporarily repurposed. You may be looking for something that doesn't exist. Especially since it's apparently illegal. Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 20:58
  • Such fight club are illegal - for many reasons. If such a fight took place, it would be breaking a whole array of laws. Hence even if they do exist, nobody would write about it on a public forum. And, before you ask, no, I don't know of any personally; I never lived in New York and never had any desire to visit anything like that on any of my visits there either.
    – Aleks G
    Commented Jul 19, 2015 at 22:05

1 Answer 1


Obviously, finding secret bare knuckle clubs is not easy. Also, remember you are talking about a small number of gatherings in a city of 8 million people. It's like finding a needle in a haystack. Also, remember that in most cases these are clubs, meaning the members have selected each other by various criteria, so random strangers might not be welcome.

The best place to ask will be MMA and boxing gyms. Maybe try Fight House (18 W 18th St #505) or Camp Undefeated (250 W 40 St 4th floor) or Church Street Boxing (25 Park Place) for starters.

Also, fyi bare knuckle fighting might not be as exciting as you think. The fights tend to be relatively boring compared to regular boxing because there are a lot fewer punches. Like, a typical fight is boxers circle each other for 5 minutes, one guy throws punch and hits the side of other guys head and breaks his ring finger, fight over due to broken finger.

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