The Martial Artist and the Dream: Luis De Jesus

Luis De Jesus is a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter from Elizabeth, NJ, who dreams of going pro. The sport is dominated by two governing organizations, UFC and Bellator, in every state but NY, where professional fighting is still illegal. Consequently, a thriving amateur scene has blossomed. Fighters who want cage-fighting experience come to NY to test their mettle. The venues run the gamut, from shows that are indistinguishable from those of the UFC to private gyms where there are no doctors, and referees begin the matches by calling out, “Okay, fuck each other up.”

George Billard is currently in production on a feature length documentary, Amateur, that chronicles the lives of several fighters as they navigate their way through the NY MMA scene.